Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Frustration - 19th August 2004

That evening in our team meeting, Roger and Chris, the team leaders, explained that we had been asked as a team to paint the toilet block, and some of the walls in the church. The majority decision was to do that first, so we needed to delay starting working with the children - preschool, crèche or orphanage.

As I have a form of arthritis, the thought of painting did not fill me with any enthusiasm - rather, with a whole lot of frustration. I was worried that if I did too much physical practical stuff, I wouldn't be fit to do what I'd come out to South Africa to do.  Chris saw my dilemma and suggested that I make drinks and prepare the lunch for the workers.  Remembering that we were there as a team, rather than a group of individuals, I accepted the compromise. Chris and Roger also asked for someone from the team to take responsibility for the food budget and doing the shopping. So I volunteered for that role too. But I just longed to get back to Asiphé to those gorgeous children!

I dug deep to find my servant heart and happily made drinks and lunch. 
Mid-afternoon I found a willing volunteer to get the bus down into town with me. I also was given special requests for extra snacks from some team members.
Once again, I loved looking out of the window, drinking in new sights and sounds on that bus journey down into town, through the outskirts of the township and then onto a bigger road. We went past the Appletiser factory (Grabouw is a big apple-growing area), then past the day hospital and down to a T-junction with the main road. We turned left and drove on down the hill, past the court and the police station, and the post office, and finally turned into the car park by the two supermarkets.

That shopping trip was much easier, with just two of us, mostly sticking to our shopping list and choosing what to buy.  And keeping within our budget. I was fascinated by the different produce that was for sale, and spotting some well-known British brands, at inflated prices.

We then faced the problem of needing to get the shopping back to the bus stop. The bags were heavy, and we wished we had enlisted another helper! But we managed to haul it up the steep steps up onto the bus, and to stop the shopping rolling out of the bags as we swung round the corners and over speed bumps. On the way back we spotted a baby on his mother's back - held in place by a wide Burberry scarf - so incongruous amongst the rough shacks.

When we got back to the church compound, Gerrit was there looking at the painting that had been so-far accomplished.  He realised that it was a bigger job than we could probably finish, given the need for long ladders and platforms to do the higher parts of the walls. Therefore, he was going to ask someone he knew owned the ladders, to finish the rest of the decorating! Great news for me, as we could begin working with the children the next day - Friday.

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