Tuesday, July 8, 2008

RR Mission - Day 2

Today was a great day and we are all beat. The parents/community members and our team worked together instead of working side by side as we did yesterday. There was conversation and learning from both sides. When it came time for lunch, one of the ladies brought out a bunch of baked sweet potatoes* and put beside our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Then we all gathered around while everyone washed up so we could say grace. The RR team was standing by the Kombie (van aka makeshift kitchen table) waiting for John, the main builder, to join us so we could say grace and then start handing out the PB&J sandwiches. Kelly was asking me if I thought one of the parents would say grace today and I was responding that I didn’t think so or they would have stepped up to do it already. Then one of the community members called out to us to come stand amongst them that it wasn’t right that we were all standing by ourselves separate from them. Our team went to join in with the group. Finally John made his grand entrance to the front of us all (he does love a bit of attention), I told him he was the last to join the group, so he had to say grace. I think he was shocked that I would tell him that he had to pray and then that I didn’t let him off the hook (although I would have if he had protested too loudly or stalled too long). Praise God, John very reverently said the grace for the meal – a community member had said grace! We all sat on the ground and enjoyed talking, laughing and getting to each other more.

Another highlight was when Mr. Lucky Mabuso (pictured below), a retired career military man who is now a horticulturist, drove up in his pickup truck in full military uniform with medals shined and all. Mr. Mabuso has a homestead near the school and he grows many kinds of trees and plants. He has offered to start an orchard for Lomngeletjane and to plant trees as a windbreaker and plants to make the school beautiful. He brought us a huge bag of oranges from his trees and some decorative shrubs that he will plant at the school. This was a huge honor and shows how much he as a community member, even one that doesn’t have primary school age children, wants this school.

Everyone is happy and healthy. We were all a bit tired today because it was very windy all day. The wind was draining even though it was very warm. We’re looking forward to tomorrow. Enjoy the pictures.

*The Swazi sweet potatoe is a cross between a white potato and an American sweet potato. Its skin is a bit reddish, the flesh is white but the flavor is just a bit sweet.

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