Safari!

I’m now back in the (freezing) UK and can finally upload this blog entry I wrote about my safari trip (thanks BT Wifi)… 

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I can’t believe it’s been a week since I was on safari, time here is flying and I just realised today I haven’t blogged since before then! (Beware this blog post will be long and contain a lot of animal photos. Make yourself a cup of tea before reading.. )

So, I hired a car last week to do a self-drive to Pilanesberg Game Reserve, as I was not keen on the extortionate tourist prices on offer. Having done many a safari in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi in KZN I’m no stranger to safari experiences and I thought it would make a good little road trip.

DSCF3188.JPGMy Kia Picasso, a nice little drive (although I drove so much my legs ached!)

On Wednesday evening I also took my friend Fiona to the airport (via Nando’s!) which saw us getting a little bit lost in downtown Joburg, thanks to the supremely slow apple navigation (I’ve always hated it and now I hate it a little bit more). I think I said to her, “It’ll be ok, I was just reading in a guide book that there are only a few no-go areas and as long as we avoid them we’ll be fine. Those areas are Yeoville, Berea and Hillbrow.” A few moments later we came to a Stop street opposite a place called ‘Yeoville Supermarket’, and realised we were right in the centre of Yeoville! But we were fine, it could have got a bit hairy at times with people wandering all over the road, but we made it to the airport and I made sure I didn’t come home the same route!

After that experience I thought I’d be fine to get to North West Province, having studied various maps. However, in the end it took me 4 hours to do a journey that should have taken a max of 3 hours, involving various detours, most of which I will blame on bad signage, but in at least one case it was definitely me thinking I knew best! At one point there was just me in my little Kia Picasso and a whole lot of Platinum mines on each side! So it was that I ended up getting into the park at 11am, which meant that I didn’t think I’d see much until later on, as it was SO HOT!

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The thing I didn’t realise until I got there was that Pilanesberg is a Game Reserve created within an extinct volcano crater, which means it’s hot. Very hot. I’m used to Joburg temperatures (upper 20’s to 34 degrees C) but there it was 37 degrees and I was certainly feeling it! So were the animals, of course.

DSCF3595.JPGJust a bit of the game reserve behind me, taken from the top of one of the mountains. You see it’s quite big with lots of wilderness for animals to hide themselves.

Focusing on the waterhole areas and dams seemed like a good plan and this was rewarded by the discovery of a whole herd of elephant coming to drink and play. I saw them from afar and worked out their route and I was rewarded (after reversing my car from the exact spot they were aiming for!) with over half an hour or amazing elephant viewing. It was truly spectacular. I love elephants and it’s so exhilarating as they are SO big and potentially dangerous…

DSCF3241.JPGOnce I’d spotted this elephant train on a distant hill, I quickly realised where they were heading and I was off to the dam to meet them there! 

DSCF3286.JPGelephant climbing over the wall to get to the dam

DSCF3315.JPGand still more came! 

DSCF3283.JPGDumbo!

DSCF3443.JPGa few of the ‘teenagers’ thought they’d cool off with a swim and water fight…

DSCF3520.JPGbefore too long it was time for them to head off into the bush once more! 

Riding high on this incredibly close experience, I was holding out and praying for a big cat. My aim was to see a leopard but I’ve also not seen lion up close in the wild yet either. After a fantastic cheetah experience in Hluhluwe I was less worried about them. The rest of the afternoon contained baby zebra, baby warthog and the odd monkey, but no big cats.

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In the end I decided to head to the camp that I was booked into. All day long I’d been saying to God: “Jesus, you are king of all the creatures so really you could make a lion appear before me without me having to strive so much to find one.”

As I turned a corner on the road very close to the exit, I saw something fairly big on the road up ahead and I shouted “Oh, please be cats!” and sure enough as I approached I realised it was lion just waiting on the road for me to arrive. They got up and wandered slowly towards me down the middle of the road. Not one, but 3 lionesses and a lion! Jesus was really showing off, I felt!

DSCF3612.JPGJust me and my new friends…

Absolutely gorgeous animals, they came right by my car. To start with it was just me and them, but then a safari vehicle appeared. The driver of this one passed me after the lions had gone past but then pulled in behind to completely block my view right when I was taking a photo. I considered driving off but then thought, ‘These are MY lions!!’ And so I turned around and over took him again, getting into a mini traffic jam behind the lion sauntering along in the middle of the road. There was a car in between me and the lion but I made sure the safari vehicle couldn’t overtake and block again. (The people in there could still see as they were up higher than us!)

