I've been at The Village of Hope five days now, and I'm starting to get to know everyone here. I haven't really been out and about that much since my visit with Tim to the township, so I'm hoping to explore in the car sometime soon. I drove the big jeep the other day, and was pretty amazed that I a) didn't crash and b) was able to work the massive gear box.
The project is made up of a team- at the head are Tim and Maz Walker, the project leaders, who oversee the whole project and also work with the other Thembalitsha projects. Then there's Mel, a long-term volunteer who helps manage the children's unit, and a family, Rob and Emily who help run the project, and their children Rosie and Isaac. And then there's two guys who help with maintenace, and other volunteers. So people have different roles- at the moment, I'm trying to find mine.
I've spent quite a lot of time with the children, helping with the house mums. I've already been called Mommmy Jess!! The children are fascinated by my butterfly tattoo, and LOVE playing with my hair. They are in the Village for all kinds of reasons- one little girl was severely neglected. It's hard to understand why , because she's SO gorgeous, but it's not my job to judge, just to help. Some are HIV positive, and others have had TB, suffered neglect and malnutrition. Despite this, they are happy and full of life at the Village.
The oldest child, who is 11, is extremely poorly and although he only came back to the Village from hospital a few days he has had to go back :-( He has special needs and so he doesn't understand a lot of what is going on, so it's hard to see. Your prayers for him would be appreciated.
I've found this week hard, but I suppose that's to be expected. God has been my comfort and my strength through it all- my rock, my best friend, my daddy, my guide and my confidant, all rolled into one!
I'll write again soon