This morning, thanks to Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach in Springfield IL, we were able to drop off 100lb of medical supplies to Baylor’s pediatric HIV clinic. These medical supplies – such as N95 masks, which are the only masks able to prevent the spread of TB – are crucial yet rare in this TB ridden country.
We then went to eLangeni Primary to help our cook make mealies and beans for 650 children. Myles was the only one strong enough to stir the thick mealies pot – its like cement!! And he carried 8 - 50kg (120lb) of food (960lb total) to stock the kitchens storeroom. We then asked what else we can help with. The headteacher returned quickly with a professional looking list… grade 6 has a broken door so they can’t store anything inside for fear of being stolen, even desks. The toilets are overflowing again (for those of you when helped us years ago, you probably recall the photos…. Everyone else, I will spare you the poopy visuals). They need window panes to replace those broken, laptops to complete their classroom set (we’ve brought 30 before but now their class size is up to 57), and desks for the children. The needs are always many!!
We went to check on our builders in Malindza as it was very hot today and they were out of potable drinking water (there is NO water, even non-potable, in Malindza!). They were already halfway done with the bricklaying… on track to finish building the home for Sethu in a few days.
We spent some time at the preschool in elangeni today. Cheryl, Angie’s mom, arranged for awesome teaching tools like matching games, spelling tiles, numbered games, and more to be donated. We also had a painting party in Springfield a while back and donors painted colorful canvases we are hanging on the walls. Our teacher, Nelly, was ecstatic!! On International Women’s Day, its an honor to highlight Nelly who has volunteered at the elangeni preschool for years while earning her teaching certificate at night. You will never meet a more energetic and loving person in your lifetime… she had 55 children already ages 3-5 but met two special needs children staying at home doing nothing all day and convinced their parents to bring them to school. Nelly uses routine and songs to guide the children in a loving, always happy, voice. Today she started singing some song about butterflies flying away and all of a sudden 55 kids got up, formed a single file line, went to the backyard, peed all over the place, and then lined up to wash their hands. I am going to DEFINITELY try the butterfly song on my daughter Tinlie when I get home…but something tells me that Nelly, a hardworking strong positive light in a dark world, rather than the song itself, is the key to successful happy children. I cant praise this woman enough…someone who truly lets her ‘little light shine’ to make the children around her happy!
We are ALWAYS looking for preschool appropriate puzzles, matching games, workbooks, books, and toys – or financial contributions to purchase them.Tomorrow I anticipate choking back tears as we play with children at Rocking Horse’s hospice center and learn how we can help their end of life care... goodnight from Swaziland