Thursday: Tyson's birthday
On Thursday Tyson came into our room saying “I’m seven, I’m seven”. He was so excited! He wanted to open presents right away, so I sent him to his dresser where he found his first gift, a Star Wars t-shirt that Rachel and I picked up a few days before we came here. He was thrilled, but right away started asking for more presents. We had sent out an email (with a few reminders!) asking people to send birthday cards to the kids as they would both be celebrating their first birthdays in South Africa within a week of our arrival. We were amazed at how many cards we received and knew the kids would be thrilled as well. There were so many cards that I knew Tyson might get a little overwhelmed if he opened them all at once, so we spread the fun out. Soon after he came into our room, I gave him the first batch of cards, which included the cards that his class made for him the last week of school. It was so fun seeing his face as he read each message out loud to us. He’d make comments about the different kids and was so pleased by the words they wrote and the pictures they drew for him. Many of the cards that he opened had little gifts tucked inside, including silly bands, gum, stickers, a Star Wars dog tag and much more. Thursday was a holiday here in South Africa, so Amos did not come to work, which was a disappointment for our kids, but we spent a lot of time together outside. After lunch Tyson opened his second batch of cards. He and Darin then spent a while putting together a pirate ship that came in one of the cards. Mark Harding brought us a new gas tank for our hot water heater and the kids “helped” get that hooked up.
We had told the kids we wouldn’t run any errands on Thursday, but ended up needing to get baking powder to finish our pancake mix for dinner. So we ran to Hammanskraal, which is about 10 minutes away and quick stopped into the grocery store. On the way home, I drove! Many of you may not be aware, but I have never learned how to drive stick shift and out here, automatics are hard to come by and quite expensive. Before we left, I practiced driving our friends’ car (thanks Elders!) and at least gained a basic understanding of how to change gears. I did a pretty good job getting us home. We didn’t crash and I didn’t hit any pedestrians or animals, so I would say it was a successful drive! After getting groceries, we stopped by TYB because Fetsi was home for the weekend. Tyson and Jori have both talked about and prayed for Fetsi since we were here in 2008. He goes to a boarding school in Pretoria and is only home on the weekends, but was home a couple days early because of the holiday. They were so glad to see him again.
Then we came home and had pancakes for dinner. After that, we headed to Tamboti for dessert. Tamboti is a lodge next door that has a restaurant with some very tasty desserts. Darin made the rule that Tyson could have his own dessert because it was his birthday and the rest of us had to share. I think I will veto that rule next time : ) While we were there, I was able to talk to Rachel through the computer for quite a while. Then the kids started getting quite antsy, so we headed home. As we were driving up to our gate, some wildebeest ran in front of our car. Then Darin had to get out to unlock and open the gate, which is quite a process since one side of the fence is electrified, and he could hear the wildebeest snorting and rustling in the grass, but couldn’t see them. I will not be volunteering to get out and unlock the gate at night anytime in the near future; especially once the lions are released in a few weeks!
When we got back in, Tyson opened two more cards. One was from the Huismans and had pictures of all the kids inside. He was so happy to see their faces. His other card was from Grandma Karen, Grandpa Rick and Israel. They had recorded a message for him and it also had a silly song that both kids wanted to dance to. So they did for the next several minutes til we took the card away and put them to bed.
So ends another day in South Africa!