Friday, January 8, 2010

hello 2010

Ok. So I know it been about a week but it’s my last days here in Africa and I haven’t wanted to waste a moment!!!!

New Year’s Eve I spent here on the property. There was a party here in the ‘barn’ and I went to that. After midnight I called my family and spent the rest of the night talking to them and watching a movie with BeeJay. It was a nice way to start the year! The first day of 2010 I spent on the edge of the pool catching sun and enjoying the cool water. It was an insanely hot day that ended in a massive thunder storm. I’m going to miss the storms here! I love them so very much!! In the evening I went out with some friends and watched Ávatar’for the second time, and then chatted over coffee till the wee hours. When we got back to the car we found the battery dead and so that took a few moments to get sorted out. I ended up home after one. But it was such a great first day of the year. The next day I worked and slept! Sunday was church as usual and then work in the afternoon.

We had new volunteers come on Monday and so we had to a bit of cleaning to get ready for them. It’s been just me, Amy, Lauren and Taylor for so long that we had kinda gotten used to our mess but with new people arriving we saw the need for a tidy up! Monday I went with Rebecca and Lauren to pick up Gwendolyn at the airport. It was totally strange to be standing there waiting for her plane and knowing that in exactly a week I would be there again and this time it would be for me to leave! Very very strange. After we fetched Gwen up, we went for a quick grocery shop and then I got dropped off at a friend’s place to hang out with him for the rest of the afternoon. Gershwin made me an amazing lunch and then we hung out watching movies and chatting. Later in the evening, Michelle W picked me up and we spent the evening together. She made me dinner and we played with her four nieces. It’s making me sad to leave here because of all these amazing friends that I’ve made that I’ve grown to love so very much!!!

Tuesday I worked the afternoon shift and then all the new volunteers that had arrived so far and the old volunteers went out to dinner together.

Wednesday was my very last day in the babies’ home. It was a normal shift. I’d love to say that something totally magical happened that made it the most amazing shift ever but honestly it was the same as it always is, hard work with amazing little children who I love and adore! In the afternoon I did my farewell video for the church, and I had a breakdown. I couldn’t hold my tears back to save my life and had to be pretty much talked down and almost had to postpone the video for another day. I pulled myself together to whimper out something pathetic and ran!! Lol. Every since Wednesday I’ve found a reason to have a crying jag. It’s probably not going to stop anytime soon, I suspect. The Chadwick sisters, Michelle and Kerry, picked me up at 3 and we went out to spend the day together. They took me to an African market and I did all my gift shopping for my family. I have a negative bank balance now so my gift to all my friends back home is going to me coming home! Lol. Sorry it’s pretty sucky! Lol. We had a great time at the market. I’ve learned mad bargaining skills and walked away from more than one vendor and then was called back with a really good deal. One particular fellow, I wanted these art pieces from him and they were R35 each, so I offered home R100 for four. And he said ok and then I picked out four that I wanted and he changed his mind and said that he wanted R35 each for them again. So I just put them down and walked away and before he could call me back another quick fellow in the next stall yelled that he would do that deal and came running from the tree he was sitting under for the shade. So I made the deal with him instead, not because he had better stuff but on his quick thinking alone. We had a great time and I found something for everyone which was great because brothers are hard to buy for!!!! I’m telling you! Afterwards I was treated to dinner and a movie. It was so brilliant and again I’m saddest to be leaving such amazing and wonderful friends!

Thursday was my first day off from work and I just spent the day with Amy chilling out and then taking all the kids from the home for a swim in the pool. J

Friday…. Today! Busy day I’m telling you!!! I had my babies’ home goodbye party. It was brilliant. Barbara came back early from holidays to be there. Patrick came up from the office even though he isn’t a part of Botshabelo, because he felt “compelled to “because of me poking my head in the office all the time and saying hi and stuff. He prayed over my and prophetically spoke into my life and it was very cool. Adrian and Catherine came. May and Rebecca came as well and then all volunteers. It was very special. Everyone had something to say and I cried like a baby. The kids were very concerned as to why I was crying and I got lots of snuggles from all of them. We had cake and they presented me with a wall hanging with all the kids’ handprints on it. So it was pretty darn special and I feel so very loved.

