24? But you're so short!
I have not been the most diligent updater lately. Things at Lily have been so, so busy and every time I've sat down at an internet cafe I couldn't narrow down what I wanted to talk about enough to write out a blog. Natalie and Ana have both left now and I'm definitely missing my friends! It's such a strange feeling to have almost everyone leave who was here when I got here. Right now there's 3 female volunteers and one male volunteer, and two more girls will be coming in the next week. Which leads me to an interesting question: Why are there so many more single women than men doing mission work? John (the new volunteer) and I had this discussion a couple of days ago after I commented that the guys' house has been empty or only had one person in it for about 4 months (and when Rapha first came last summer he lived in that house alone for 6 months) and the girls have been sharing rooms because there were more volunteers than rooms in the two female houses. I was also looking at my last newsletter that AIM sent me, and out of the list of long-termers they sent out in July, 4 were single women and there was one married couple. Of the short termers, about 11 were single women and 5 were single men. Josh Casper and I had this discussion after he came back from India, and I would like to hear opinions on it, because I really don't know why it is that way.
Right now things are going pretty well at Lily although I'll admit I had a couple weeks where things were pretty tough. I was so busy doing things that I'm not really trained or prepared to do (such as, trying to figure out of the 70 kids on ARVs, which ones need to see the doctor or have their blood drawn or get their blood results which months) and I was completely exhausted. I had some weeks where I was so busy doing things or going to the hospital all day every day that I hardly was able to see the kids at all. I've really had to think about what I'm doing here and what God is using me for. I've been praying about it a lot and I think that God is giving me grace for each day. The perfect timing of letters, phone calls, and emails from family and friends at home was always exactly what I needed.
I also just got to watch a video from home and it was so great to see everyone's faces! It made me miss everyone at Vanderbilt so much. So I just wanted to say hi and I love you to Tracy, Karina, Marcia, Ben, Rhonda, Miss Ellen, Rod, Karna, Beth, and Teren and everyone else from work! I miss y'all! Also, I got to see the beautiful faces of Esther, Laura, Casper and was serenaded (for a really long time) by Aboye. It was pretty much perfect.
In the past couple weeks, some of my best/funniest moments with the kids have included:
- Asking Musa, "What have you been doing today?" and him answering in a panicked voice, "To who??"
- Having my sassy little girl run back to give me a hug after chest physio.
- Having one of the toddlers who hates me because I held her while the doctor examined her NOT scream when I came in the room.
- Two of the preteen boys asking me what 'menstruation' was and when I gave them a (very basic) answer they said that wasn't what the Grade 7 boys told them and they were going to have to think it over.
- Aphiwe showing Natalie his drawing and telling her to look at his "very very very good job".
I'm about to go on holiday so the next time I blog I should be able to talk about Cape Town and St. Lucia, along with my attempts to learn to drive a manual car. Ick.