Day 1:
As I start to sit down and write today from my journal that my future mother-in-law gave me, I glance at the inscription that says “Do your little bits of good where you are, it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” (Desmond Tutu)  Sometimes when you are in the midst of doing those “little bits” you wonder if you’re making a real tangible difference… but then you look at the children’s eyes who are the recipients of those little teeny tiny bits of good and you realize that if you are doing nothing more than giving those 1,300 children the knowledge that they are loved, special, and powerful – that is perhaps the most important thing. 

Today I met Bendulo… whom I will from now on call Ben because I kept trying to unsuccessfully pronounce his name…and with whom I fell in LOVE with all capital letters at first snore and fart (he’s currently constipated).  As we were delivering food (thank you Mitali/Foodom!) to our child-headed homes, we stopped at the Msibi home where I met the gorgeous baby boy (born of a very sad rape situation) and saw Nomfundo, one of our first GHFP sponsored child-headed household orphans, who is a very happy doting mother for this healthy little bundle of double chin blubber.  As I grow up over 7 years of doing this, I finally realize that our kids are too.  These orphans who were (in my eyes) only babies 7 years ago are now adults and their needs are so much greater.  Rather than simple school supplies, books, and perhaps solar energy for studying that we’ve been providing – now they are in need of careers, serious money, and support for their future.  That’s when I have to remind myself of those little bits of good… 

When we delivered a new solar panel system to the Maziya family (Mazwi and Philo’s previous solar panel bit the dust), we were met with a pleasant surprise – the most amazing older brother Samkelo!! The perfect sight of him almost brought tears to my eyes.  This is the young man with a 4th grade education who dropped out of school to take care of his siblings (one with a severe case of HIV/AIDS (Mazwi)) and provide everything he can for them while sacrificing himself.  He is the biggest hearted and hardest working person I know.  He told us he lost his job at the local mall as the overnight security man and since then food has been scarce so he is thrilled with the delivery of Foodom rice, beans, brown sugar, oil, canned fish, and baked beans.  This will sustain the tiny child-headed family until he is able to (hopefully) secure another job.  I cannot WAIT to see Mazwi and Philo (brother and sister) tomorrow at school when we are cooking and disseminating the GHFP/Foodom sponsored school lunch to the 634 children at eLangeni Primary School.  

Then we went to our eLangeni Primary School where we will be working tomorrow as a team.  As we were delivering the items to cook tomorrow’s school lunch, we were summoned into the head teacher’s office where a surprise thank you ceremony took place.  They lined us up and one by one tied on a traditional Swazi wrap to thank us for the work we have done at their school over the last 7 years.  I am so very thankful for the gesture but my favorite way to receive thanks was after we walked outside.  The kids all ditched their classrooms (sorry teachers!) to bombard us as human jungle-gyms!  One of our little ones, who recently graduated from our pre-school and who is now in Grade One, Nolwethu, grabbed my hand and leaped into my arms with the most enormous smile.  Just when you think you are putting a bandaid on cancer…emptying an ocean with a thimble…you are reminded from the firm grasp of a child’s hand and the sheer excitement in their smile of those little itty bitty bits of good… 

Today I encourage you to do something (even if you see it as a tiny gesture) for someone else.  I almost guarantee that you will reap more from it than you sow… And despite that almost selfish motive or nature, you will still be making the world a better place for all to live. 

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