So I’m here in Cape Town. I arrived early Saturday morning to a beautiful home and found myself welcomed in to the country by an amazing group of people. The first volunteer group is smaller then all the future volunteer placements as we are the first TEST GROUP. We currently sit at 11 people. The next placement will be May 18th and there will be 30 volunteers joining the house at that time. Should be interesting. I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by the attitudes of everyone here. We all came for different reasons but unite for the same cause. How refreshing to see that all age groups can live peacefully together, as we stand with ages ranging from 19 to 78 years old. The hearts of the staff and volunteers are simply remarkable.
I had the chance to see my placements today. We didn’t go in but we drove past them and stopped outside the door. One of my placements had about 40 of the most beautiful children ranging in ages of 2 to 6 playing outside and when we drove up they came running to the gate full of excitement and smiles. My heart was INSTANTLY overwhelmed with love and joy. I was almost moved to tears as I saw the faces of those who would share their love with me.
At the previous placement I met some HIV infected children, who were vibrant, alive, beautiful and joyful. I took an instant liking to them as they did I and as time drew near to leave one little girl grabbed me and kissed me, then hugged me, as she finished I saw a line form behind her of the other children who wanted the same opportunity. I welcomed their love with open arms. I knew in that moment that I was exactly were my heart desired to be.
During the ride home I found myself overwhelmed with JOY. God it felt so good to be looked at the way these kids looked at me. I felt needed. Wanted. Loved. Accepted. I felt like a gift. Although I felt the greater gift had been given to me. And that is when I knew I belonged here. The greatest gift is when both parties feel blessed for having shared the experience. And blessed I am.
I know things won't be perfect and I will be challenged far beyond what I prepared to comprehend but I welcome the challenge. I need it. I suppose I attracted the opportunity in order to grow and become who I desire to be. I have no idea what to expect but to expect the very best. Whatever I need I know I will find.