Saturday, 19 May 2012

A little adventure

Tradouw Pass
It's taken me a while, once again, to write on my blog, but two weeks ago the four of us (me, Grace, Heather and Katia) set off from the Village on a week of travelling along the Garden Route. We had a great time, and we had no major disasters (unlike the time we managed to break down halfway up the mountain pass in the pitch dark, at midnight, on the way back from a football match and the two Tim's had to come and rescue us!). One of my highlights would be the walk in Wilderness National Park, where we hiked to a beautiful waterfall and swam in it! The landscape in South Africa is incredible, and so vast and spectacular, not to mention varied. One part of our journey took us into semi-desert, with dusty orange plains and scrubland, whilst the Tradouw Pass was full of beautiful soft green mountains dappled in sunlight.

We travelled up the Route 62, stayed over one night in Oudtshoorn, and then went on to stay in Wilderness at a backpackers for four nights, before travelling onto Tsistikamma National Park. We also did some amazing things, like an safari, staying in a safari lodge for the night with two evening game drives as well as a morning one, an adventure tour in the Cango Caves, a canopy tour in the trees, and an elephant interaction at Bufflesdrift Game Reserve!

I feel uncomfortably aware of how lucky we were to go away for the week and have these experiences. With me all the time is the knowledge that we enjoy priviledges all the time, every day, that many people will never have. It makes me appreciate everything more, but I also battle with guilt and confusion.

We returned back to the Village on Sunday, minus one, as Grace left us at Port Elizabeth to continue her travels. We've settled back into Village life- Lauren, who arrived a few weeks ago, has had an interseting time with the paper shredder, which refuses to work for more than a minute, and then needs a twenty minute break! I've been spending time with the children, working on their one-to-one development time, doing the school run, planning for Rainbow Smiles, and helping out with sports. On Tuesday we went to Iraq, one of the poorest informal settlements and Grabouw. It's in Iraq that I sense the presence of God most strongly- I see His Kingdom being built there in a way I've never seen before. Some people would argue that surely, in the face of such poverty, God isn't be present, or how could He allow it? I don't know- all I know is that I see Jesus in the faces of the children, and I feel Him there. There were about forty younger children bounding around the sports area who couldn't play sports as the outreach is for 9years +, so Lauren and I took them over to one side of the pitch, wondering what we were going to do with them all! I was humbled to see that we didn't need to 'do' was enough for the kids that we were just there. We sang the okie cokie in a big circle, and then the chidren took the lead and sang their songs, and we were all dancing. It was amazing. They clamour for your attention and fight over each other to hold your hand, which is heart-breaking. They just want to be loved.

I came back to the Village, had a hot shower (it's now cold and rainy a lot of the time in Grabouw), put on some warm clothes, made a cup of tea, sat down on the sofa, and read my Kindle, thinking of the children we'd left behind who have none of these things. They inspire and humble me beyond words!

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