This Daily Life

                I left America two weeks ago today, but it feels like I’ve been in Swaziland for months now.  Much  has happened, yet it feels like nothing significant to report (other than the event of the previous post).  After all, how do you put into words what has become just daily life?  I currently operate on no set schedule, which is strange but beautiful.  I choose my wake up times and bed times based on the needs of the girls.  Sometimes I’m up early as the sun rises because I was awoken to tend to a sick child and sometimes I’m up late, talking about life with two of the older girls until midnight even though it was a school night.  Sometimes I try to set schedules but almost always they are interrupted, like right now as the girls are all supposed to be in bed and I’m writing this post on my laptop, Lucia, who is hyper and refusing to sleep, has climbed into my lap speaking SiSwati that I don’t understand.  Although interruptions to my personal time or set schedule can be annoying, I’m trying to make the most of the daily joys.  Like this message from Lucia:  “nnnn,,,,../nnnmmmmm,,,,….. ”  I think that means dinner was good tonight.  So what about the other joys?  Well, luckily for you, one of my students gave me a journal on the last day of school to, as he wrote, “fill in these pages with all the good and the not-so-good things that happen.”  So, I’ll summarize the good and not-so-good from the beginning of my departure.
                Good: My mom, dad, and brother Justin drove me to the airport in Chicago, so it was nice to spend my last American moments with them. 
                NSG: What they didn’t know was when they dropped me off it was at the wrong terminal.  I had my two luggage bags, carry on, and one extra ministry bag of donated supplies.  Needless to say, I couldn’t carry them all by myself so I got a cart.  The lady directed me to the escalator to get to the tram to take me to the next terminal.  Really, the escalator?  I’m supposed to take the escalator with the cart?  Now, to excuse the airheadedness that followed, let me just remind you I’m moving to a different country and can hardly think right and besides at the Johannesburg airport, you can take the carts (a little different structure) on the escalator.  So I did.  Whatever you are imagining probably happened.  I got stuck at the bottom and literally had to yell for help to get me and the cart off the escalator.  Two men came rushing over, rescued me, then scolded me and asked what country I had come from.  The gentleman who helped me said carts were not allowed on the trams either.  How was I supposed to get to my terminal then?  “I’ll help you, you help me,” he smiles.  Really?  I have to pay off the guy at the airport here in Chicago?  I thought that was only a Joburg thing.  So he “allows” me on the tram and I give him a few bucks.  What a great start to my move overseas.
                Not so good:  The flight from Chicago to Atlanta was delayed for no apparent reason, and my love-hate relationship with Delta continued.  By the time my plane landed in Altanta, my flight for Johannesburg would have just started boarding.  My heart was pounding and I was already nervous that I’d miss my flight.  I tried explaining to the flight attendant to see if I could get a seat up front but she was no help. 
Good: I decided to take it into my own hands.  I went up to the front seats of the plane and asked some random stranger if he’d switch seats with me.   Luckily, he saw my panic and agreed to switch.   
Not so good:  When we landed my flight had already started boarding and the flight attendant told me my next flight was in another terminal.
Good: I was the first one off the plane, (I even whipped past all those first class flyers), and I hustled through the gigantic airport and made it to my gate on time!  When I took my seat, I struck up a conversation with young man next to me and we discovered we were both traveling to Swaziland! 
Not so good: I usually don’t get sick on the flights but by the time the 16 hour flight was over, I was so queasy I couldn’t even eat the last meal they served.  Luckily, Musa was there in Joburg to welcome me “home” with a sign, smile, and hug. 
Good: After the 4 ½ hour drive to Swaziland, Musa pulled up the girls home and we waited at the gate to get let in.  Sindi was the first one charging down the porch and ran straight into my arms.  The other girls squealed and swarmed me with chatter and hugs.  My sister Laura and friend Ally were also there to welcome me “home!”  They had made a big sign in the entrance that said, “Welcome home Mama Kate!”  After greeting all my girls, I said hello to the ones I hadn’t yet met.  Their eyes got so big when I called them by name.  After a few more hellos and hugs, the girls all lined up and started singing a chant with my name “MK” in it.  It was adorable.  I went to sleep that night exhausted and didn’t wake up until 13 hours later!
So this new home is definitely filled with its goods and not-so-goods, but isn’t that what daily life entails?  Most of goods outweigh the bad, so here are a few highlights from my first two weeks:
-We got our girls home van fixed the second day I was here and when I returned to the home with it, the girls all cheered and Gogo Martha hugged and thanked me.  Sindi led us all in a prayer over the car!
-I rocked Luciano to sleep one night, and that’s when I felt like I belonged.
-During worship at our first church service, the gogo (grandma) next to me was getting down and dancing!  She could get lower than I can!
-I homeschooled three of the girls with Rachel and Kiley.  We did reading and writing, took a short break, did addition and subtraction flash cards, took a break, and ended with science and talking about the weather.  It was a lot of fun!
-Kiley, Tenele, and I took a walk to a nearby shop together and Tenele was hilarious, telling animated stories along the way.
-We worked in the garden and started it on fire (on purpose at first, but then it got out of control).
-Reading a book to Lucia before bedtime and her falling asleep in my lap
-Rachel and Kiley slept over on the weekend because Titi was gone and we watched She’s the Man on my laptop.  Nonhlanhla was laughing hysterically and because it was so contagious that was the hardest I (or any of the girls) have laughed before!
-Lucia loves doing my hair and says, “umuhle” (pretty) over and over.  She was sticking the pick in my hair to make my new look complete.
-Two of our girls’ father died, so we had the funeral over the weekend.  Although it was an extremely sad situation, it was absolutely amazing to see the girls cry for each other and console one another like a true family!  Unity is greatest joy and victory that we can celebrate for our daily lives.  Please continue to pray for us.   

Leave a Reply

  • Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2016 - Hosea's Heart, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Hosea's Heart, Inc. is a 501(c)-3 organization.