It was another incredible experience to end the day. Staying in a safari tent was also cool. I think we had a mega thunderstorm overnight but I was SO tired that I slept through it all.

DSCF3652.JPGthe closest I’ll ever come to sleeping out under the stars! 

On day 2 I was up early to get into the park at opening time and found myself in the park at 5.40am. Before dawn it was lovely and cool, but by 6.30am it was already too hot! I was on a mission to find leopard, but sadly it was not my day for that. In conversation with the safari tours, no one had seen one that day. I did see more of everything else (except Buffalo, who must have been hiding all week!) By 9.30am it was time to head back to camp for breakfast and then off home via Hartbeesportdam, which is also beautiful.

DSCF3694DSCF3663DSCF3717still in the park, beautiful and tranquil

Somehow I managed to miss a turning on the way home and ended up coming into Joburg via Sandton. I have never been so happy to see Montecasino en route as I knew where I was then! I made a brief stop at Cresta shopping mall as they have a big Woolworths (M&S) but annoyingly they’d had a power cut and it was closed!! No more clothes for me…

PS: there will be many more pics on facebook once I get WIFI and can upload them all!

 

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Birthday Weekend!

Sunday was Valentine’s Day and also my Birthday!! Coincidentally it was also the 4th Anniversary of the opening of Resurrection Charity Shop so a little party had already been planned for the evening!

DSCF3141.JPGChocolate Brownie Birthday Cake from Cafe de la Creme in Melville. Yummy!

I had a lovely day, church in the morning and then sharing my cake with the children at Hotel Hope, although several of our children were in quarantine with illness so I had to take cake through to their isolated area away from the others! They’ll be ok, judging by the bounciness today I would say they are on the mend!

Then in the evening a good number of people popped into the shop to share a drink and take advantage of the bargains available so it was a nice way to celebrate. I finished off my Birthday with Take-out Nando’s with my friends Sophie and Dan, first Nando’s in SA of 2016, I’m sure I can get a few more in before I leave… 😉

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This verse came to me twice on Friday and on Saturday morning it cropped up again at a prayer meeting that Oliver and I go to. The discussion in the prayer meeting was so spot on for what I needed to hear but also one of those times when it feels like everything gets a bit overwhelming and I was really grateful for the support, prayers and love from everyone there as it all got a bit emotional for a moment! God is definitely doing something in me, but a few things have happened in the last few weeks that had been robbing me of God’s peace and it wasn’t nice.

Since then, this morning I finally woke up and felt good again, with renewed energy and ready to take on the world. Hallelujah!

I received news last week that the rent on my London flat is going up, and not just by a few pounds. I’ve always said that if the rent rises, I’d have to move, but to hear it when I’m away and can’t do much about it for a few weeks was a bit stressful. I have literally no idea whether I should stay or go from Crouch End, and I suspect I won’t be able to make a decision until I get back to the UK. Please continue to pray that God would show me His way forward and reveal to me His plans.

I had some incredibly spot on Bible verses over the past few days, including the one above, and it’s really filled me with renewed trust and faith that everything will work itself out. And also a reminder to trust God for today. I think that’s what I’ve learnt from the kids, they don’t care about tomorrow, they want to play/eat/cuddle NOW and today and certainly not ‘later on’… Jesus cares about our todays (and our tomorrows, but he’s got it covered and so we don’t need to worry about it) and I’m learning not to get stressed out about what might not even happen… It’s a steep learning curve but I’m getting there slowly!

download (1)If you’ve not seen Mark Rylance’s BAFTA Award-winning performance in ‘Bridge of Spies’, watch it for the quote above. Brilliant witness to the pointlessness of worrying about the future. 

It’s all in God’s hands.

In the meantime, I spent a lovely time with the toddlers this morning dancing to some nursery rhymes and I even taught a little bit of Zumbini to the older kids yesterday so we’re having fun.

Later this week I finally get to go on my safari adventure, and it will be an adventure this time as I’m going alone. Just me, Jesus, some critters and my camera. I’m hiring a car, driving to Pilanesburg Game Reserve in North West Province (just over 2 hours away) and staying overnight in a safari tent (I shall pack my DOOM/Peaceful Sleep!!)