After the party, Taylor took me to my tattoo appointment. Amy and Lauren tagged along for emotional support (ok they were more scared than I was, let’s be honest). I got “LOVE NEVER FAILS “tattooed in beautiful Edwardian script on my wrist with a little extra swirls drawn in. the reason so this Tattoo that I thought it would be such an amazing way to remember my trip, a lifelong sort of thing. How cool! To be able to say, this is my tattoo I got while I was in Africa. And the reason specifically for the wording, I was in a church service at Monte casino, listening to PJ Smythe and he was talking about this very that love never fails is from and it put me in mind, human love will always at some point let you down. Whether it’s from a parent, spiritual leader, friend, boyfriend………. No matter what, at some point they will let you down. And it’s not good to put that love on a pedestal and make it something Important or something to seek after. The only LOVE in the world that will never let you down is God’s love. His love NEVER fails. So that’s why I got that particular phrase! I love it. It hurt like heck to get done but not as bad as my first one at all and the girl that did it was gentle and very nice. She loved the tattoo so much that she took a pic of it on the company camera and on her own personal blackberry as well! So that was flattering!! J

This afternoon another volunteer arrived; making the grand totally of volunteers here now 9!!!!! It’s awesome and busy!!! We had a meeting to meet everyone and see where we are all from. It’s strange for me because I’m on the tail end of things, leaving in three days.

Please keep up the prayers for me when as I come home. Hear me when I say this, I miss everyone terribly, you have no idea, but I’m heartbroken to be leaving here. I can’t stop crying about it, and everything in me just wants to stay! I can’t wait to see everyone in Canada and I know that soon I will remember why I cried so hard when I left, but for now… ahh I’m sad!!!!

Prayer Request:

JOB JOB JOB!!!!!!!!!!!! If anyone knows anything for me, let me know. I don’t want to go back to doing elderly care if I don’t have to. I’d rather go into working with special needs kids or an office job. But I know that God has something for me so if anyone wants to be his messenger and let me know what it is!!!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009..... so long!!!!!!!!!

A year in review!

Soooo it’s almost 2010 and I’m finding it hard to believe a whole year has passed by! I don’t know it anyone else feels this way but sometimes when I try to contemplate how time goes by it seems totally unreal. Like dreamy thing that didn’t really happen. And the speed that it went by is ridiculous!!! Shame!

So last year around this time I was oh holidays at my parents celebrating Christmas and new years. We had the whole shebang, fireworks and all and we were all together as a family which was awesome. We knew that this year I would be in Africa at this time; I had just got the confirmation that I was accepted by Botshabelo to come and so we knew that we wouldn’t be all together this year. So it was a special time. We had so much fun. Lisa and Riqui came aswell and we all had a blast playing games and carrying on!

After the holidays I started working and saving for my trip. Everything this year was focused on getting to Africa. I knew I was coming sometime in September or October and the planning began in earnest. Planning and saving. I had already done a bit of saving for sure but this time it was serious hardcore J

I also got into the Vancouver Island University and did my upgrading so that I could get into the LPN program. (Licensed practical nurse). I was one of the older students doing my Biology 12 and it was actually a lot of fun. I discovered my inner student after being out of school for 6 years and had a great time sitting at the back of the class and paying little attention but still getting good grade. J I passed with an A- grade and challenged my grade 10 math test and past with a higher than average score so I definitely felt that God blessed me in that. I’m now in line to take the course in 2010 if I so choose. I don’t know for sure what God had planned for me just yet but it’s an option now. Those three months while I took the course was hectic because I would work in the morning, go to school in the afternoon, and then come rushing home to work again till 9 at night. Then I would study in between. I did that schedule four days a week and it kept me very very much out of trouble!!! Lol

In May I took a trip for 10 days to Toronto to go to an LTT (leadership training time) with a whole bunch of churches relating to mine. I also got the chance to stay with amazing and wonderful friends there and we had the best time getting to know each other better. I ended up renting a car and three of us drove to Niagara Falls. It was totally stunning and awesome to see the splendor of Gods great creation!!!! Walking around the city and seeing all the old building and the history was amazing as well.

