Monday, April 18, 2011

So I am back!

I know it is a little late, but I made it safely back to the States. It is nice to be back and see my wife (and her growing belly! :D), family, and friends. I do miss the village and especially all those children. It was hard leaving, but life must go on and I very sure that Sarah and I are going to see them in the future! I would like to thank all those at the COZV church and village for their help and support. Continue to pray for Travis and Lorna and all of those staff and volunteers. Also keep praying for the flood! It had been rising ever so slowly even when I left, so we hope it goes down as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Final Update

So this is the last update for me being here in Namibia. It has been a wonderful couple of weeks. I wish I could have stayed longer because I was just getting to know all of the kids.
April 9th
A very long day of walking and driving to soccer. The girls game was scheduled at 11, but didn't start til 2. The guys played after them and I got to play with them also. The girls won their game 3-0. The boys didn't fair so well... we lost 0-4. :( I got to meet Disco (one of the older boys that is now at another school) and we actually played against his school and him. Everyone didn't get back to the village til after 8pm.
April 10th
We went to pick up a team from Campus Crusade for Christ and they led a sermon and gave a message for the kids. Got to hang out with the kids some more that day.
April 11th
Quite a long day. Started with devotions in the morning and then went to Mafuta to drop off food. Then we had to go to town to do all of the food shopping for the village among other errands. I got some shitanges for Sarah and the baby at the open market. We had so much food and supplies to bring back we had to take 2 trips on the boat to get it back. The boat was very low in the water on the trips. It was kinda scary lol
April 12th
Started with staff devotions, then went to help organize the shelves in the workshop. One of the dogs had ran off a couple days ago and then came back today. He looked very sick and wouldn't eat anything all day. Was trying to figure out what was wrong, but he just kept moping around all day. I cooked dinner for Travis, Lorna, Johannes, and Lena. Made them some fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Since it was my last night here I hung out with the kids some more. Got quite a few letters for Sarah from the kids. :) Had some goodbyes, but I told them I would see them in the morning before I left.
I definitely am going to miss the children and everyone here. It has been a wonderful time and everyone has treated me so well. Am most definitely going to try and come back in the future. This is my last update here and I will post when I get back to the states. Continue to pray for the flood to go down as it continues to slowly rise. Also pray for the kids as they will go on break from school next week.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Woah so I got kinda behind! Sorry!
April 5th
Did some laundry today! I was down to my lasts of everything haha. Also did some painting on the outside cooking area. It started raining when we were painting and of course didn't stop till after we were done, but we got the first coat on! I practiced with the boys in the soccer practice. I was tired half-way through their warm-ups... It was good though and a lot of fun.
April 6th
Really didn't do much today, but rest. Practiced some more soccer with the boys and then had their bible study later that evening.
April 7th
Johannes and I had to paint the outside cooking area and laundry bench again with a different coating of paint. Read 1-3 John and some of Revelations today. Revelations is so confusing lol. Got to practice some more with the boys, but I wasn't running a lot because I was tired haha. Also had the final session of the bible study with the boys that night.
April 8th
Got to go to town again and did some shopping. So the water has been flooding onto the dirt road so we have to go by boat now to get the cars. The river isn't rising, but the water is breaking through the small dams that were keeping the road dry. It was also very windy today, which means according to the elders that the flooding should be done and winter should be coming now. Some of kids want me to teach them Kung-Fu because I am "Ching-Chong". So I taught them some stuff, but the most important lesson is to never start fights! Got to go to a bible study for the older kids and they were in the book of James and learning about that. Got to hang out with the kids some more and learned how to dance!