Surely THIS time is Leopard-spotting time…

 

 

 

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Joburg Zoo!

After the quiet excitement of the silent retreat weekend, the last few days have been unexpectedly emotional and tricky at times, which I’m putting down to the usual backlash of having had a great time spiritually at the weekend. In any case, for my day off today I decided to hitch a lift with the pre-school run as one of the schools is right next to the zoo and to spend some quality time with some cuddly creatures!

And so it was that I found myself the first visitor into the zoo when it opened at 8.30am. This was great, although the temperature was already rising fast and the sun was blazing, I got to hear some animal noises that seemed to stop once more visitors were around. There were a few buff-cheeked gibbons who were making amazing alarm calls to each other, I think they were playing but it really sounded like emergency vehicles. I’ve uploaded a video I took (the video itself is a bit rubbish but it’s more for the sounds) so you can hear how amazing they are.

Several of the creatures today really interacted with me, as I seemed to be one of about 20 visitors they were probably glad of the company. The first one was a White-handed Gibbon who did lots of swinging around for me just the other side of the glass.

Even the elephants seemed to appreciate having a camera pointed in their direction. Later on in the day, after their third photo shoot from me, the male decided to head off into their building just as I moved away.

I was disappointed that the African leopard was nowhere to be seen, it seems I’m doomed never to see one on this continent, unless God is preparing a special sighting for me on safari that is. And also the fabled Honey Badger was also in hiding, the symbol of the zoo couldn’t be seen anywhere… A sad day 😦

DSCF3029Where you looking for ME?!

The crocodile walk was challenging for me, given that I had to negotiate my way around several peacock, and I’m not a fan of getting too close to flappy things! One of the crocodiles was resting so near to the fence that had I been lacking in croc knowledge I could have put my camera/finger through the wire and stroked his scaly back. Thankfully I had enough sense not to do that, as it would almost definitely not have ended well. I’ve seen the speed at which those critters react!

DSCF2929.JPGflappy things… everywhere! 

that wire definitely doesn’t look thick enough to contain a croc! 

When I reached the lion enclosures there were none to be seen. Having just come from the failed leopard spotting I was starting to think the animals knew something I didn’t. Then I heard a reassuring roar from somewhere deep within a building, and I realised they just hadn’t finished breakfast maybe. I was literally just praying that I might see some kind of big cat today when the doors beneath me opened and the lions strolled out. The best ones were the white lion, very rare and bred at Joburg Zoo, definitely the nicest lion I’ve seen up close and clearly the inspiration for Aslan!

Buoyed on from a positive lion encounter I headed to the tigers. They were harder to photograph as they were kind of annoyed that they’d been shut out of their night quarters, but no less majestic than their lion cousins, just more active!

Similarly I thought I might not see any cheetah, but there were two little sweeties having a sit down in the shade nicely close to me.

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A brown bear came right up to the glass and gnashed his teeth at me. Cute and cuddly (but only behind the bullet-proof glass!). Sadly the spectacled bears were too far away to see properly and yet again I have failed to see more than a flash of red panda!

They had a good number of wild cats there: caracal, serval and margays, amongst others.

I also found the same ‘meerkats’ I thought I saw at the weekend. They were everywhere, but sadly it is indeed true that they are not meerkats at all but common African squirrels!

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There were a few close encounters (through glass!) with a chimp and some black spider monkeys, who I think might have been a bit bored! And I managed a few other interesting photos too.

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After a few hours I started to flag, although I’d had a great morning! It was time to bid farewell to all the creatures and I hope to see more of their friends in Pilanesberg on safari before I return to the UK! I’ll put some more pics up on facebook…

 

 

 

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Peace, quiet (and mosquitoes)

We’re back from our silent retreat on the Vaal River. It was a pleasant break from the noisiness of living with 18 children (who are actually not that noisy at the moment as most of them are playing quietly.)

I managed to keep silence from 7.30pm on Friday until noon today (with the exception of shouting at a gecko who wandered into my room, but I think that’s allowed as geckos don’t really understand sign language). I also managed not to check Facebook for 24 hours, which is progress for me ;-)!