My sister got engaged early in the year and shortly after one of my best friends/roommate also got engaged. It became wedding madness all around me! Bridesmaid AND maid of honor in the same summer kept me very much out of trouble!! The spring was full of wedding dress shopping trips and all talk was either wedding or Africa. There wasn’t much else on our minds!!

My roommate Lisa and I had a hectic time at the first half of the year with our landlord. We lost our good awesome landlord when he sold the condo we were living in and the new landlord turned out to be very very very challenging. We had to start looking for a new place because of the trouble that he was giving us. We found an awesome one for the beginning of June and moved into the basement suite of the same house that another one of my best friends lived in. ahhhhh heaven to live with nice people again! With the move I didn’t bother unpacking all my stuff. In fact when packing boxes they were often labeled “don’t open till 2010” and then when my daddy came to help us move we put all those boxes into his trailer and sent them to Victoria to be put into storage till I came home again in January 2010. It was a very strange feeling I’m telling you!!! I can’t remember where most of my stuff is now and I’m just hoping that my winter clothes are with my parents so that I can bundle up when I get home. As I sit here writing this in my tank top and capris I know that in 12 days I’m in for a rude shock!

June and July were pretty much all dedicated to the weddings. Between showers and stagettes and other people’s weddings it was madness!! Lol. Sooo much fun actually!

This year was also the year that I got to try out a relationship. It wasn’t particularly successful…. (Still single ;) ) But it taught me a lot about myself and what I really wanted in life and a life partner. I used to have a conception that life would be perfect and amazing the moment I found someone, got a ‘boyfriend’, but actually, when it’s not the right person (which it wasn’t, only took me three months to sort that out, and a little help from my good friends! Lol) but when it’s not the right person it’s actually not good and worse than being alone. I was, at the end of the relationship, actually more unhappy than happy and when I did finally break it off, although I was completely heartbroken at first, I also knew an incredible sense of Gods peace fill me. So, it sucked at the time, but I’m glad I got the chance to sort that out and see for myself. In the end, I was always accountable to and eldership couple in my church and was totally protected in that way. God is so good and HIS love never fails.

August came with all its weddings and fun. The month went by super fast and before I knew it, Mary and Dallas were married and then Lisa and Tony. After their wedding, another one of my bestest amazing friends, Riqui, moved her little self to Edmonton, Alberta to start school there. And I moved out of my basement suite and lost my roommate. It was a hectic end to the summer and I’m not gonna lie to you, a LOT of crying was done! I moved in, for my last three weeks, to Mike and Tanya’s place. They offered their home up to me and let me live in their basement suite for the last few weeks before I left for Africa.
The last few things had to be done up including getting my visa and saying all my goodbyes and quitting my job. I applied at the beginning of the year to get the time off from work for my trip to Africa but the job I was in denied me the time. They said it was too long for me to be away as a casual employee. So I quit. I definitely felt Gods plan for me was Africa and so I know with all my heart that when I get back there will be something for me, something awesome! Then my car decided to die two weeks before I was to leave and that of course had to stress me out. Lol. Thankfully it was fixed for 100 bucks and I had amazing friends take care of me and I didn’t miss any work or anything so that was pretty awesome. I winterized my car and got it ready for my return and payed all my bills and put my cell phone on vacation disconnect…… every little thing that had to be done got done.

September 22 I left Canada and flew to South Africa. And you all know the rest!!! I’m on the tail end now of my time here. I leave in 11 days or so. It’s gone by like crazy fast and I hardly believe sometimes still that I’m actually here. This year has been amazing and full of adventures. Growing in God, building friendships, and doing awesome things!

I got to pet a lion and a crocodile this year people!!!!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

lonnnnnng entry.... sorry... lol

Twas the night before Christmas and I forgot to write…. And then four thousand years later I decided to sit down and have a go at it. Lol

Shame. I’m so bad at this lately. Lol. I have a life now you see and more things to do that write. J totally a good thing!
Christmas was amazing considering I was totally homesick and expecting it to not be that great…. But it really really was. God blessed this season totally!

