Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Today was an amazing day! Instead of going to Emmanual we went up the mountain to El Shaddai. We sent out gardening teams out into the community to plant gardens (no : ) landscaping). Each team went to three homes. We gave out soccer balls to the kids at the homes also. It's really indescribable the way you feel the second you hand a child something as simple as a soccer ball and their face lights up with a grin from ear to ear.
Today I also met Motogo as he's known. He is the 4th child of 5 that are new to the childrens home. He's very quiet but loves to know someone is always there. He walked around all day with red paint on his forehead. It was almost like he was marked for me to find. He's a beautiful child with a kind heart. I spend the second half of the day holding him, holding his hand, or playing soccer. The best point of the day for me was when we were sitting listening to some of the girls sing. He reached over and grabbed my arm and pulled it across him and then grabbed my other arm and pulled it the opposite direction accross him. He just wanted to be hugged and loved. It was a glorious day!! El Shaddai was built by God and you see him everywhere you turn there.
Tonight at dinner Janine Maxwell, one of the head honchos at heart for africa spoke about aids and how it affects Swaziland and africa as a whole. With the Aids epidemic growing and education almost non exsistant or lacking, everyone is quite concerned about the World Cup being held in South Africa. This could potential spread or increase the spead of AIDS in countries where the disease is somewhat less prevalent. I encourage you and everyone you know to write a letter to FIFA and ask them to provide some sort of education or PSA to inform and educate people on this dangerous disease.
I can't wait until Friday for Litsemba!
Sala Kahle! Goodbye!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I was to tired last night and passed out while typing this.
This entry is going to my personal experience of the past 2 days.
We finally had the chance to work at the childrens homes. Half were sent to El Shaddai, while the other half, including myself, were sent to Emmanuel. We drive 30 min on paved roads and 30 min on dirt/undeveloped roads to the home. The crazy thing about Swaziland is that everywhere you drive you run into burnt brush or a wildfire. Their winters are really dry and in the 70's so wildfires flare up all over the place. Somehow not many of them hit the home. Part of our job at Emmanuel was to clear 50 acres dry brush to create a fire break. We "planted a garden" which really was hand lanscaping of 3 acres of land. My group ended up digging a 5ft x 5ft x 2 1/2 ft. compost hole and man am I sore!! Towards the end of the day the kids came down to help, which great to see the team working along side the children. With a majority of the work done in the first two days, we spend the end of the day with the kids before we leave for the day. The kids looooove cameras. Many of them have never seen themselves and look amazed or bewildered by their photo and/orvideo.
The past two days has been phisically, emotionally and spiritually trying. Seeing the children and how happy they are with nothing, at least what we see as nothing. The kids crave love and affection. Many have been abandoned or their parents have died, many due to aids. The children run up to you with their arms raised and hope in their eyes. The people I've met her are amazing, American, Canadian, Taiwanese and Swazi a like and they all have one thing in common, hope.
Some facts about Swaziland:
- In 2020 there will be no one over the age of 18 in Swaziland if the aids epidemic continues at it's current pace.
- Swaziland has the highest aids rate Africa at 48%
Monday, July 20, 2009
I was suppose to blog this last night but I fell asleep. So let's pretend it's yesterday for this post.
Today after breakfast we headed out to The small town of Manzini just outside of Mbabane, where we are staying for church. Driving up to the Christian Family Centre, children would stand at the side of the road singing, dancing and waving at the buses. Everyone here seems so happy. I've never met more people that smile and treat you as if you were family.
Once the service started, the whole room was singing, dancing and praising. Women were weapong with joy and the pastor had a great joy in his heart that just illuminated him. One of the younger men on the trip was prophetcized (sp?) i think everyone on the trip was moved. We recorded the service but it's to long to upload.
After leaving church we headed out to the Project Canaan site. Ian Maxwell spoke about the project, you can learn more at www.heartforafrica.org. It was an amazing plot of land. In Swaziland only 30% of the land us for sale the rest is owned by the king.
Monday we head to Emmanuel to work with the kids. There should be plenty of photos and stories.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Today we had a wonderful breakfast and devotional this morning. Glen and Corey were fantastic. It's up on the YouTube page to the right if you want to listen to a song. Sorry in advance for the shakey hands. After breakfast we headed out to the wild life reserve for a game drive. We were all very surprised to see how close we actually got to the animals. We found a lion feeding, about 11 white rinos, elephants and eventually got out of the jeeps to see some giraffes.
Now that the teams all here we are set to start our work. Tommirrow we will be heading to the project Canaan site, which is in the process of being constucted. Project Canaan will be 2500 acres of land with clean water wells as well as agricultural resources for the community and income. We will also be headed to church tomorrow. Not sure where exactly yet, but check back for more news and pictures as the trip progresses.
Sala Kahle! Goodbye and stay well!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Well after 30+ hours of travel we finally arrived safe and sound but exhausted! No lost luggage but our bus overheated in the middle of nowhere before hitting the Swaziland boarder crossing. Despite the tiny set back were finally hit the road again. We arrived at our hotel, had a wonderful dinner and now it's off to bed to catch up on some much needed sleep.
We will be going to the local market and to the wildlife reserve tomorrow while we wait fir the rest of our 140+ group to arrive. Goodnight and check back tomorrow.