Here is it, November 11, 2008. Tonight, just before midnight, we will be starting our long journey back to Michigan. Lord willing, we will be arriving in GR a little after 4 tomorrow afternoon. Darin, Jori and myself have all picked up some sort of stomach bug, so we aren't really super excited about getting on the plane. Hopefully Tyson stays healthy.
Yesterday we were able to visit Fenna's daughter Stephanie at the children's home where she works, Doulos Ministries. Doulos means servants I believe. They have a wonderful center with a small medical center to treat the children on site, plenty of room for the kids to sleep and a bunch of farm animals for entertainment. All but one of the children there were HIV positive, which was so hard to wrap my head around. They don't look sick, yet these children do not have much hope. Some of the children were orphans who will remain at Doulos, but most of them will either return to their parents or other family members when they have been brought back to good health and placed on antiretroviral medication for their HIV.
Being at Doulos took up a good part of the day. I wasn't feeling that great already yesterday morning, so by afternoon I was ready for a long nap with Jori. The weather finally cooperated and Tyson was able to go swimming in the Coetsee's pool. These last few days have been a real bummer weather wise. Little sun and quite a bit of rain. Hopefully our tans haven't faded too much! I went to bed early last night, so I don't know what everyone else did. They were probably up drinking 3 or 4 more cups of coffee or tea, as that seems to be the thing to do all day long.
This morning we headed out to do a little more souvenier shopping. We all had a few things we were still looking for, and after about 30 minutes Darin was able to get the price down to where we wanted, so then we were ready to head to the mall. My parents and Fenna went off to check out a few stores while Darin and I took the kids to pick out a special "Africa" outfit for each of them. No, it isn't any tribal garb, just something different than what we'd get in the states.
Now it is about 4:30. We are almost all packed. It is a good thing my parents are here and that my dad is coming out to Michigan in January as we may have to give them some of our things to take home. We did get rid of two big suitcases since being here, but we have picked up a few goodies along the way. I am so glad that Darin has mad packing skills. I just set out the stuff I know we still need and he gets everything else shoved in the suitcases and carryons. In just a bit, Darin and Tyson are heading to Pick N Pay one last time to get a few snacks. Then we'll eat, give the kids baths, put them down and wait until it is time to head to the airport.
I really can't believe we are heading home. Right now I am ready to be home, because I'm not feeling the best and we have just been moving from one place to another the last two weeks. If we were still out at our farm, I would be having a much more difficult time preparing to go. God knew that in advance, so I'm thankful for his guidance in planning this whole trip down to each detail. I wish so badly that we could have gone back to see all of our friends and the places that are familiar to us, as being here in Sasolburg does not seem like being in Africa at all. This is not the Africa that I would choose to live in and I can see why so many people want to leave this area. I just wish they all knew what they were missing.
So, we'll be seeing some of you soon, and others we'll be talking to by phone. I'm sure I'll keep blogging too, but writing about the squirrels in our backyard is going to be far less exciting that the possibility of a rhino attack. See you soon!