Today was a most incredible day. Our first stop was Itipini, a small village on the outskirts of Umtata which originated on garbage dump (hence the "tip" in Itipini), and for the resources in the garbage for building shacks in which to live and eat. In this small village, poor beyond belief, we were greeted by a new contact, Sarah, who works in the clinic there. We drove as far as possible up the dirt and potholed road and walked the rest of the way with our bags of medical supplies, baby clothes, baby blankets and Mother Bears. Jenny, the nurse at the clinic and Sarah were absolutely overwhelmed and touched beyond belief with the amount of medical supplies.
We stopped at the day care, giving out Mother Bears to all of the children as they shared part of their culture with us through song and dance.
We were able to have a serious conversation with the staff that are present throughout the year in regard to their most urgent needs. Their wish list, which is their prayer list, includes their food program, their bread program and the milk program for newborns. For example, for $12,000 per year, their bread and milk program would be fully funded. Arm In Arm In Africa is most interested being able to assist in this project in this most deserving community.
Upon return to our home base, we had friends awaiting us for pedicures and foot and hand massage. It is interesting to note that this community is mostly unfamiliar with this close attention from visitors. It was treat for all of us to pamper them. It was an amazingly touching moment to bring two vastly different cultures together in the shade of a tree, only to discover we are all one at heart.
We are on the road tomorrow and will hopefully find better internet access to send you more photographs. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.