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Kelley showing her muscles during her fruit-tree hole digging extravaganza!

My view from the best seat in the truck! 

Andrew and the 2 orphans sponsored by Hope Lutheran Church! 

Sunday, December 30
Today I felt free… and then burnt, but still free!!
I taught Jessica how to be a Swazi passenger today.  We were planting fruit-trees since 6:30am – but then we realized we needed to start disseminating our food packs.  The problem lied in the fact that we had 750kg of food in a pick up truck bed with a driver and Bheki inside.  How were we going to fit Lungelo (one of our amazing sponsored students who was going to help us pass out food) and 6 Americans in the truck? Not possible.  Jessica doubted it would be possible to fit anyone at all… until I explained to her that we would be traveling on top of the food up the rural mountains and to the child-headed homes.  She didn’t believe me until I hopped on board and made the 3-foot deep pile of mealie meal my seat cushion. What a team player! She quickly followed suit. Thanks Jess – what a busy day traveling to all of the homes and delivering mealies, rice, beans, brown sugar, matches (for cooking), oil, salt, peanut butter, and soup mix! Two more things: One, while we were flying up/down the mountain on bags of brown sugar I dared to lean up on the roll bar and spread my arms like a bird and felt free with the Swazi wind blowing through my hair.  Jess somehow got the courage to do the same (although I think she said a few prayers while she was at it).  When Bheki noticed, he called me Leonardo DiCaprio.  Why did Jess get to be Kate Winslet!??!? And two, after 4 hours of bouncing around on bags of rice in the hot HOT African sun… I look like a tomato. That’s all about that story, on to the next…

While we were making our deliveries I got to spend time with Lungelo – a quiet and amazing boy who has been a double orphan for about a year since his alcoholic father died.  We found out today that an uncle was sending him on beer runs (as his father used to) until he put a stop to it.  He argued that since the uncle wasn’t paying for his schooling, he didn’t owe him anything – and rather he owed us his best efforts in school and wanted to make us proud.  He has done that for the last 6 years always ranking top one or two in his class despite all of his obstacles he’s overcome in his short life!! He wants to be an accountant and could definitely reach this goal… I cant wait to see the possibilities!

We also purchased cell phones for all of our children, meat/food for our braai (cookout) tomorrow, and planted almost 100 trees at our schools, Chief’s house, and our child-headed homes.  THAT was just the morning.  In the afternoon we visited with Pastor Maseko in his community (Malindza).  It was a hard trip as they put together a list of 6 of the most disadvantaged students (orphaned drop outs due to a lack of school fees) and asked me to sponsor them.  We are already way over budget with our orphan education scholarship and have already added 3 children from eLangeni, but I couldn’t say no.  We decided to add 2 sisters who were kicked out of school last year soon after their parents died – but we had to watch 4 others cry as they saw their future change for the worst right before their eyes.  Sometimes I hate this position where I am so very often placed where I am required to tell ailing elders that I cannot pay for their medical fees that may save their lives, or tell hungry children (non-orphans) that I cannot add them to our emergency FOODOM feeding program, or tell VERY deserving orphans that we simply are not a large enough organization financially to add them to our scholarship program.  

All of these individual situations are the hardest situations I have ever faced in my 28 years.  Each one breaks my heart and makes me feel like we aren’t doing anything.  And then I remember what one of my best friends Kristen once said (she raises two sets of twins under the age of 3): One must wake up and do absolutely everything they can do, then try to do some more… afterwards you rest, only to wake up and do it all over again.  I have to remind myself that Kait and I are doing everything we can do with our donor’s assistance (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU) and we can only hope that in the future we can do more.  Blessings for Malindza – they could use some significant support and are such an amazing group of people, all deserving of God’s most abundant blessings. 

Once again I find all of the GHFP participants peacefully snoring and it’s 1:30am and I cannot sleep.  I am far too excited about our 200 child New Years Eve party tomorrow! If I could play with these children and see them smile every day for the rest of my life, I would die the happiest person to ever live…

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