Friday, July 18, 2008

...More Canadians

The Scottish team successfully completed their time here with the last day of their Bible program on the Monday, and then some activities first up on the Tuesday before they had to leave for the airport. The kids played some games in their teams, and then there was a little prize-giving for the kids who had gotten 5 or more stars during the week, followed by all the kids getting some chips and sweets to eat. Then we had to settle the kids down to do their homework…needless to say, that wasn’t easy!

Fun & games on the Team's last day

But even for a short time, our friends from Aberdeen have made an impact on the lives of these kids. They still remember the memory verses they were taught and wonder how is Richard, or Pippa, or Cherith, or…

The Canadian nurses who have been helping were really keen to get a closer look at Namibian nature, and with two of them – Melanie and Carly – leaving this week, we decided that last Friday was the only opportunity we had. So along with them and Danelle went myself, Hauta, Lazarus, Steven and Kauna to do the 9km hike at Daan Viljoen, a game park just outside Windhoek.

Hauta, Carly, Steven, Melanie, Danelle - before we started

Although it was still chilly on our way there (we had a week of sub-zero temperatures at night), the walking quickly warmed us up. We didn’t see a lot of game close-up, but the scenery is absolutely breathtaking and we all had a great time.

But Hauta still found time to hang around

Hauta and Lazarus decided to take Melanie and Carly on a more adventurous route and so for the last third of the hike blazed their own trail, while the rest of us stuck to the one that was marked. Well, the adventurous group found a wildebeest skull (horns still intact) and a zebra skeleton and the girls decided to try and take both skulls home. (I don’t yet know whether they were allowed to or not!) But our group saw the baboons, which the girls had been really keen to see.

Lazarus, Melanie, Danelle, Kauna, me, Carly

It was a great way of getting to know each other better, especially helpful for Danelle seeing she’s staying until the end of August. And we’re thrilled that Steven came along and really enjoyed himself…we’re still praying that he will come to know the Lord. (I can’t help boasting here that Steven and I – while waiting for the ‘adventurous group’, whose trail took rather longer than ours to complete – had a “who can dropkick the most Coke cans into the bin” competition and I beat him 4 to 1, including scoring on my very first kick!)

Steven watches my kicking style - in awe?

The following day the Canadians met up with us again to watch Hauta’s club rugby game. Hauta and Wacca play for the same club, Western Suburbs, and were really looking for a win after being beaten the week before and knocked off the top of the table. After an exciting and very close match, they lost by 1 point! After which we went out to eat with a couple more friends, to the steak restaurant Lazarus works at, and had a fabulous time. Believe it or not Hauta managed to finish a 1kg steak!

Hauta (green & white #1) lifts Wacca in a lineout

There are also two internationals coming up next weekend and the one after – a friendly against a South African universities side and the World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe. Hauta and Wacca are both still in the squad, although Wacca’s currently struggling with a lower back injury.

…More Canadians
Friday was also the day when the AIM team from Canada arrived to help out at the After School Program for about 5 weeks, until the end of Term 2. After settling in and some orientation, they started with us on Wednesday. They’re enjoying themselves so far and we’re grateful for the additional help that Tim, Becky, Justin, Katie, Amanda and Cecilly are willing to give.

Volunteer update
Lazarus is working again, but still manages one or two afternoons a week. Hauta has had to reduce the time he’s at After School, due to looming exams and the urgency of study. Kauna’s course kicks off for Semester 2 next week, so she did her last day with us yesterday. Mercia has been very busy with her church duties (she’s also the church secretary) and will also be on leave next week. But Absalom is able to stay on and has committed himself to come every day. And then there’s Steven, Martin, me and Danelle, who is now coming 3 days a week. There’s also a British student nurse (due to arrive today) coming to work with Danelle at the hospital, who is interested in coming along.

All the kids & volunteers on the Scottish Team's last day

Kids update
After all that ‘social’ news, some of you might be wondering what’s actually happening at the Program! We’re consistently getting 65 to 70 kids each day – for some reason the attendance is always highest in Term 2. The activities have been going well, with the kids enjoying Bible Club, and we’ve also had a good discussion about HIV and AIDS in the Life Skills group over the last two weeks. Arts and Crafts has suffered a bit as it’s so labour-intensive that some weeks we just can’t face it! But the kids – even the girls – are enjoying doing rugby as a sport. The boys play touch rugby under Hauta and/or Steven’s guidance, and I work with the girls, teaching them the basic skills. Please pray for the kids, especially the older ones, as exams for most of them will start next week.

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