The retreat centre is situated on the banks of the river, which is very pretty but the proximity to water also meant mosquitoes and midges abounded. It’s a miracle in itself that I didn’t get a single bite, thanks to copious coverings of ‘Peaceful sleep’ (a miraculous insect repellent that actually smells quite pleasant) and the fact that I sprayed my room with ‘DOOM’ at least twice a day. With that amount of pesticide it’s actually a miracle I’m still alive, but needs must…

One of the other guys on the retreat was regaling us with tales of snakes before we stopped talking to each other and on one of my walks around I kind of wanted to catch one on camera but there were none to be seen. On the drive in I’m sure I saw a small group of meerkats in one of the fields but he assured me that it must have been squirrels.. I know my meerkats and I went hunting for them too but I think it was too hot and they were hiding!

some of the pictures from a walk around, most of the birds were the boring kind although there were a good number of herons and storks, and a lot of jumping fish (impossible to photograph!) 

On Friday night I felt like the Holy Spirit led me to re-read 2 Corinthians so I set about that. This verse stuck out the most:

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I spent some time considering what it is to be free in Christ and how we are God’s ambassadors to people, sharing with them God’s kingdom of love and that His ways are good.

On Saturday, this was my verse of the day – Ephesians 3:14-21

“14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

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And this morning I had a lovely hour or so by the river with a soundtrack of ‘Let it Be Known’ by Worship Central (I may have been silent but I needed some worship music to get me in the listening to God zone!) pondering on this verse:

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In terms of getting some answers, I felt like a lot of what I wanted to know specifically is not ready for me to know yet, but I did get a very strong sense that God has it all under his control and so I don’t need to worry, I will know at the right time. I wrote down A LOT in my journal that I will be revisiting over this week, but this morning was exciting.

This morning I think God gave me more of a vision for the area I should be focussing on when I return to the UK. I have a strong sense that I am only here for the 6 weeks that God specified (and who am I to argue with the Almighty when He is so specific) and when I return I have a starting point for the next season. However I’m not going to go into more details yet, I want to process it a bit more first and see what comes of it and what doors open so please pray for confirmation and for open doors.

DSCF2698the naughty gecko / skink that caused me to utter a choice word or two during my silence! 😉

DSCF2718the best photo I got of a dramatic storm last night 

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and finally,

this would be more amusing it if weren’t for the hideous grammatical error carved into stone!!! 

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Ssssh… RETREAT!

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So tomorrow afternoon a small group of us are heading off to a Franciscan Retreat Centre near the Vaal River somewhere South of Joburg for a silent retreat weekend. After living with the crazy cute (but loud) children for a while I’m really going to appreciate a few days of quiet (although I’ll miss them too, of course!)

This is a big weekend for me in terms of listening to God. There’ll be plenty of time from Friday evening to lunchtime on Sunday for me to hear what the Lord is saying to me about life, love, the future, everything really… And I plan to make the most of the opportunity.

Specifically I’m seeking direction/answers/ideas about a few things:

  1. What’s in the next season? Incredibly in just 4 weeks I’ll be back in my flat in London, a little more tanned than before and complaining about the cold (possibly). It would be great to get more of an idea about what I’ll be doing in terms of work. I can’t bear the thought of endless supply teaching so I really need guidance about where to look for work or where to push doors. I know God called me specifically here for these few weeks and so I know He has the next bit, I just need to tune in to understand what it is.
  2. Relationships. God and I have frequent chats about my ‘relationship status’ and, without going into too much detail, as this is a blog NOT a 6 part BBC comedy drama series, I need some extremely clear clarity and guidance. Spending time with gorgeous babies is great, but it also reminds me that I haven’t got my own yet and I’m not getting any younger… Some kind of breakthrough in this area over the past year is surely on the cards!
  3. Finance. I’m loving being out here and am trying really hard not to get stressed out about the fact that I’m about to run out of money. I know that the Lord has called me here and that He will provide for what he’s called me to do. I also need to pop down to Durban to visit some of the people I ministered to in 2010 & before and all of this costs money. I’m constantly getting reminders from God that He’s got it, but when I did my finances last night I realised it really will take an absolute miracle given that I can’t work out here for money (being on a tourist visa and also not having time!)… Please pray with me specifically for whoever is meant to help me out financially would get a nudge from the Holy Spirit and give cheerfully and in God’s timing. There has to be a great story to come out of this and even now God is directing people to help out. So a huge THANK YOU, if you realise that it’s you!! (email me on carolinehorn@yahoo.com and I’ll respond on Monday)

I’ve got a couple of good Christian books and the retreat team also gives a bit of pastoral direction and then off we go to spend time relaxing and being refreshed by God.

