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Sunday, January 31, 2010

1 week

Well, we just finished our first week back in South Africa.  It's been full of some great reunions with friends, some fun times visiting old sites and past times, and a few disappointments and remembering some of the challenges of living here. 

This is a picture of Kendi falling asleep while eating a cinnamon roll before bed.  
To watch a video of this click here

By now we've mostly gotten over our jet lag.  The 3 older kids are sleeping through the night, even though it can be a challenge to keep them awake in the afternoons and evening.  Isabel, our almost 6 month old, is still waking up twice at night, but the last few nights she has been going back to sleep.

It's been great to see old friends again, even though we haven't had a lot of time with everybody, we've been so busy getting settled in our house.  It's been fun spending time and getting to know Jeff and Abby another American couple that is working here (engageafrica.com).

The day after we arrived our friends threw a braii (bbq) for us and the kids cooled off in the pool.

We've been reminded of some of the challenges of life in South Africa.  Security is still an issue here, so we have to get used to bars on the windows, security gates, metal detectors at the bank, not driving with the windows rolled down.

There are way more bugs and rodents here than in Colorado.  The kids literally have over 100 mosquito bites on each of them, and we've now gotten into a ritual of putting on insect repellent before bed and closing the windows before dark.  The other night a giant sized rat, the size of a kitten, ran past me and into our kitchen.  We now have a horrendous smell of dead rat coming from under the cabinets.  Today I'm going to try to go to the hardware store to buy the tools I need to cut open the cabinets and try to get it out.  It is truly awful.

Jenny's dad is with us for two weeks and we haven't had a lot of time to take him site seeing, but this next week we will.  We did take him to Pilansberg, a nearby game reserve.  We didn't see as many animals as normal; I think because we've been having so much rain the animals stay farther in the back country where they can now find water.  We did see a ton of zebra and wildebeest, 2 rhino, 4 giraffe from very far off, a crocodile, kudu, impala, some cool looking birds, and several different deer varieties that I don't know the name of.  This next week we'll take him to the Lion Park which I know he'll enjoy.
 Click pictures to enlarge
This is a wildebeest and her baby
These birds build these nests that hang from the end of a branch.

The zebra is such an exotic animal.

This is boppy and the kids posing on the board walk out to the viewing hut.

It's been fun seeing some of the kids in the shelter.  They are growing so much, and it's fun to see their progress.  Most of the kids that we knew from before have been placed with extended family, or sent to foster homes.  Some of the older kids have been placed in other shelters that are better designed for older kids.  There is a lot of maintenance work that I need to get busy doing on the property.  It's been a very long time since they've had any body to work on things, so I have a long list.  I probably won't get started until after Don (Jenny's dad) leaves next Saturday.

One of the older girls from the shelter lives with Jeff and Abby because of her age.  She is around Madison's age, so they've become good friends.  Last night she went out to dinner with us.  David and Janis' daughter is the around the same age as well so they all hang out and do pre-teen girl stuff.  It's been good for Madison to immediately have friends again.  That is definitely helping with her transition.  Kyler has Malachi and Mathew to play with, the sons of our YWAM missionary friends, but they don't live on the property so Kyler doesn't get to see them as often.

This next week we'll visit Freedom Park for the first time since being back, we'll go visit Martha's orphans in Phokeng (a group of 50-70 orphans living in child run homes that a local lady feeds and helps mentor.)  We'll also hopefully go pick up our 2 new (very used) cars from Pretoria.  It will be great to have our own vehicles again, it gets old borrowing and sharing vehicles with other families (even though I am very grateful that we do have vehicles to share.)  We'll also take Don to the Lion Park and Carnivore restaurant where he can eat all the game meat he wants.

It's been great to be back.  We are so thankful for the generosity of so many people that have given us the opportunity to be here again.  We can't wait to get settled and start working.  There is so much to do.



  1. Just remember. You can't eat the whole elephant at once. Take it in bite sized pieces.

    I'll be interested to 'see' and 'hear' how your family adjusts and lives THIS time verses last. Everyone is so different....the journey is worth it though - this being called to obey.

    Prayers and hugs!

  2. That picture of Don and the kids is just awesome! :-)

    Praying for you guys!!!

  3. Regarding the video of Kendi....parents can be so cruel...ha ha. I couldn't stop laughing. That cinnamon roll must have been too good to pass up!