Thursday, April 28, 2016

Papa and Gram 2016

So, it has been over a month since my last post. Ok, two months. I think that my blog used to be my only outlet for putting words on paper, but now a lot of the work I am doing with Take Action involves writing letters, posting interesting tidbits on Facebook, sending out updates and invitations; putting a lot of words on paper! I guess even my wordiness has limits.

We have been keeping busy, as always. Darin’s mom left mid February and my parents arrived at the beginning of March. My dad was busy with training for Timothy Leadership for the first 3 weeks of their visit, but we kept busy with Gram. It was really nice having my mom around to help with the kids and the house and the cooking as March was a busy month for Take Action. We interviewed and hired a driver and an administrator for the Distribution Centre. These two people have freed up a lot of Darin’s time and mine as well. We also made site visits to all of the community partners TA is working with. We had Amo a couple times, some appointments in Pretoria and the kids had an overnighter at church. It was a good kind of busy.

Tyson and Jori started their school holiday on the 18th of March. My dad was already in Barberton for a training, so we drove out that afternoon and stayed 2 nights at the Barberton Bible College. We panned for gold and explored a gold mine one day and we also ate at an awesome Belgian Restaurant – Belgian Waffles for all!! From Barberton, we headed into Swaziland. Our first stop was Bulembu, which is an old mining town that is being restored as a village for orphaned and vulnerable children with a goal to keep it operational through sustainable development. For example, they have bees and train local youth to harvest honey, and they make Amasi, a popular local drink, from cows they milk in a small dairy. I really should have written about Bulembu a lot sooner when it was all fresh, but it really was an interesting place to visit, especially for us as we are involved with orphans and vulnerable children and have seen the need to help our community partners become sustainable so they are not independent on us or the government.

After two nights at Bulembu, we headed south to Mbabane, also in Swaziland. We stayed at the Mountain Inn again for one night. We went back to the glass factory that we had visited with my sister, Kristi, last year. We had been planning to go on a canopy tour in Swaziland, similar to the one we did with Darin’s parents a couple years ago, but it was so cold and rainy! We were expecting hot weather, like we were having in South Africa, but nope. We still had a great time and it was nice to get away with my folks.

We came back and worked on some projects around the house. My dad cleared a huge rubble pile from our yard and got the kids to help! We went out and visited some centres, dropped off undies and socks that my parents church had collected, went out to eat and just enjoyed time together.

That catches us up to early April. The kids started school on the same day that my parents flew back home. Since then we have been busy with school, Take Action, water filter stuff, and more. The house has been put on the back burner a bit, although Darin has been working on the electricity here and there. Pictures will follow soon, but we are having internet issues right now… 

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...