I am overwhelmed. I need to talk about our arrival at the village. Godfrey and Barbara picked us up at the airport. Godfrey is our resident Victoria Falls guy who takes care of the village when we're not there. Barbara owns the lodge where we are staying. There were hugs all around. They're so warm and friendly. These guys greeted all the passengers as they disembarked.
After a 20 minute ride in the truck, we arrived at the village. I can't even describe the reception we got. We exited the trucks, and were immediately surrounded by women. They were singing, dancing, hugging us. I've never felt anything like it. We walked past the school, and there we ALL the beautiful school children sitting patiently waiting for us - they were going to have food. We arrived at 2; they had been waiting since 8:30. It was heartbreaking. Every child sat with a bowl and a cup or plastic bottle. They looked so hungry. Several smiled at me and a few were being silly, which was so cool.
The girls' choir sang us some songs, which were terrific. Beautiful voices.
There was one little boy, about 3-years-old, who looked SO sick. He could barely focus. He looked hungry and tired. Three girls were trying to get my attention, because Hilary was wearing a cowboy hat. They thought that was so funny. We sat in front of them, facing them, went through introductions, then started with the speeches. After all that, at about 4:00, we started to serve them food: rice, soup, cabbage, biscuits, and "juice". The grade zeros, 3 and 4-year-olds, went first, then on up to grade 7. There were some kids that aren't in school, so they couldn't eat until all the children and adults had had their food. Another heartbreaker. I swear they never got any food.
After food distribution, it was time to go, but I grabbed a couple of photos and let the kids see them. They loved that. It was nice to see the smiles and hear the giggles. So cute.
Tomorrow we're supposed to visit Simon, the village chief, who is not doing too well. They think he might be in renal failure. Then we'll do some tasks in the village. This is the most rewarding experience I have ever had and I'm so glad to be here.