Monday, March 14, 2005

Finally - an update!

Hi all! Sorry for the delay but it's difficult to get time for the internet and even when you do, your time is limited and the computer is very slow. First of all - I want to wish Liz a Happy 25th Birthday (belated). I hope you had a wonderful time...I hope you got spoiled and I'm sorry that I wasn't there...:( (My luggage came in last Sunday on the next flight so all is well as far as that goes!)

Africa is wonderful! The weather is beautiful and the people are incredible! I didn't have the opportunity to do Care & Compassion last week but I will be going Wednesday and possibly Friday of this week. The Ark (the orphanage) is a very large house. There are 15 children at this one ranging in ages from 1yr-19yrs. A typical day for me there is this: wake up at 5am to do devotions with children, sit with them while they eat and then head to bed for another hour or so after they leave for school. The pre-school is on our property right next to the Ark so I can hear kids playing and singing all day. I wish I had a recorder so that I could let you hear them sing...all day long the kids and the women sing. No matter what they're doing! Once I get up for good, there are a few chores to do around the house. Basically just some sweeping and mopping. They have women that come in everyday to clean all the bathrooms (yes there is running water...I even have my own bathroom!) and do the laundry. While the children are at school there really isn't a lot for me to do so usually I'll take a taxi into town and visit everyone at the center or do some grocery shopping. About 80% of the cars driving during the day are taxis and you just have to wait at the end of the street to catch one. For $5 Rand they'll take you anywhere. The children arrive back between 1 and 2 and they have free time for a couple hours. We'll play outside, read, colour (they love to colour) and anything else they feel like doing. They all speak english but they also speak Afrikens so when they are talking to each other it's fun to just sit and watch and try to figure out what they're saying. Around 5pm they have to do their homework and they also usually take naps at that time as well. Every night they have a church service (whether it's a prayer meeting, worship service, etc.).

This past weekend I went to Etosha with 10 other volunteers. It's a national park and game reserve and we had a great time. It's a 4 hour drive from Okahandja so we spent Saturday night there and then toured the park on Sunday. We saw a rhino, lots of Zebra, Springbok and Wildebeast. But the best was seeing the giraffes and the elephants. They were only 10-15 feet away from us! One of the elephants charged at our car as we were leaving but only for a second...I wish we would have gotten that on video!

There is a team from California coming in tonight and they have 20 people! I think they will be staying at Rehoboth though so I hope it goes well. The other 2 Arks have more children but none of them (including the volunteers) speak English which is why I'm unable to help there.

I wish I had more time because there is so much to write but I will try again as soon as possible. I miss everyone and I'm dong wonderful! By God's grace I have not gotten sick at all and I am thouroughly enjoying myself. I can't wait to see you all again and show you all my pictures. I've been able to keep my written journal up to date so I hopefully will remember everything!

Until the next time.....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dana
I am sooooooooo excited for you! it sounds like you are having the best time!!! I am super excited to hear all the details and see the pictures when you get back! WE'll have to hangout out one evening and go through them all!

Praying for you
Liz
P.S thanks for the long distance birthday wish...franco signed your name on the card he gave me too ;)

Smat said...

Dana!
I kept checking everyday to hopefully see an update on your site... and finally! Today was the day! I am so happy for you!! I am glad you are having an amazing time and I know that you are having an impact of many people there. The kids must be absolutely adorable! I am sure you have a couple of your favourites and you will have to tell me about them and all the little stories about them...

Things are going well here in Windsor... of course not as exciting as it is in Africa, and the weather of course is not nearly as beautiful... but you are in our thoughts and prayers and we anxiously await your return! :)
later...
Tams

Heather said...

This experience is going to be so life changing for you (you may not even notice how much until you are back for a little bit). This is what life is all about - helping and loving people (and you are doing it in Africa - awesome!!!). I am really proud of you for stepping so far out on your own - I honestly don't know if I could have done that. Usually I'd have a million questions after reading your journal but I'm so excited for you that I don't even know what to say - probably because it kind of reminds me of when I went to Europe to the gypsy village and how my heart felt when I was there - I'm sure, in some ways, it is a similar experience for you. Be well and take care. I, also, will be praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Dana,

I am so happy to hear that you're doing wonderful. I missed u so much. I was very happy to hear all about your trip. You are so lucky to have such wonderful experience. I admire how far u have gone. You are an amazing person. God is with you all the way.

Dalya