Monday, September 3, 2007

Wednesday August 29, 2007

Day 11. Last day in the village. We had such a wonderful night here at Yayani's home. For dinner, we made soup and rice. We sat around the campfire and talked into the wee hours. Such wonderful conversations.

We all slept in this area of the homestead, Yayani's room. The boys, Langton, Mark and Jack, stayed on their side of the curtain. Godfrey slept in the truck - I think it's because he didn't want to hear the snoring OR hear us girls giggling as if we were at a slumber party. Unfortunately, the snoring carried across the homestead into Godfrey's truck. The giggling, not so much.

And here's Cindy preparing the breakfast, Yayani is on the left, Langton is on the right, Jack is in the background. Check out Cindy's fancy footwear.

This is where the women dry their pots and pans.

Cindy's distributing necklaces, made by a woman back home, to the ladies in the homestead.

....and here are all the women sporting their new necklaces

It's facepainting time! The theme of the festival this time is Animals, so all the children had their faces painted, and they got an animal visor. Here's Langton putting the first paint on...

...and here I am putting the noses on. Note my fancy zebra top!

A little boy at the festival

Here's the soon-to-be chief (left) and Bernard, the Deputy Headmaster (right), with the Zimbabwe flag donated by World's Window, just prior to singing the Zimbabwe National Anthem. They're wearing animal masks, too.

A beast was served at the festival, along with vegetables (remember the pictures of Jack and Mark in the truck?), rice, bread, and juice. All the children were fed, followed by the rest of the villagers. It was a wonderful feast. Afterwards, the orphans were given their bags of food and clothing from their sponsored families back in the US. (For more information on sponsoring a child, call me! or check out the World's Window Website by clicking here).

Here's Kudawashe, the 6-year-old boy mom and her friends sponsor.

And Joseph, the other boy mom and her friends sponsor.

That's Lvyes, the boy I sponsor.

And Admire, the boy my New Visions students sponsor.

And Given, the boy mom sponsors.

Well, that's it. Another mission. I have never felt more emotionally attached than I did on this trip. I had a hard time for the first week back in the US, so it took me a while to focus on this blog. I just couldn't look at the pictures for a while. I'd love to hear your comments. Much love, all. Thanks for your support and encouragement.

Tuesday August 28, 2007

Day 11. Overnight in the village tonight!

Here's Langton securing the tarp on our truck. Love that guy.

And here's Judge securing the other side of the tarp. Do we have enough supplies? Not yet...we've got a lot of shopping to do in Vic Falls for the festival. Michael, that's your scuba bag on top of the heap!

Now for the groceries! Word has it that Jack had to take a little nibble out of the carrots because they were too close to his mouth. Mmm hmm. Likely story, Jack!

And then here's poor Mark. This is just prior to packing the cookies under his neck - and before we got stopped by the police because we "looked unsafe".

And here's the entire view of the truck, fully stocked. Well, you can't see Cindy, Godfrey, Langton or me. Cindy is sitting next to Jack in the backseat, Langton is next to Cindy, and I'm kind of sprawled across all of their laps. Godfrey, bless his soul, is driving.

Here's Tonny, the hearing impaired little boy, reading

Thank you, Stephen Knoll, DDS, Saratoga Springs, for donating the teeth model and giant toothbrush. After a brief lesson on proper oral hygiene, the children each took a turn with the model. While they were waiting their turn, they colored some pictures related to teeth.

Jack putting the finishing touches on the wiring for the clinic.

Here's one of the children on the home care visits. We stayed out visiting patients until about 6PM.

Here's a picture of the full moon in the village. Now we're heading to Yayani's homestead for the night.

Monday August 27, 2007

Spent a lot of time in the village today. I can't believe we'll be leaving in 2 days. It seems like we just got here.

The children helped me with the walls today. Here's Joseph and Herbert with the map of Africa.

And here's a large group with the posters of North America

I just love this kid. I think his name is Clinton.

And these kids....

And here's Herbert with a couple of small children

Home visits this afternoon until 4PM. Here's a woman waiting for us to get there.

And here's a woman with a case of thrush.

Dinner at the lodge tonight, then packing for our overnight in the village!

Sunday August 26, 2007

Services at Godfrey's church in Vic Falls this morning. The team sang, "Let There be Peace on Earth" and "Amazing Grace", Godfrey's favorite song. I think we did okay.

After church we went on a walking tour of Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders). Incredible site.

Here's a baobab tree. This one is huge.

And here's the statue of David Livingstone, the European "discoverer" of Victoria Falls.

My friends the baboons. I have them on video. If I can figure out how to load video on this blog, I'll do it!

Shopping the open market today and in the blind shop.

Tonight we went on a boat ride on the Zambezi River. Had to get the obligatory sunset!

Dinner tonight at Mama Africa. This is where Cindy met Godfrey a few years back. He showed her the village of Chikandakubi, and the rest is history. I couldn't finish my dinner tonight, so we're going to give it to some street children.

Saturday August 25, 2007

Poor Happiness (Mtogo). He looks tired, doesn't he? We're heading out to the village. He's got all the bread with him that we'll be distributing to the children at lunch time today. Oh! And check out his fancy glove (click on any picture to make larger). My friend Patti made it. It's a lovely puppet for the children, but Happiness loved wearing it. The one he's sporting here is "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed."

Yippee! I'm able to hang the posters that my students from last year's class designed for the classroom walls of the primary school. Here I am showing off the map of Europe:

Here's Godfrey putting the finishing touches on the sunflower wall in the library. The children can see themselves in the mirrors.

And here's Bernard, the Deputy Headmaster, adding some final paint strokes to the wall. Those guys loved to paint!

And here's Happiness looking, well, darn happy I'd say! He's washing the blackboards prior to repainting them. I honestly didn't know they made blackboard paint! Personally, I think he's thinking about the puppet for the ride home.

It's time to help the donkeys again on our home care visits. Here's one of the home health workers with a couple of the people in one of the homesteads. If you click on this picture you can see how the one donkey is resting its head on the other's back. Too cute.

Well, I just had to take a picture of this little guy. He looks just like my kitty Titus, albeit a little slimmer, but it's a pretty good likeness. The cats looked pretty healthy in the village. Must be a lot of mice and snakes for them to nibble on.

Here's a dad and one of his little boys (his older boy is in the previous picture with the donkeys). He's holding a tool for carving. This gentleman was in one of the homesteads we visited. He happens to be Bibiano's father. Sadly, he showed up in the clinic a couple of days later. When I asked him if everything was all right, if he needed medical attention, he said he was fine, he just wanted to know what day we were leaving, as Bibiano had told him that I was taking her back to America. Words can't describe how I felt when I told him we couldn't take children back with us.

This little guy was in another homestead. It appears he's trying to ride on the giant elephant carving. Giddyap!

Mark at his finest!

This little baby is wearing one of the friendship bracelets (around his neck) that my students from last year made!

Well, we went on Safari tonight - just for a quick jaunt into the bush. I acquired a new nickname tonight. The lovely lady pictured here was with the other lions in an enclosed area. Don't ask. I think you all know how I don't approve of animals in enclosed spaces - it's Africa for Pete's sake! Can you say "tourist attraction"?

Here's a white rhino. Pretty cool. Leathery. Dry.