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 3rd
We had a short church service today, but a very good sermon from Travis. It was a very long day with the girls playing a friendly soccer match against another school. We had to drive all the way to the Namibia-Botswana border, which is where the school was located. Our girls won! The score was 2-1 and they did a very good job playing against girls that were older and bigger than them. It was also very hot that day.. I got a little more sun burnt hehe.
April 4th
Had staff devotions in the morning and then packed up and went over to the Mafuta village to drop off some food. We then went to town to get food for COZV. We had to go to 2 shopping stores and then 2 catering services to fill up the Backy (err on the spelling, it is the 4x4 truck they use). The truck was so full. Lorna had 2 crates full of loaves of bread on her lap in the front seat. Johannes and I had very little room in the bed of the truck. I had to sit on a box in the corner of it and he was sitting on a corner also. The dirt road to the village has also flooded more (even though the river hasn't risen), but we barely made it through the water. Praise God that nothing or no one fell out!
Travis, Johannes, Melinga, and I headed out one last time on the truck through the water to get firewood for Mafuta. We had to drive deep into the bush to look for wood. Since the road was getting too deep, we had to switch over to using the boat on the river and will probably be using that for a while. Once we got back to the village we had the bible study for the older boys.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

March 31st
After staff devotions, Johannes and I thought we could help out some, so Tombe asked us to fix the crane for the large pots for the outside cooking pit. All we had to do was drill a large hole and place a large bolt in it to help support the heavy weight of the pots. Something that should've taken a hour ended up taking us over 3 lol. So lesson learned: always measure before you start drilling.
I gave Niko his basketball and the other kids some soccer balls. I got to play soccer with the girls and boys also. So I ended up playing basketball and soccer for about 3.5 hours. I was tired after that.
April 1st
I got to sleep in a little bit. After I got up I started cutting some of the tall grass near the children's home. I had to use a old push mower that kept getting stuck because the grass was so tall. I got to help serve lunch for the kids and Albert helped me out too. Uncle Travis and I had to show Niko and Mateo how to play basketball. :) Later that day I got to ride in to town with Travis to see the bus stop. Later that night Johannes led a bible study for some of the older children.
April 2nd
So a group of men from the Seventh Day Adventist church came today and led a service for everyone. It was an awesome service and they can really sing well. After that for lunch we had a authentic meal of grilled chicken, pap, and potatoes. We had to eat it with our hands, which was fun. The kids were showing me how to eat it. They also found out that I am half chinese so now I have to teach them some things. I feel kinda bad because I forgot a lot of my chinese, but hopefully it will come back to me. Got to play more basketball with more of the kids and ended up with very large blisters on my feet haha. I also got a little sunburnt. (but don't worry baby, I'm fine) Saturday is also movie night so we watched Cool Runnings.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I made it!


My first flight started a little late, but there wasn't a lot of turbulence. The movies and TV did not work on the plane so basically I had to sleep the whole time… good thing was I had my little section to myself. When I got to Jo-burg and went looking for the man from the Lilypad, I ended up looking and waiting in the wrong area. I did not see him when I came out of the arrivals area and thought I had to wait outside (because that is what the handbook says). Well things have changed at the airport and they can no longer park and wait outside. They have to be inside in the designated waiting area with a sign. I totally missed the guy and ended up making him wait for like 40 minutes. I felt really bad that I made him wait, but was very glad that he stayed.

I was going to try and get on Skype at the BnB, but my internet didn't work until the morning. Got to the Air Botswana check-in and I had a little more luggage than I was allowed to take and the lady said that I would have to pay extra. She ended up not charging me, which was really nice. When I was walking around the airport, I think I saw 3 of the players from the Brazilian soccer team Palermios. It was pretty cool to see a professional athlete up close. It was funny because I had just watched a game of them playing on the TV at the Lilypad that morning.

The flight to Kasane was a little delayed and had to wait for my ride a little bit, but it's all good. When we went through Chobe National Park we saw 3 elephants and a pack of warthogs. We also saw a bunch of monkeys in a tree near the Zambize River. On the way to the village Travis, Niko, and Johannes had to patch up some parts of the road where the river was starting to flow through. I also got to go on the really bumpy ride to drop-off and pick-up staff. I got to meet more of the kids, but kind of forgot most of their names. The younger ones still remember to call me "Billy the Goat".

