Friday, March 9, 2007

Update after 7 weeks at TLC

Thank you to a few of you who have emailed or sent a letter. I am doing well here and really enjoying life at TLC. At the beginning when some volunteers said it would take about 4-6 weeks to adjust and feel at home and know what you're doing here...I didn't quite believe them. But now since it has been 7 weeks, I know what they mean and now can say I know my way around here. Though things here never stay the same for long. Life here is ever changing. The babies come and go and grow and grow some more. Since arriving 10 babies have left. 8 were adopted into loving families all from overseas. And the other 2 went back to their biological with mom and one with granny. We have also received 6 new babies. They each have their own story of how and why they came here. The newest one arrived just Thursday. Her name is Freya and she was found on a doorstep. She is now 2 weeks old and we are glad she is now safe here with us. It is so amazing to see these babies come and then in time go.

The babies are continuously growing and changing. So they move into the next age group and eat different foods and wear bigger clothes and drink more milk, wear bigger nappies. We have detailed charts to keep track of all of their feedings and changings. The nursery is busy 24/7...though less busy in the night. Every 4 weeks each volunteer has to work on night-shift with two others. It is from 7p - 6a for seven nights. During night-shift we have to do chores like laundry, sweeping, mopping, dusting, cleaning bathroom, restocking nappies and wet wipes, etc. And we also have to change and feed the babies who are on 3 and 4 hourly feeds a few times each through the night. I have been on night-shift once a coupe weeks ago and quite liked it. Though by the end of the week I was glad I could be going back on day-shift.

Tuesday nights we have a volunteer meeting for an hour so where we discuss upcoming adoptions, changes in the nursery, sick babies, discipline difficulties with the toddlers, feeding problems, etc. There is a couple here who are in their 50s or 60s from Minnesota. This is their 3rd 6 month term. They are Ron and Lynn... and they are amazing. Lynn leads the meetings and always brings a homemade treat for us...often chocolate chip cookies or brownies. And then Thursdays are Tea with Thea (the founder and mother of TLC). We have a chat with her and tea and cake or pie. It's a quiet evening to get to know her and the other volunteers better.
The weather has been gorgeous. It is summer now...but fading into autumn. Then end of May brings winter. The sun is out everyday and sometimes a thunderstorm and rain in the afternoon. The days have been warm and lovely!

Each volunteer gets one day-off per week. Some things I have done on my days-off are: touring Soweto, shopping at nearby malls, going to African markets, going out to lunch, or just chillin in the cottage. We've also gone to play volleyball and to the movies. Sunday evening we go to church. It hasn't worked every week but at least a couple times a month. I always come back from church refreshed and ready for a new week. It is encouraging to be in the house of the Lord and to worship with brothers and sisters across the globe from home.

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