Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day 8

Saturday, June 29th

It was the weekend, so after a long week of teaching, we were excited to sleep in a little!  Saturday morning we got to go to Lilayi to do a game drive.  It was so relaxing and so much fun!  Our driver, Andrew, took us around the property, and he was excellent at spotting the animals from far away.

We saw the zebras first. We stopped the jeep and walked up pretty close to them.  Andrew said that since two of the girls were wearing bright yellow shirts, it kind of confused the zebras, so they just stopped and stared for awhile! :)  

 We drove a little ways more and came up on the baby elephants.  We parked the jeep, and they started to cross right in front of us.

One of them even came right up to the jeep and stuck his trunk in!

 We thought we might miss the giraffes, but at the end of our drive, Andrew spotted them and drove us around to get closer.  They were all 5 together.  They were so big!  They all just stopped and stared for awhile, so we were able to get good pictures.

After the tour, we ate lunch there.  It was beautiful!!  They have recently redone the place, and it is so nice.  It has a couple of rooms you can stay in, a pool, and a restaurant.  The decorations looked like they came right out of the Pottery Barn catalog.
 The lunch menu had quite a few things on it we would not eat, but we ordered burgers and fries from the bar menu.  It was very good!  We really enjoyed our time of relaxation together.  

After lunch, we headed to the Garden compound to meet my sponsor child, Queen.  I began sponsoring her in February of 2011, so I could not wait to finally meet her.  We went to the Garden Lifeway Christian Academy, and when we walked in, there was a girl sitting at the front.   There was also a party going on inside for the kids of the school.  Allison talked to one of the Zambians and said it was her, so I went over to her and began hugging her and crying.  I knew she acted a little strange and did not look like the picture I have of her, but the picture was from 2 years ago, and they change a lot.  The little girl was very shy but went along with what I was saying.  Finally, Brenda, one of the discipleship leaders for Famiy Legacy, came out to tell us someone had to go get Queen.  We quickly realized that the girl I had been talking to was not Queen!!  Her name was Martha, and she was just waiting on a friend inside the school!  I was SO embarrassed.  It had actually been my biggest fear...that I would not recognize her!!  Brenda talked to the little girl and explained what happened, and she was just fine.  I felt terrible, though!  The girls who were with me got plenty of pictures of me talking to the girl who was not Queen, but I deleted most of them!!  We laughed about it later and called it the practice round!  
Practice Round :)

Everything turned out okay, though, and we waited a little longer for Queen to arrive.
 While we waited, we talked to some of the children who were waiting outside the gates of the school.  It was Saturday, but they were touching us through the bars and still wanting to come in so badly.  This is typical in the compounds.  Going to school is a treasured opportunity that many children never get to experience.  Seeing their sweet faces just longing to come in was hard.

After a few minutes, Davisson (one of the Zambian discipleship leaders) came riding up on his bike with Queen on the back.  She had her arms wrapped tightly around him.  She walked through the door, and she was very timid.  She smiled, though. :)

 I was not sure if she fully understood what was going on, but she warmed up to me after a little bit.  I asked about her family and school.  I got to give her clothes and a few small gifts, and she was very appreciative and so polite.

I prayed for her and her family, and she was very thankful.
She told me she is in Grade 8 now, so I congratulated her on passing her Grade 7 exams, which is a huge accomplishment in Zambia.  She told me she likes Civics and that her least favorite subject is geography.  She said she wants to be a pilot or a doctor when she grows up.  She wanted me to pray that she makes it to Grade 9 and passes those exams.

After we talked for a little bit, she wanted to show me her home.  We all got in our van, and Davisson directed us to where she lives.  All around her house, it is very dirty and children are running around.  The housing structures are small and many are falling apart.  Queen's house was nicer in comparison to many of them.  We walked up to it, and she invited us in.  Someone in our group said, "This is nice!", and I heard her say softly "yes, but not very nice".

We pulled back the sheet that served as a door, and went into the "living room".  It was a room that was probably 6x6.  It had two chair/couch type seats and a table in between.  When you sat on one of the chairs, your knees touched the table.  There was not room to move around, and the 6 of us all barely fit in the room together.  There was a shelving unit against the wall that was full of random things, including pots and pans.

 Because Queen is the first born, she helps take care of her sisters and brother.  They were all hanging around outside.  Their names are Martha, Karen, Charity, and Junior.  They speak Bemba, so they did not understand me much, but said hello.  Her parents were not there, but she said said they both work.  When I asked what they did, she said she didn't know.  Davisson said they do piece work, meaning they just go out each day and see what they can find to do to make ends meet.

It was so wonderful to meet her, and so surreal.  I love that through Family Legacy, you can actually go and meet your child and see how your donation each month is helping them.  It was a beautiful thing to be able to hold her hands, to love on her, and to pray for her and her family.  I hope I will be able to return and see her again one day. 

What a blessed day!  My heart was FULL!

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