This morning we started out at the eLangeni community pre-school. The kids were excited to see their “teachers” and although almost half of the class graduated in December – Ty and I recognized many of them! We spent the morning playing games and hanging the beautiful numbers 1-30 canvases created at the St Charles, IL Painting for a Purpose party hosted by my future sister Kelly Rakunas (Thank you ladies of St Charles!! And Ty wants me to shout out to the 3 men – himself, Jerrid, and Gorilla)! The kids LOVED your masterpieces! Ty and I pulled a few of the kids aside and quizzed them… they were solid until about 13 so this will be an awesome teaching tool! It was exciting to see the money we gave to build the stage, chalkboard and corkboard were well used (all projects completed successfully) and the alphabet canvases painted by the WinGS women are still loved and in use (Thank you Cheryll, et al!!).
Then the girls went on safari and reported that they saw a dung beetle pushing a large animal….poopie. And a rhino charging their jeep. Unfortunately the lions were hiding in the shade but they got to see (and then eat) a wildebeest which made them happy.
We then went to Mpaka High School where we met Mpilo (our newest GHFP sponsored student for the first time) and paid all 4 of our students’ school fees. We then drove each child home and dropped food at the child-headed households (Thank you Mitali/FOODOM). Sharon’s grandmother is back with her grandfather. Apparently he is done trying to kill her in order to marry a younger woman. She thanked us for praying for her and said that she felt that was the key to their reconciliation. It makes me nervous that this will be short lived, but she looks happy and her 3 HIV positive grandkids look healthy (thanks to her extraordinary efforts – she walks or hitch hikes 10+ miles to get their ARVs to keep them alive) so I will continue to hope for their continued happiness/peace.
On our drive home after a long 12 hour day, we stopped by Mazwi and Philo’s house to drop off their food. Samkelo (older brother) was home and showed me Mazwi’s report from the hospital earlier last week. It said that he experienced a fever for 2+ weeks and had a strong failure to thrive/negative weight gain. It also said that due to his previous experience with tuberculosis, swollen face, and bloody lesions on his face that his situation was dire. I called my friend Dr. Rachel at Baylor University and asked her opinion. She said that it could be a simple allergy to anything in this world – or it could indicate his resistance to his ARV medication and since he is already on the second (and last available line of HIV drugs in Swaziland) that it could mean an emergent and serious situation for him. She urged us to rush him to Baylor – which we will do on Thursday. Please pray for his healing and happiness. Tonight we saw him studying by candlelight with his tiny face covered in hydrocortisone cream asking to be taken back to the hospital so he can feel good again.