Thursday, October 27, 2011

Swaziland part 9.5 (at Bheveni)

Back at the carepoint, we were able to give the bomake the large wooden spoon and pot that we had purchased for them. They were so excited - you would have thought that we had given them a car!

We had one last craft to do with the kids - Mandy printed out all of the profile pictures that we had taken of the kids and we had them decorate a foam picture frame to put the picture in. This was a special treat for them because it is rare for those kids to get photos. When we set the frames down and gave the kids stickers to decorate them, the kids had no idea what to do. It was another of those "aha" moments; one where I was reminded of just how different life is there. I can't believe that after being in Africa for a more than a week and seeing everything that we witnessed, I hadn't thought that maybe those kids had never even seen a sticker before.

Once we showed them how to use the stickers they went crazy with them. Some ended up on the picture frames but more ended up on the kids themselves. It was a riot to watch them stick them on their faces and arms!

Khaya in "traditional" wear - I think every one of us did a double take when we first saw his ensemble.

We also had the children write a note to their sponsor - or future sponsor. Some drew pictures while others wrote sweet messages. We knew that the people back home would love to hear from the kids they spend so much time thinking about and praying for.

Our team spent the rest of the time we had soaking in all we could at Bheveni. While we missed our families back home we knew that this was our last day with the kids. I went through several emotions... happy, sad, giddy, somber - it was like the hormones of pregnancy all over again. :) Mostly we all played with the kids and talked with the ladies from the carepoint.

Meredith enjoying the company

Gcebile and me - LOVE this lady.

Steve doing one of his many card tricks. Kids and adults alike went wild when he pulled out his deck of cards.

Painting nails... I bet I painted more than 500 fingernails this day. There was usually a huge group surrounding the two of us that had the polish out.

DeNise with a few of her new friends.

The women from our team decided to leave a bunch of the clothing we brought behind. We brought several skirts and a few shirts to the carepoint this day to leave with the bomake. I had sewn most of my skirts (with the intention of leaving them) so I made sure to make different sizes. Then I put in some stitches so they would fit me while I was there but that I could easily take out so they could fit all of the different women there. Those ladies lit up as we passed out the clothing. Gcebile was so sweet - after I gave her one of my skirts, she snuck away and put it on over what she was wearing. She then showed me she was wearing it and said "Please take my picture."

The time was approaching when the kids were getting ready to go home. We all gathered on the play structure for a group photo. Mike said a few words to the group (with the help of a translator) - and our team was getting emotional. The funny thing was, the people of Bheveni weren't sad. They clapped as Mike said that we were sad to be leaving but that we had our families to go home to. Over and over on this trip I was amazed by these kids. With all that they go through, what little they have - their joy is unexpected and, really, unparalleled. Although cliche, I think that this is the hardest thing for me to reconcile after the trip. How can I ever feel anything but content with all that I have when these people have such joy with so little.

Steve and Mike handing out our final gift: bags of candy that we put together for the kids.

We wrapped up and started to say our good-byes. A lot of hugs, a lot of tears on our part. I had one teenage boy (that I had only a short conversation with one day) approach me, give me a hug and say "I will never forget you." I gave Khaya a hug - he's pretty young and seemed unfazed by the good-bye - but I was teary-eyed. We were lingering; I don't think any of the B-Team were ready for our time here to be over. I had a moment - where all of the meetings, the sewing, the collecting and sorting of supplies - where all of the prep for this trip sort of flashed through my mind. I couldn't believe that it was coming to a close.

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