Another anticipated arrival...

Trip Start Jan 03, 2010
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67
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Immanuel's Haven

Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Friday, September 2, 2011

We landed.  Touched down.  The much anticipated arrival to South Africa was finally here...
My plane was delayed, about 2 hours.  After the 4 hour delay in Dubai (boo to that) and eventually getting on the plane at 330 am for the final lag of the journey, we were told by the pilot they needed to replace some computer...it would be 30 minutes.  Thirty minutes turned into an hour and apparently the "computer" was fixed/replaced, however there was then another announcement that someone was sick and it would be "some time" until we could depart.  That was too bad...not sure what happened with the person but I think I found her laying ahead of me, spread out on four seats across with an eye mask on...poor thing.
I slept the full 10 hours of the flight to Cape Town in between getting a tap on the shoulder that it was time to eat.  I love that, usually.  I debated to refuse my food for sleep but quickly came to my senses.
It was fairly easy going through customs and passport control.  I wasn't asked much...thank the Lord.  Christine was waiting for me in the far corner as I searched for the person holding the "Immanuels Haven" sign I was to look for.  It was great to have someone meet me there...
I had been in contact with Christine for months and months...and months, about volunteering.  We sent many emails back and forth...and the day had come to meet.  She is the volunteer coordinator for the organization, "Immanuels Haven."
We went straight to the grocery store to stock up on some things and get a new SIM card for my phone (Helen I think the phone is now officially dying!)  We had a cappacino at the market before heading to the orphanage...  It was a beautiful drive regardless of the poor weather.  Rain.  Again.  A dreary day but a good day.  We pulled up to the large gate and entered through to reach the house.  And there they were...
Bubbles, the woman who started the orphanage and runs it, greeted us along with the other children screaming "auntie." And it hasn"t stopped 5 days now..."auntie, auntie, auntie...!"
I was taken to where I would spend the following 4 weeks with the other volunteer, Lilian.  Lilian is a wonderful woman from Holland...of course!  We have gotten along great and are a good tag-team with the children...all 18 of them.  Yes, 18 children.  Unreal!
I don't have down the ages just yet but the smallest is about 18 months and the oldest maybe 13?  The older children stay with Bubbles and George, her husband, in their home, and the smaller children in another nearby the house in a different "home."  They are great kids, really.  I give Bubbles and George beyond much credit for what they do and have done with these children.  Most of the children have been abandoned, abused and neglected. 
I am not able to post pictures of the children on the internet but when home, I can share.  It has been a learning experience thus far, and it has only been 5 days.  I have three weeks to go...
We are surrounded by mountains and the sea here in the Firlands.  We are 8 km from Gordons Bay.  Believe it or not we took all but 2 of the children to the restaurant last weekend for a birthday "breakfast" celebration.  They did pretty darn well! 
I am off to bed.  I am tired.  I feel like a mom who's had a long day with the children and just wants to "put my feet up."  Oh boy do I hear my mom with that one!

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Comments

lainie on

where the heck are you????
Do you need someone to mail you a new iTouch?? I am sure if you are going to be there for a while, that you would get it before leaving. It shouldn't take 3 weeks to get there.

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