Christmas eve was spent working the morning shift and then cooking my sweet potato recipe for an amazing Christmas eve dinner with Sidney and Janine. Janine is Canadian and she KNOWS how a Christmas dinner is supposed to look. We had the works and it was stunning! We had mashed potatoes, my sweet potatoes, ham, green beans, veg with cheese sauce, bread, stuffing……. We ate and ate! And for pudding (desert) we had Nanaimo BARS!!! Whoot!!! It was so nice. After dinner we played a game and then went to the 10pm evening service at church. Soooo nice. We sang our hearts out caroling and the preach was good. Lattteeee late I made the dough for sticky buns so that it could sit overnight in the fridge… and that was Christmas eve.

Christmas morning started VERY early as all the volunteers decided to work the whole day together. So Me, Amy, Taylor and Lauren worked from 6 am with the kids. It was sooooo awesome to be there with there. They didn’t have presents or anything because all of December they have been receiving presents through donations. In fact, it seems every day they got something new to play with. So the actual Christmas morning they didn’t have anything to open. But it was fun because we were all there to play with them. We had a great time. Each of us taking turns to run back to our place to shower and get ready for the day. I made the rest of my sticky buns. We had a group potluck Christmas breakfast with all the people on the property at 10 am. We brought most of the kids down to the breakfast with us and it was a yummy feast! Mom, your sticky bun recipe is just as popular in Africa as it is in Canada! They went over VERY well, even with the security guards who came to find out why the gate alarm got set off and ended up with a plate of food each! J it was a wonderful way to celebrate with all our friends from the property!!!

After breakfast it was nap time for the kids so we all went on break and opened our Christmas presents from each other. It was so sweet. I got a great book from Amy and Lauren about safaris and a huge bar of chocolate from tay tay! Yay. At half twelve Adrian pitched up to drive us to Christmas lunch at Catherine’s mom’s place, Elma. We had a huge feast with homemade Christmas crackers for all of us and stockings as well full of candy. the dinner was amazing and we had such a good time. It was wonderful to spend Christmas with another family and just feel so blessed! At four we had to be back at the baby’s home to get the kids through their baths and dinner and bed!!! At seven when we were all done our shift we high fived and collapsed from sheer exhaustion. Lol!!!! It was such a great day but oh so tiring.

After that we all made our phone calls. I talked to my entire family and then Lisa and then I got sweet phone calls from Angela and mark and jen! It was so cool!!! it made me totally homesick to hear everyone’s voices but it was so nice at the same time!!!! What an awesome day!

Boxing day was another work day. Everyone was super tired from the day before so we just dragged ourselves through our shifts!! Lol.
Sunday night Amy, Lauren, max and I went out to a pool bar and I learned that im not totally rubbish at playing pool. We had a nice time seeing as we were almost the only people there. There was one other couple playing and a guy sitting at the bar who ended up being invited to join us and play with us. we played probably eight games at least! And I made friend with the other couple who turned out to be a south African and a Scottish lady who enjoyed picking the music with me from the jukebox! J

Today was my day off and I went with Taylor to book my tattoo appointment. I’ve decided to get a tattoo in Africa as my ‘souvenir’ of being here! Taylor got one last week at the same place I’m going and it looks really good so I know its gonna be a good place to go. My original piece was going to be pretty big but I have zero dollars left so I’m going with something fairly small. It actually pretty much the same price to get something here as it would be in Canada so that’s cool. I’m excited!!!I may not buy groceries this week to pay for it but I’m excited!! Hehe.

Afterwards we got lunch and I got stung by a wasp at the restaurant. That REALLY hurt but considering last time I got stung I got toally ill and swelled up majorly, this time was pretty good. I didn’t even have to take a Benadryl. I was sure that I would, but by the time we got home an hour later the swelling had gone down and my arm wasn’t’ hurting anymore. So. Phew. Apparently African wasps are better for me?!

