Longest Week: Day Two and Three
Monday morning started with a lovely reunion at Enjabulweni! I went to deliver letters that my students back the in States had written to their pen pals. Unfortunately, it was actually the worst week for me to try to deliver letters because the students are writing exams this week, which means they don’t actually have class. So, it was quite a mess trying to deliver letters to the students, but the looks on their faces and the excited exchange of letters among themselves was so priceless. They especially loved seeing pictures that the students sent them. They passed pictures back and forth to one another and read their letters over and over again. What a priceless gift!
After Enjabulweni, Christina and I eagerly stopped for our date at Baker’s Corner and indulged in consuming some donuts. After our absolutely necessary pit stop, we swung by the house and picked up Ryan to head to the girls’ home. The progress of renovations was actually much further than I had thought, but there is still SO much work to do! It was so great to see the difference, though, and the best part was looking at all the land! The land we have at the house is massive! We are going to have gardens upon gardens of room for growing food. Even without the garden, we have food already growing on our land: a mango tree, a papaya tree, an orange tree, and a grape vine! Incredible!
After the girls home trip, Tenele and Baby Lucia came to the house, and I took her to the clinic. She was quite malnourished when I first saw her and wouldn’t even smile. She had a large head for her thin, frail shoulders and body. But after the clinic visit, we went to the grocery store and got some food and nourished her back up to health. By the next day, she was a completely new baby! She was smiling and giggling nonstop and cuddling up to her mommy. It was SO precious. And her cute little baby teeth are just darling!
On Tuesday, Christina and I met with Laurence, the maintenance man who is overseeing the work on the girls home, and we set up a plan for the week. I interviewed Christina for Hosea’s Heart promotional videos, and I met with Lungile, who is a past student of mine. Lungile stole my heart from the beginning of the year when I taught at Enjabulweni. She is extremely smart and a dedicated worker. She could do BIG things with her life; unfortunately, she has been out of school for the past year because she cannot afford to pay for it. In fact, when I saw her this summer, my heart broke because she looked like the life had been sucked out of her…and it had. She had a black eye and refused to tell me how she got it. I prodded her when I met with her on Tuesday; yet, she remained very locked up, which is not like her at all. She agreed to do an interview for us, and she told the camera about her life. “Life is difficult without parents…” she started, and gazed off into the distance with dreary eyes. She began to cry. “I don’t have hope,” she managed to say. It was absolutely shattering to hear her say that–to hear it come from the mouth that told me “Mary-Kate, since you come to teach me English, I seen a lot of changes. You bring hope to everyone.” I reminded her that it’s not me who has the hope to give, but I just have the message to share! And that she still can have hope, even though she doesn’t feel it now. I want to find a way to pay for her school fees and get her back into school starting in January… Anybody want to sponsor her? And let her know SHE CAN HAVE HOPE!