Seeing Morag, Andrew’s sister, waiting for us on the platform of Bulawayo station was a welcome sight! We piled into the car (Tarago-type thing) and bounced our way back to Debbie Brennocks’ house. I have wanted to meet this amazing lady, who is the adoptive mother of five beautiful African girls and the energy behind The Sandra Jones Village, for a very long time. Our boys and Debbie’s girls have been getting on famously – and incredibly noisily! Since we’ve been here (about a day and a half) we’ve been on numerous drives around the city of Bulawayo visiting places of huge significance to Andrew and Morag.
It’s been great to see Andrew in his home town and watch his reactions to seeing different things. I had been warned that Andrew might find it very difficult seeing Zimbabwe this way, but honestly, he – and all of us – are loving it! Andrew described all of this in his blog so I wont elaborate.
Yesterday afternoon we were able to visit Hotel Rio which, as some of you know and have helped support, is the facility the Sandra Jones Village is hoping to move to soon as they have outgrown their current premises. It was fantastic to see this place which we have heard so much about. It will be absolutely perfect for these kids and they deserve nothing less. I’m amazed at the vision, energy and persistence of the team of people who are working to get it ‘over the line’ – financially, bureaucratically and logistically (gosh, I’m using big words tonight!!)
The highlight of today was visiting the babies home, which is part of the Sandra Jones Village. There were thirteen babies between the ages of three months and two and a half years old and they were all beautiful! We were able to cuddle them, play with them and change wet nappies. Joseph, Tim and Elijah were absolutely in their element! I was surprised to see Joseph pick up a baby and hold her on his lap and keep her entertained for ages. Tim, as could be expected, found a huge stuffed toy dog and sat two babies on top of it and dragged them around the floor. This produced so much laughter amongst the babies that soon he had trouble giving them all a turn. Tim has asked to go back by himself for the whole day so he can help some more.
There is so much more I could tell you – how tempting it is to eat at bakeries all the time because it’s so cheap, how beautiful all the craft and artwork is (and cheap), how easy it is to fit thirteen people in a car, how warm it is even though it’s the middle of winter etc etc etc.
I’ll tell you more next time.
P.S To my wonderful workmates, enjoy your well-deserved school holidays! See you first thing Monday Morning – jetlag or no jetlag!