This morning we dropped the Juraneks off to hike with my friend Sifiso while Ty and I ran around the country ferociously tackling our to do list – it was our last full day in Swaziland and we still had so much accomplish! We ordered the building supplies for two new toilets at child-headed homes (Gcinile and Nkhosingiphile) in addition to purchasing the building materials for a new home for one of our high school boys Siphesihle who lives with his sister and brother. I wasn’t expecting to see any children at Siphesihle’s house since it was a school day but I found a teenage boy there. His name is Mangaliso and he had to drop out of school after Form 1 (8th grade) due to a lack of fees. Since it is halfway through the year, we are unable to start him back in school – but we’ve secured a spot for him at eLangeni High starting in January. Raymond, our builder, will start early tomorrow morning building the house and toilets.
Tonight we took the children out to dinner. While we were waiting for our pizzas, we played a bunch of games ending with telephone. Ty started out whispering “Happy 62nd birthday big bad bob” and by the time it got to the end, Bob shouted out “Monday’s at the well are best”! We all giggled. But then Bongani started the game and whispered “Best Day Ever”… Pilo shouted “Best Friends Forever” when it got to her – I think both are very true statements. We had the best day with the best friends anyone could wish for.
I asked the children to write me a story of their favorite memory from childhood. One of the boys wrote, “I was left with an aunt at the age of two, both my parents abandoned me. At the age of five my mother died, I did not even notice she was no longer with us because she was never in my life. I never spent time with my father because he never stopped drinking and refused to allow me to attend school. Out of the blue, there was an everlasting bright lamp in my dark life and that was the incredible Give Hope, Fight Poverty organization. Annie has faith in me and told me that I could conquer the world and those were the most encouraging words I have ever heard. Since then, my life has been a paved road. I have a family that loves me more than anything in the world, the likes of Annie, Tyler and Kait just to name a few. It still feels like a dream. All of my school fees were taken care of, I got to taste wearing brand new shoes, school uniforms, endless food and so much affection! They say that God closes the door and opens a window. To me it’s as if he closed the window and opened a gate. I am now on scholarship from GHFP as a 2nd year university student. My heart is filled with so much gratitude, I cannot even express it. A dream you dream alone is just a dream, but a dream we dream together is reality.”