I’ve done one previous silent retreat and that also was in February, but it was in Essex and it was snowing. This one has the added advantage of it being Summer with lovely gardens and a pool… 😉

I love journalling and listening to God but I also process things verbally so a silent retreat is always a bit of a challenge. Pray that my thoughts would wander down the correct paths and not off on a massive tangent.

Happy weekend to you all, whether it is nice and quiet or chaotic and lively!

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Heatwave!

I know it’s the middle of Summer here, and so technically I should expect it to be hot, but this week especially I’ve been hit by just how hot it is here (an oppressive 30-32 degrees in the day and mostly brilliant sunshine, although it feels like we’re due for some storms)

On Monday I spent the day working here at the children’s home from 7am until about 7pm. This involved much playing with megablocks, first in the morning with the toddlers, when blocks were mostly chewed or used in the new and exciting challenge of ‘let’s see how many we can push under the sofa’! and then in the afternoon when the older children returned from pre-school the blocks were used in their more traditional fashion to build towers and fortresses outside on the veranda.

Every time I put one child down another 3 would rush to get in for a cuddle and it was lovely to spend a whole day with them but by the end of it I was good for absolutely nothing. Normally I’d go to sleep around 10.30/11pm, maybe even slightly later. On Monday I was fast asleep by 9.45pm!!

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Yesterday saw me in the shop once more, although for some reason (possibly the oppressive heat!) it was really quiet and I hardly sold anything at all.

However, the evening was more exciting as it was the first session of Alpha at GodFirst, Oliver’s church and he and I are helping there by leading a group. It was fantastic to meet our group and to get to know each other and I’m excited to see what will happen over the next few weeks as we journey together. Already I was thinking last night that time here is going fast, I’ll only manage 5 weeks of Alpha before my flight back to the UK, sad to think I won’t see it through to the end!

This morning it was yet a different challenge. The housemother and I took a taxi to the clinic nearby with 3 of the children so they could get their immunisation jabs. The taxi ride was somewhat of an adventure. His windscreen resembled crazy paving with cracks here, there and everywhere. No seatbelts in the back at all and I had to strap a child on my lap in the front, although he rather enjoyed the view. The driver had no idea where we were going so directions were shouted out from the back as we went along but because of this he seemed incapable of going at any decent speed, which felt kind of dangerously slow at times. Still, we got there!

Prayer request – The ‘pool’ car, that I should have driven this morning, has developed a fault and is extremely unreliable. It needs fixing in the garage. Pray that when it goes in the experts there will be able to sort it out and then I’ll have wheels again to drive kids to school and people to the clinic, rather than rely on crazy taxis!

I was reassured to see the sign above the clinic entrance that read ‘No Guns’, and less amused by the sign next to it ‘No eating or drinking in this area’. THAT clearly hadn’t been thought through as the area was full of mothers and babies and small children waiting to be seen. After 3 hours it’s necessary to eat something or feed one’s child to prevent them from having a full-blown meltdown. We waited 3 1/2 hours for the children to be weighed, a procedure that took less than 2 minutes. Then more waiting until they could go through for their jabs. The staff there were so lovely and it actually wasn’t that crowded (compared to other clinics I’ve been at in SA in the past) so there really is no good reason why we had to wait so long!

I made sure I didn’t look when the needles came out for the kids but I was very impressed by my little Pooh bear, who not only had 2 injections without crying but was also beaming his brilliant smile within seconds afterwards. The boy is invincible!

Another exciting moment today was going to buy a CD player so that I can finally play some nursery rhymes, Action song and Zumbini with the kids. Thanks so much to Jane for the donation that made it possible to get this for them!

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the one I got is actually black but identical to this one!

So it’s been a busy old week thus far, and it’s only Wednesday. An exciting weekend looms though, more about that tomorrow! Thanks for praying for me and for following my journey with these little ones (and not so little ones) here in Melville. Pray that I would adjust to the heat and that tomorrow would be a really productive one in the shop! 🙂

 

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Highlights week 1

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I’ve actually been here for over 10 days now but haven’t got round to updating my blog yet. It’s been an action-packed week or so and I’ve loved every minute of it!