We went out tonight to the movies (where else would we be going? ) and saw avatar. That was a GOOD movie. I totally enjoyed it. We saw it in 3D which made it all the more amazing. The colors and ideas that are behind that film are pretty amazing. Very much enjoyed it.

Btw I saw a movie called ínvictus the other day, and I can’t remember if I wrote about it. But if you get the chance, go see it, it is a brilliant movie. Probably my favorite one of this year. And a lot of the scenery is totally what I see all the time here. Probably one of the main reasons that I enjoyed it so much actually. For my family, WAIT TO SEE IT WITH ME!!!! Then I can point out things that are familiar to me now!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Apartheid Museum and Soweto

Amy, Lauren and I went to the Apartheid Museum today. They have a special temporary exhibition on Nelson Mandela and it was soooo cool. the whole place was very cool. we didn't have as much time to go through it as i would have liked but it was very very interesting. i have an even more profound respect for this country and the struggles that it has gone through.

after the museum we went into Soweto ( and explored. we saw Winnie Mandela's house, Desmond Tutu's house( the Mandela's family house and we got our pictures taken in front of the Orlando Towers. ( it was totally cool. we ended up at the Hector Pieterson Museum we didn't go in but we spent some time at the memorial. it was very moving actually. a very good and historical day!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

AFRICA i love theee

Ok. I know I know. Its been forever and a day since I’ve updated. Lol. I’m so busy its been crazy. I’m not going to even be able to remember everything that has been going on the last week or so since ive updated. Shame!

I went away for the the weekend to the Vaal Dam with a bunch of friend from the church. It was amazing. 11 of us in one house just swimming and braaing and jumping into pools with our clothes on. Lol (that last one was my idea, us girls did it when we went for a random walk late at night. ) I got to drive a Jet Ski by myself for the first time and had a blast doing it! I am sooooo sore from death grips on three seater tubes and choppy wake while trying to hang on to the Jet Ski. We spent the whole weekend pretty much in the sun and because I had the best head start I hardly burned at all, just the top of my head. It was an amazing weekend and I had the best time!!!!!

It’s winding down to my last three weeks here in Africa. I’m so thankful for the friend that have been calling and keeping in touch!! I got mail today from riqui!!! That made my day!!! And the random phone calls that cheer me up and keep me going in my homesickness. Thanks tope!!

I went today out with a girl that I met when she was dropping of donations for our baby’s home. She is a Canadian girl who has been here for seven years working in another, much larger, babies home, called ‘the door of hope’ (Google it) its way bigger than our babies home (52 kids!!!) and they have way more babies. So she picked me up today and I went to check it out. They have soooo many babies and all of them are way smaller than our babies. Lots of them are preemies and just tiny. I saw one today who’s little tiny head was no bigger than a tennis ball!!! And her body was barely there. Just so small. They also have a new program just starting for special needs babies. It was so cool to see it and get an idea on a different home. Very cool. I also ended up at joberg hospital to visit four of the homes babies that are in there. Now that was grim. The hospital is massively huge and no one seems to be doing anything constructive. Its dirty and sad looking. Very sad looking. I wouldn’t want to be in there for any reason at all. And the little ones that are in there are so so so small and helpless. They leave people there on duty watching in case the babies stop breathing because the sisters(nurses) don’t check the kids that often. Every three hours pretty much. So. If your not there keep watch, then no one is…. Its very strange. Coming from a place where everyone in a hospital seems to be running and moving, to a place where everyone just sits around and doesn’t do a thing. Very frustrating.

As I said before I’m home in three weeks. I need some prayer.


-A JOB!!!!!!!


