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Last day with the Bendix family, Christmas Day:

We left the house at 7am to cook Christmas lunch for the orphans of eLangeni.  Peyton wondered why we needed to start lunch so early… but soon she learned how much hard work is involved in cooking in rural Swaziland.  We cooked butternut squash, 10kg of beet root, 10kg potatoes, 10kg carrots, 25kg rice, and 20kg chicken…all with a dull knife lacking a handle, no clean running water, and no electricity.  We cooked in huge pots over open fires (after collecting fire wood).  And cooked and cooked and cooked.  Finally at 1pm the meal was ready for the 70 children who eagerly arrived at the Chief’s homestead in their very best clothing.  Thanks Mitali/FOODOM for giving a delicious, nutritious, and enormous Christmas meal to the kids… There was enough food for every child to have a huge feast, a 2nd helping, and a take-away container for their siblings and relatives who were too sick or old to make the journey.  The kids loved playing the crocodile game, kickball, and various Swazi games with Ty, Jamie, and Will.  Once we were all completely exhausted from the 96 degree weather, hot sun, hours of cooking, and further hours of playing – we left for home.  The Msibi kids asked when they would see us again.  I told them on the 28th and they replied that three days was too long.  I agree.  With the departure of the Bendix family tomorrow, I am reminded of my departure from Swaziland that is quickly approaching and my heart breaks.  But Ty is always harping on me not worry about what is to come and think only about today.  So… today: I am so honored to be able to spend the most special day of the year with the most special kids (and most amazing husband) in the world.  Merry Christmas to all and goodnight from Swaziland. 

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