It's not been a particularly action-packed few days, but I thought I'd try keep up the blogging anyway. On Friday me and Grace ran our usual pick up for Rainbow Smiles, driving through the townships and collecting the various children. The kids decorated some cup cakes that Grace and I had made, boys on one table and girls on the other, and you could tell which buns came from which table!
Assisting running Rainbow Smiles with Grace has been eye-opening, because I've caught a small glimpse into the lives of the young people who attend. As well as going through the usual growing pains of puberty (oh the joys of being a teenager :-s) they are trying to come to terms with being HIV+ positive, taking their medication, and the fear that comes with the condition. But sadly, I've only seen a tiny slither of their lives. As well as the language barrier (unsurprisingly, I can't speak Afrikaans!) there is the fact that my upbringing, schooling and surroundings have been so different to theirs that it's difficult to imagine their day to day lives- what do they do in the evening?; what's their home-life like?; what are their dreams, what are their hopes? It's difficult to reach across that divide, and to communicate openly with them. However, they still seem to enjoy coming to the sessions, and Rejioce, who directs the group, is amazing!
This week I've just been pottering around, doing bits and bobs. The four of us (me, Heather, Grace and Katia) went into the unit yesterday evening from 5-7pm whilst the house mums and the rest of the team had a staff meeting. It was chaos...with occasional moments of order! We also celebrated Heather's birthday by going for a meal at a lovely lunchtime restauraunt called Fresh, which serves delicious, freshly-produced food, for very reasonable prices.
The other day we returned a DVD to the video-rental store, and as I walked back to the car I spotted a young guy, who I'd encountered the previous week, asking for money. That time, I didn't have my purse on me so I couldn't give him anything, and it was awful because he was very thin, with haunted eyes and his face drawn in misery, and I knew he was very hungry. This time I gave him some money and asked him his name, but as we drove away I felt I could have done more, by speaking to him for longer, and praying for him. What was worse was that we'd just been out for a lovely meal, and so I had a tummy full of food. You always feel, when confronted by the enormity of the problems, that you could do more, but at the same I know I'm not Superwoman, just Jess. It's difficult to know where to drawn the line between being brave enough to reach out to people and help them, and on the otherhand using discernment in how you help them. He's in my thoughts and prayers often.