Saturday, August 16, 2014

3 week check-in

It’s been 3 weeks since we arrived back on South African soil. Three weeks of hellos and goodbyes, as we welcomed new volunteers and a new child and said goodbye to volunteers and one of our Mamas for a month. It’s been a hectic three weeks of getting the kids back into the swing of school and life in the bush and getting ourselves into the swing of normal life, which includes lots of driving and making supper each night.

It is good to be back. Winter is pretty much over and we’ve been enjoying beautiful days and the evenings are warm enough that I’m ready to put my flannel sheets away. We’ve been seeing lots of animals around lately, including a rhino family and many buffalo. I took one of the little boys on a mini-game drive a few days ago and we saw several giraffe, including a few babies. He was more interested in the mangeese/mangoes/mangoos that had run in front of the car earlier, but were too small for him to see over the front hood. I kept telling him “It’s called a mongoose”, but he couldn’t get it quite right J

Last week we took Tyson to meet with a team of specialists to try and figure out how to help him keep himself in check and calm. We came home with a diagnosis of ADHD and generalized anxiety and a prescription for Ritalin. I’m not embarrassed to share either of these things as our family is just so happy to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. We go back next week for a follow up appointment and are hoping to see even better results with an increased dosage. This has been a long hard road and for the first time this week we all felt a little thing called “hope”, just a glimmer, but enough for us to feel like we are on the right track!

Overall, we have all adjusted well to being back in our South African life. As with all things, it takes time for things to feel completely normal, and truly, with the way things change around here, we are constantly adjusting to new people and new personalities, but we are settled in and happy to be home. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

We're Back!

One week ago, almost at exactly this time, we were waking up to head to the Portland airport. After 6 weeks of traveling across the United States, we were heading back to South Africa. The journey back was mostly uneventful, although there was an episode of motion sickness on the plane for Tyson and Jori also had a very close call after a slightly rocky landing in Dakar. Our family, and all of our luggage, made it to Tshepo ya Bana a little after 8 on Saturday night. We were tired, but being back in our house seemed to give us a second wind. Tyson and Jori were so happy to see all of their toys and things and Jori even found her little lizard friend in her bedroom. By 9:00 the kids had both crashed and Darin and I were not far behind them.

Sleeping has been a bit of a problem. The first morning we were all up at 3 and then tired again by suppertime on Sunday. Then it was another early morning, 4 this time, and another battle to stay awake at night. We all managed to sleep until 6 on Thursday morning, but were tired again that night. We know the effects of jetlag will last for a good week, so we should be nearing the end of the crazy sleep patterns.

It is such a good feeling to be back in South Africa. For all of the fun and excitement that we experienced in the US and all of the hospitality that was shown to us, this has become our home and there is nothing quite like returning home after a long journey! We have been busy catching up on everything that went on while we were gone; power outages, family visits, babies learning to crawl and so much more. Going up to the main house on Monday morning to see all the kids was so much fun. We received a lot of hugs and smiles, but were also met with some wary looks and cold shoulders, which is to be expected after a long absence.

We have all kept busy this week. Jori went right back to school on Monday morning while Tyson was home until Wednesday due to a bad cough. He had plenty of homework to catch up from the week he missed while we were still in the states and also managed to spend some time outside in the sun. Darin has already been planning and going to meetings for the Sawyer filters and Peppermint Energy generators and also for Take Action Ministries. I’ve been catching up on emails with volunteers and social workers, to the hospital to get a prescription for Amo and even made a quick stop at the department of social development. It is good to be getting back into the groove.

We are so thankful for the support and encouragement we received while we were in the states. We know that so many of you prayed for our travels and are continuing to pray for our ministry here. We fully believe that God is hearing and answering the prayers made on our behalf. 

Build Them a Home Progress Report #3

Wow, wow, wow!!! We are only $50 away from reaching our goal!! Thank you to everyone who gave over the past week. The house is really taki...