Friday, June 18, 2010

Bittersweet Ending

Dear blog might as well get comfy. . . I feel like this one is going to be a long one. ;)

Today was our LAST day at the Haven. It was a bittersweet day for all of us. We are all excited about returning home to our family and friends, however we all shed tears while saying our goodbyes to the little ones at the Haven. Since we have been here on the mission for 5 weeks, we have become so attached to all the babies here. None of us really anticipated just how hard saying our goodbye would be.
This trip has taught me so much and has made me grow so much as a person. I cannot begin to explain how humbling it has been. I am so thankful for all the little things in life that God has blessed me with. Too often we take things for granted. (aka:running water, electricity, clothes on our backs, our health, family, etc.) I am so blessed to have been able to be apart of this trip and get an opportunity to serve the children in Zambia with Speech Language Pathology services. HIZ-PATH (Harding in Zambia-Speech Pathology) is...hands down....the most awesome graduate program ever. I am so glad I chose to complete my masters at Harding. No other program in Arkansas offers mission trips quite like the Bisons! ;) I am already planning on making another trip! Anyone, non graduate students included, are welcome to join project HIZ PATH! The more the merrier! :)

Last day of the "mall walkers" ... TEAR! :*(
We got Leonard to make 3 cakes for each haven and delivered them to the aunties this afternoon to show our appreciation for them being such a blessing in these children's lives. They have a HUGE job of being mothers and nurses to 20+ children everyday.
Today I got to spend over an hour just loving on Matt, which was part of Dr. Weaver's assignment. I was so sad to tell this little man goodbye. :(
Matt's milestones. . . On our handy dandy charts we made!

Kelsey is doing so much better! After losing her twin sister, Kelly, we were worried for Kelsey's health too. She looks like a totally different baby and smiles all the time!
meagan and me. . . one of my "family members". ;) ha

A few of us decided to take pics in our TOMS shoes with babies chitenged to us and send them in to the company in hopes of getting our picture showcased on their website under their section on "how we wear our TOMS"! What could be MORE LEGIT that having babies chitenged to your backs in africa??? haha. For those of you that don't know... for every pair of TOMS that are purchased... another pair is donated to a child in need. They are soooo cute and are VERY popular among our graduate department. We wear them with our scrubs quite often. I brought a pair with me on the trip, but forgot to wear them this morning. what a dummy! But I still jumped in the pic! :)

kaylee and I with meagan and Darcy. Darcy was asleep on kaylee's back. So sweet.
Chillin outside. in Africa. by a hut. with a baby chitenged to my back. . . . NO BIG DEAL. haha.

I thought these two were too cute not to get a picture with...regardless of their horrible taste in shirts!! ;) boo texas!

trying to include my Ethel in this one!

Saying goodbye to Miller. . .isn't he a handsome little man?

The girls at Haven 3 were bouncing off the walls today! AS USUAL! They kept running into the room where me and Rach were feeding the babies and screaming and then running away as fast as they could! They were so excited and full of energy! You would never guess that these are the more "medically fragile" babies with AIDS, TB, and other serious illnesses. They are a huge encouragement to always push forward even through the bad!

me and catherine cheezin. she's a hoot!!!

Teagan is the biggest snuggle bunny ever! So sweet.

Saying my goodbyes to my other adopted daughter. . . Christine

so sad to leave her and my Matt. trying to hold the tears back... (unsuccessful.)

After an emotional day of saying our goodbyes we got back to the house to find that Catherine and Rachel had a special event planned for the evening....the "G.A. OLYMPICS"
This was absolutely hilarious! We laughed harder than we have the whole trip probably. Thanks Catherine and Rach for being so thoughtful and creative!