-I have been blessed with a place to stay for free for my first month back, after that I need some accommodations… and I need them cheap cheap cheeeeeeaaaappppp

Thanks be that I serve an amazing and huge God. This is like nothing to him. So just pray into it for me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

still kinda blah!

ok. sorry that i've not been updating. i've been sick. and sick some more. and then i just plain have been lazy. lol. life here is
not as fun when your sick. but life isn't really fun anywhere when your sick is it? after my three days of fever, i got a strange rash and nausea thing. i was sick saturday and sunday with the rash. it was like a strange thing cause i've never had a rash in my life before and all of a sudden i was cover head to toe pretty much with red bumps. it was odd. and then i had this nausea where i felt like i was going to barf all the time. pleasant hey"? :) sorry for the detail. anyways i didint'much feel like updateing.
beside feeliing under the weather its continuing to be busy life here. a lot of people have gone on vacation. i'm now in charge of when people bring in donations to the babies home, making sure they get put away and i have the storeroom key and everything. lol. it seems like a lot of reponsibility but its not. still im taking pride in it! :)
Gordon taught me how to make proper south african pancakes last night.(including his secret ingrediant and i'm not telling a soul! ) and i actually learned to flip it in the pan without a flipper or spatula. jsut 'flip'! lol. small things make me happy as you know. south african pancakes are an amazing thing and i love them. you dont'just have syrup on them and call it a day. they are bigger and thin and you can do anything with them. last night we had them with sugar and cinamon. and gordon made me one with peanut butter, banana, nuts and syrup. mmmmm sometimes i put cheese in them. hazelnut spread is yummy in them too. they are very very yum!
my time here is go;ing fast now that i'm on the tail end of it. i have less than a month to go now and i'm feeling the time slipping away so very fast. i want to get as much as i can in now before i got. its hectic tho because everything is quiet and people are all on holidays and away. but i have lots of christmas plans. dinners and goings on so its gonna be fun. i'm missing snow, i know you all think thats a crazy thing to miss. but its 10 days till chrismas eve and i don't even feel like it! the weather is either hot hot hot or its crazy storms. we have had hail here the last two days. and when i say hail i mean we have had twoonie sized chunks of ice falling from the sky denting cars and cracking windshields!!! its so so so cool to watch. but not fun to be out in!
i decorated the tree today. its just a tiny little thing and we have hardly any decorations but i used what i could find and its very cute sitting in the corner of the room.
anyways if you think of it please pray for me. i'm stuggling as you can tell with my health. i now have a sore throat and a drip back there that usually means a cold is coming on. its so dumb to get colds in the summer!!! lol i'm also trying very very hard to keep a cheerful spirit of adventure and fun in the holiday season. missing home an aweful lot and its not getting any easier day by day.
also another one of the kids left the babies home over the weekend and she was my favorite girl and i cried and cried. i didn't cry in front of her or the kids tho which i was proud of. we had a prayer time for her just before she left and i did my praying in my inside voice because i knew if i spoke she wouild hear the tears in my voice. i'm not going to lie, i have some heartbreaking stories that i just can't write on here but if you think of her, prayer would be great. (maybe this is whyy i'm getting sick now, i'm stressed out a ) so now we are down to 12 kids which is, i must say, a more managable number.
happy birthday today to my mommy!!! i got to talk to her for 10 minutes on my airtime before it died. lol
thanks for those who call me over here. *cough lisa cough* i really appreciate it. and thanks for my mail *cough carin cough* it really lifts me up when i hear from home. God has blessed me here with amazing and fun friends and thats why i think i've made it this long without having some sort of a homesickness melt down. i'm going to hate leaving here more that i hated leaving canada when i came...... . i now truely love two countries. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


sooo monday after life group was over i started feeling worse and worse. i had slept for three hours after getting off shift monday afternoon and had taken a LOT of medication to stem that yucky feeling just so i could get to life group (it was the last one of the season!!!) but as soon as i got home it all came over me and felt sooooo rotton. so i went straight to bed after taking a few over the counter sleep assitance things... tee hee. i slept for 12 hours straight and woke up with a high fever, headache, aching pains all over my body and the general feeling that death would be the better option!

i layed on the couch for the better part of the day in major pain and feeling horrible. my fever broke sometime around 9pm ish. i had passed out on the couch watching tv with Taylor. he claims that i was snoring but doubt that.... ;) i'm feeling much better this morning although quite worn out.

i don't know how i got this or where but Aimee and Geoff are both feeling the same way so i wonder if we picked it up on our picnic on sunday. its the most random thing.

hopefully its gone now. :)