Highlights so far:

  1. The children.

There’s been a lot of boundary pushing and discovering of ‘time out’ for a couple of them, but it’s SO lovely to come back to the house and be greeted by a sea of little arms to hug and greet me. It’s harder to get out of the house to go anywhere as I face a barrage of questions: ‘Where are you going?’ ‘What are you doing?’ etc…

One of the 4 year old girls has taken to giving me fashion advice as well… ‘I don’t like your trousers, go and change!’ and another one: ‘I don’t like your hair when it is up. You look like a maGogo!’ 😉 These children are not afraid to say what they think!

I’ve spent a fair bit of time each evening with the very small ones helping with feeding time and general cuddles, especially with the smallest who just wants a bit of snuggle time often. Although, he did throw up all over me yesterday. But to have managed 10 days and not had to change my clothes wasn’t too bad, I thought.

It’s literally like falling in love with 18 little people all at the same time and never being quite sure who to cuddle next. I’ve come up with a few nicknames. One is Mr Chilled, a toddler who is quite placid and doesn’t get too stressed at mealtimes, just sits quietly to wait his turn. Another is Mr Charming, who has such an expressive face that he communicates so well, although he needs some special one-on-one attention to encourage his development.

Another favourite (I have 18 favourites!) is my little ‘Pooh bear’, a mischievous little boy who is always looking to find creative ways of exploring the house. One morning we found him sitting like Winnie the Pooh and his honey in the middle of the living room floor after having climbed up somewhere, helped himself to a big brown pot containing vaseline ointment, scooping it out and smearing it all over himself and taking a taste. He was in his element! Later that day I saw him wander into the bathroom with some brightly coloured toys only to reappear a few seconds later empty-handed. Of course, they weren’t left in the bath or the sink… !!

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I’ve decided he’s an intelligent boy, always looking for creative expressions of play! 😉 (I’m sure there are parents all over the world nodding in agreement at these antics right now!)

And then there’s the girls. There are three 4 year old girls who are similar in height and it’s taken me longer to get their names straight. I thought I had it sorted but then one of the Aunties re-did their hair and I got confused again… #weave

2. The shop

I’ve spent a fair bit of time working in the charity shop this past week. It’s been an interesting place to be as I haven’t done retail since the good old student days of M&S food department. I had fun re-organising some of the items onto new shelving and also doing the window displays. Auntie Irene remarked that she thought my house must be immaculate given how I’d done the shop (I had to set her straight on that one!).

I’ve found myself thinking ‘you’re selling a lifestyle, presentation is key‘ as I set things out and move things round in the shop, trying to present them in an inviting way.

There are many regulars who pop in to purchase stuff and I’ve had some great chats. It’s also been good to explain to new people about Hotel Hope and a few have gone on to contact the office to help out with donations. This is all vital work in helping with the self-sustainability of the organisation.

I’m eyeing up a few gorgeous animal paintings, but if I see another glass vase come in I think I’ll scream!! If you live in Jo#burg and are planning a wedding, running a florist’s or just love vases, come by Resurrection in Melville (corner 2nd Ave and 7th st) and take some of them off our hands (for a modest price!)

3. The community 

Everyone around here is so friendly. Not just the lovely lovely staff and volunteers at Hotel Hope, but even out and about in Melville. It’s a new experience for me being able to walk around the streets in South Africa (although still not very safe at night) and I’m appreciating being able to do so. In KZN we drove everywhere! It helps that I’ve got a foreign accent, I’m still being asked if I’m Australian at times (an odd phenomenon that keeps happening to me and which I 100% blame on too many Aussie Soaps as a teenager. ‘Neighbours’ has a lot to answer for!!)

I’ve been to several different church events and prayer meetings and have had some inspired times of worship already, which is wonderful. I’m still in Phase 1 of my time here, a time to settle in, enjoy the moments and not stress or worry about the future.

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This verse has been very much mulled and mused on this past week. God is working his purposes out. I’ve had a few moments where I’ve felt I’ve been helpful in the right place at the right time over this past week and that’s encouraging for me.

Tomorrow at church and then next week at a SILENT retreat will be further times of refreshment and blessing. Thank you for all your prayers, I’m feeling sustained and guided through this wonderful time in the sunshine (and THAT would be highlight number 4, but I’ve run out of space! 😉

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