It has been a crazy 3 days, but an awesome 3. I just thank God for watching over me. I do miss the wifey too and a lot of the people here do too. This post was a little late, but I will try and post a little more often. J

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Getting ready to go!

Hey everyone, it's Billy. Just wanted to get the posts started. I am up in Maryland right now getting ready to leave on Monday. All my bags are packed and I am ready to go except for the gum that I need to buy. (because someone named "Sarah" stole all of mine...) This is going to be my first time traveling internationally alone, so please pray for me! I am excited to leave for Africa and sad at the same time because I am going to miss my wife and baby-to-be.

Well I guess I will try to post again when I get to Jo-burg, so over and out.


Monday, March 7, 2011

requests from Africa....

We've emailed Travis and Lorna to see if there is anything Billy could bring to the Children's Home with him that they couldn't get there and here is the list:

*Epson 78 ink cartridges PLUS BLACK! (you will see the 78 series doesn’t have black in it)
*a large bottle of saline solution for contacts as well as a bottle of contact cleaner (Complete multipurpose cleaner) that would be GREAT!! We cannot find contact lens anything here.

As for the kids:
*glue (not glue sticks),
*colored paper
*funny or inspirational DVD’s (these do NOT have to be new)
*if you can get donations to buy some scientific calculators that would be awesome
*odd request but they need metal compasses for math (maybe 4 or 5)
*if you can donations of clothes the children are in need of some
*another odd request – spoons (eating spoons) there are very few at the children’s home

We plan on getting some of this stuff but cannot afford it all. If anyone has any of these items they no longer need or would like to make a donation, please contact Billy or I. Thanks :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My first decision as a parent...

I've been meaning to post for awhile now, but things just kept popping up and I kept forgetting. Today, I decided that I needed to sit down and post something since Africa has been on my mind so much these past couple of days, and today especially.

I woke up this morning, realizing that it was the first of March, and the first thing that came to my mind (besides the month) was that I've spent the past two March's in Africa. My next thought was to wake Billy so he could go get his immunizations taken care of. Then a sad thought crossed my mind....Billy would be getting his shots by himself, for a trip he will be going on by himself (insert sadness here).

For anyone who doesn't know (where have you been?!) I'm pregnant! It's been really exciting and besides the morning sickness and SERIOUS aversion to chicken, the only other bad thing about being pregnant is that it makes my trip to Africa more dangerous. After much research about malaria and pregnancy, I found out that it's pretty risky. Turns out mosquitoes love pregnant woman more than non-pregnant woman! And forget about taking medicine to help prevent malaria...I may not have a baby because of it. So long story short, I've decided not to go.

[cut back to emo Sarah ;)] Billy decided that he will still go and I am so excited for him! He leaves Monday, March 28th and returns Thursday, April 14th. I'm hoping that he will love it as much as I did and that God will open his heart to future mission trips...with me AND the baby :)

So I will end this post by saying goodbye. Goodbye for the next month anyway. Billy will be using use my blog to post updates while he is over there, so keep checking our page!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Plans are underway...

for what seems to be becoming my annual trip to Africa :) I couldn't be more thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to return to Children of Zion Village!

As with every trip, the idea of me going back came from my sadness of being gone, then moved on to doubt- doubt that I would be able to raise the money, to trusting in God that if this is what I'm supposed to do, then the funds will come. And boy did they come! As a wedding gift, I was blessed to receive a sum of money that will cover the majority of what I need to make this trip. Excuse me, WE- what BILLY and I need to make this trip. (yes, this time I am allowing Billy to come- just kidding! :)) We had to make sure that everything with his school was on track, and that he would still be graduating at the end of March (he is- PRAISE GOD!) before we set any kind of date. The tentative dates we will be gone are the end of March to the middle of April- not long enough in my opinion, but it's all we can do for now!

So I end this post the same way I do with the other "pre-africa" posts by asking for your support; support through prayers and finances(although we have the majority of the trip covered, we will still need that remaining lump sum to cover the rest). Thank you and God Bless!