Whirlwind: Part 2

Brunch rolling over into lunch
Friday morning came a little too early for some of us. Our kids had an unexpectedly late night on Thursday, being fed and put to bed between 9-10, which is not their normal nightly schedule. Tyson was still sleeping at 7:30, so we decided to just keep them both home from school, as we would have had to pick them up early as it was and being a half day at the end of term, we felt skipping school was AOK for the day. We finally all got up and ready and left our house for brunch, which turned into lunch, at Ludwig’s Roses. Tyson and Jori were excited to come along as they didn’t get to participate in any of Thursday’s fun. Amo was with us as well and she was in a happy mood this morning. We got to Ludwig’s, had the kids choose their food and drink, and then they all took off running and playing as kids of that age do. Ludwig’s has a great play area outside, so it was nice to have the kids occupied so the adults could talk, and laugh, and then talk and laugh some more. 
Kids gathered around electronics. It's the same the world over.
After leaving Ludwig’s, our family, along with Crystal’s oldest daughter, headed to Amo’s place to bring her to her mama for the holiday. Again, it was such a gift for us to be able to share a bit more about Amo’s life, her family, and their situation, with someone outside of our immediate family, and to have that information handled in such a caring way was another gift.

Terry, Jesse, Brian and Darin
After that quick stop, we headed to Maubane to show our guests the progress that has been made at Rivoningo Transformation Centre and to spend some time with the children and staff/volunteers there. It was so hot, and the water in the main Jojo tank had run out because the water to the area had been unavailable for several days, so there was not opportunity to refill the tank. Thankfully a second tank had just been donated and installed the week before to be used for the community garden, so the children at least had something to drink! The kids, our two, Crystal’s 3 and 3 from the Rous family, once again headed off to play while the adults spent some time touring the property. We were able to show Crystal the improvements to the community garden, including a drip irrigation system that was installed since her visit in January. We also showed her Obed’s new house. Obed is the caretaker/guard at Rivoningo and stays on the property to prevent others from coming in and stealing or causing problems on the site. This house was paid for with funds from the #tendollartribe, which is an initiative between Help One Now, Take Action Ministry and is also supported by blog readers from Money Saving Mom and Lisa-Jo Baker.

Getting ready for JAM porridge
While we were visiting, there was a netball game going on. Netball is a sport played by girls, similar to basketball, only there is no dribbling, no backboard and no moving with the ball. It involves a lot of passing and other rules than I am not 100% sure of. All I know is that without a backboard, I would have a hard time being a netball player. The netball court, which Take Action team members installed, has been a great addition to this centre as the girls who attend the centre now have something they can really own and participate in. They even go to play tournaments against other teams and are often the winners! Lunch was served during our visit, and lunch at the centre means JAM porridge. This is a fortified porridge made and distributed by Joint Aid Management. Take Action gives this porridge to all of the centres we support and it provides almost a full days worth of nutrition in one bowl. That doesn’t mean the child won’t be hungry in the day, but at least their bodies are healthy and growing and getting what they need.

Maubane is the place where the dirt is red and it gets everywhere; covering your feet, getting under your nails, transferring from the hands of small children to your clothes, finding its way into your ears. There are no tall trees here and the sun bears down with force. We know, before we even arrive, that we will leave feeling utterly wasted from the heat and the dust and the chaos. Yet we will also leave feeling excited about the possibilities, excited about what is happening now and what is to come. Rivoningo means “light” and this centre is working hard to shine through the darkness of ancestor worship, bring light to those suffering from HIV/AIDS, provide hope to young people who often see becoming pregnant and living off of grants as their only option, providing a safe place for children of all ages to play and learn about the Good News and being an agent of renewal for the community at large. We are privileged to be a tiny part of what goes on there and look forward to see what God will do in the future.
Time to sing...or just sit and try to keep your eyes open.

The heat and dirt does get to you though, especially to the kids. Tyson and Jori were both slowing down. All the kids were asking for something to drink and looking for a cool place to sit down. That is when we know it is time to pack up. It was a great visit though, seeing changes, meeting children, seeing how he staff and volunteers are working together to bring positive change to the lives of the children they serve. After our time in Maubane, our family headed for home. We had a quiet night and an early night as we were all wiped out after our long day. We had a few fun events planned over the next couple of days and wanted to make sure we all had some energy to enjoy them. 


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