Day One

Lenten peace Prayer God of Welcome, In this time of Lent we come together to reflect and re-form; to listen and to love. Let us break down the walls That separate us from You and from one another, For in You there is no stranger, in you there is only peace. Let us walk the way of the open heart! AMEN Greetings to our loved ones back home. At the end of our first day, we wanted to let you know that we arrived safe and anxious to begin our journey. To begin our day we had an opportunity to center ourselves and to be reminded of our mission by celebrating Eucharist in the beauty of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Photo Feb 20, 5 21 04 AMWe then traveled to Guguletu (Gugs), a black township of 300,000 and home to the JLZwane Centre a Presbyterian Community. After being reacquainted with friends and family we enjoyed a homecoming luncheon. We then headed out to the neighborhood of Gugs for a walkabout. Half of this community live in informal settlements,a.k.a. shacks, which have no public utilities. The young boys in the photo fill large plastic bottles to carry quite a distance to their shack for the their families daily use. AIAIA is honored to be reunited with Teach Love Care Network Orphanage. We were able to spend time with staff and volunteers who provide a safe home for approximately 25 children . Between the hugs and smiles that we were received from the children, we were also able to establish the beginning of a new emergency food program. AIAIA will be providing the first of much needed food parcels for the children living in this orphanage.       Photo Feb 20, 5 55 27 AMWe were also able to visit our friend Priscilla, a foster mom to 14 children between the ages of 8-17. In addition to being challenged by the lasting effects of a having had a stoke, Priscilla struggles daily with having enough food for the children. AIAIA will be providing much needed food ASAP. Our day ended at the Mitchell's Plain's Medical Centre where a long time friend Zethu Xapile is nurse manager. This medical center is one of the recipients of the medical supplies and newborn clothing we brought with us. The staff hosted a dinner in our honor. The evening provided a lively exchange and opportunity for us to learn of their many challenges in providing health care in one of the larger colored townships.