Thursday, June 12, 2014

Africa! part one

Well is this long overdue or what?!  I don't know what to say except sometimes I want to blog and sometimes I don't and that is ok.  So if you're still reading thanks for sticking around!

Adam and I got the unique opportunity with a group from our church to go visit some friends and keep their kiddos while they had a conference.  This isn't quite how I thought I would be getting to Africa this year but we were thrilled to go nonetheless! I don't think we are making it to Africa this year through our adoption so it was the goodness of the Lord to allow us to experience it in this capacity.

We found out like 45 minutes before we were supposed to leave the church that our flight from Columbia to D.C. had been cancelled!  They were expecting lots of snow that afternoon and had already cancelled our flight. bummer.  Adam was on the phone with our travel agent for a while trying to figure out how to re-route us.  So instead of us leaving Tuesday and arriving Wednesday night we didn't arrive till Thursday morning... an extra 12-ish hours of I was super excited because our new flight plan had us going through London with a 7 hour layover!!! And that means that we got to visit some dear friends living there!!! We were in seminary with them and in the same small group for a while so we were beyond thrilled to get to spend some time with them! It was such a special surprise! This sweet friend has been a constant source of encouragement for me and has been so faithful to pray for me and our adoption, love her so much!  

So while it wasn't fun arriving much later than expected this definitely made it worth it!  When we finally arrived early in the morning we were all looking a little worse for wear after a couple of days of no showering.  We had about a 45 minute drive to get to the place we were staying which was in the mountains.  The weather was so pleasant and quite cool at times! totally not what you think about when you think of African weather!
Feeling better after a shower, but still super sleepy, we were fighting jetlag the best we could by trying to stay awake until that night.  It was tough!

The conference center was beautiful! Here is our room, right there on the corner.  On Friday morning before the start of the conference we headed to a local school, aaaaand this was the view out the window of the schools library...Beautiful! and so green because all of the surrounding area that we were in was mostly tea plantations so they had beautiful fields of vibrant green tea leaves.
Here is another picture we got on a tour around the campus with some workers picking the tea leaves up on a hill.  It was so picturesque! 

Here are all the kids in front of the chapel lined up for their morning pledge of allegiance and songs.  It was cracking us up because they were all wearing coats and hats like it was freezing and we were all quite comfortable, but it is all about what you get used to!

They asked us to share some songs and a story during their friday chapel service and then we split up into groups to do an activity with them in their classes.

We made trees with them by tracing their hands for the leaves.  They loved it! It was such a special opportunity to get to share part of the school day with these sweet little kiddos who overcome a lot just to get to school, it is such a privilege we take for granted here.  We headed back to the conference center that evening for some team planning.  We were all fighting to make it to 8:00 that night and we crashed.

The next 3 and half days it was non stop! We were going from 7:30 in the morning till 10:00 at night. It was exhausting but SO worth it!  I was in the group that working with kindergarten through 6th graders.  We did crafts, games, snacks, and bible story time.  Then in the evening we had a corporate worship time together.  It was beautiful and humbling to be apart of and to get to hear stories of the Lord at work.  

Thankfully one of the girls on my team is a 4th grade teacher so her knowledge of crafts and how to keep these guys attention was priceless! We were so thankful!
Only in Africa does one of the kids bring their family pet... and it is a chameleon that he carried with him at all times!

Everyday at 10:30 and 4:00 we had tea time, it was some sort of sweet treat, tea, and juice for the kids. They made these amazing donuts one day that were enormous!  The food overall was really good where we were.  There would always be something we weren't quite used to at every meal but there was always something we could eat!
This was just the first part of what I wanted to share.  The walking safari we did deserves a post all on its own so stay tuned!  Spoiler alert: it was UNBELIEVABLE!

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