The Grad Assistant Olympics began with the "LEG HAIR COMPETITION". yes, I DID say leg hair. Some of the girls (minus me and Kaylee) decided they wanted to see who could grow the longest leg hair on the trip .... which means no shaving until we get to Livingstone tomorrow! Let's just say we were REALLY impressed with their level of hair growing skills! Some were in it to win it!! :) haha. They came out with a chitenge over their heads and allowed us to use flashlights to be the judges of who's hair was the longest! Catherine was the "lucky" winner! CONGRATS!! baahahahaha.
leg hair competition

Next was the "SOCK SLIDING COMPETITION". This was QUITE a sight! Each person, including Dr. Weaver and Dr. Tullos, got their chance to put on their socks, get a running start from one end of the hall, and slide as far as they could (without falling of course). Each competitor's slide was conveniently marked with a bag of goldfish to ensure proper marking on the floors. haha. again...I don't have words for how funny it was to see Dr. Weaver sliding down the hall. I have it on video, don't worry! :) haha. Rachel was the winner of this event! With no broken ankles! Success!

Event Number 3.... "CHITENGE WRAPPING"! Each "Olympian" grabbed a chitenge and we all (including males) raced to see who could put on their chitenge the fastest. The winner was the first one with their hands in the air (to ensure their chitenge was secure and wasn't falling off!) We got a kick out of Dr. Weaver and Dr. Tullos standing with their hands in the air, laughing. They were definitely into each competition just as much as the rest of us!

Event number 4.... "THE 40 SECOND CLOTHES PILE ON". During this event, we were instructed to go to our rooms, as a "roommate team", and put on as many clothes as we could in 40 seconds. Kaylee and I dominated the competition, winning first place in the event with 24 clothing items combined! haha! VICTORY!!!

Event Number 5.... "UNLOCK THE DOOR". During this event, we were each timed using a stopwatch ....on how fast we could unlock both doors of the house. In the dark. WITH our headlamps. Because the doors here are like old timey castle doors, its always a sight everyday to see us trying to unlock them. Sara won this event coming in at a rapid 13 seconds! impressive!!
Event number 6. . . "SUCK THE BOTTLE". During this event we were each given a baby's bottle full of water and were told to chug the bottle as fast as we could. At first they had planned to use nipples, but this would have taken all night. The first person to finish was supposed to hold their empty bottle in the air for judging purposes. As you can see, I was way ahead of the game! I got first place in this event! haha. SUCCESS!! Everyone was a little shocked to see how fast I downed this thing! haha.

We even had an awards ceremony at the end of the last event. As you can see... Kaylee got the bronze metal (aka chitenge) ...standing on the book. I got the silver... on the night stand... and the mighty sara was awarded the chair reign as the first place, gold metal (chitenge)winner! Complete with a "torch" and background music of "We are the champions". Hilarious! (Notice I am still taller than Kaylee while kneeling on my night stand. so funny. love you kay)
Thanks again Catherine and Rachel for getting our minds off leaving the kiddos and brightening our day! This will defintely have to be a new tradition from here on out! :)
Tomorrow we are heading to Livingstone! We are all sooo excited we cannot wait! We are like kids on christmas morning! We have an awesome mini vacation planned. Our schedule is as follows:
Tomorrow (Saturday): Drive to Livingstone. Check in at Protea Hotel (with hot showers!! AAAHHHH!) High Tea on the deck at the Royal Livingstone while watching the sunset!
Sunday: Safari in Botswana and sunset cruise!
Monday: Shopping in the market, Victoria Falls during the daylight, and pizza at Funky Monkey!
Tuesday: Sleep in, and then head back to Namwianga for our last night on the mission.
Wednesday: Arrive in Lusaka at 3:00....head to America next morning! :)
***I will have the details of what time we will be getting home closer to time mom and dad! love you!
Pray we have a safe trip!
It is time for bed! Last night in my mosquito net for a while until we come back from Livingstone for our last night in Namwianga on Tuesday! Bittersweet!

Ive started getting used to the thing! :) yay for no malaria! haha.

Goodnight! :)



As for video of the sock sliding event: Nay, nay Paco!

Jan Traughber

Oh yes! You simply MUST reveal the documentation that was gathered during this adventure. I can't wait for you all to get home. I wish I could be there to meet you.