Yesterday was our last day at Hands, so we joined the 8am prayer meeting and met two more teams that had just arrived. One from the UK (St Andrews, Biggleswade) and the other from Germany who are visiting Hands as part of a study visit to see how communities are working with refugees. This makes us realise how hard the Hands Hospitality Team work during their busy team season.
After de-brief meetings we helped the maintenance by raking up the autumn leaves from around the compound. We then said goodbye to our friends at Hands before returning to Mercy Air.
In the evening we met with Paul and Cathy and they talked about their work; Paul as a Misson Pilot and Cathy as a Midwife. For more information on their mission work please visit: www.mercyair.org
We were especially interested in some work that Cathy is doing in an informal settlement that is growing near to the Mercy Air farm.
It's really interesting to hear of all these projects and their work.
Love Rose and Ryan x
Today a small group of us went to Durban to deliver some Baby Bear parcels we had carried in our luggage.
Baby Bear is made up of lots of people in the UK who knit baby clothes for St.Mary's hospital in Durban. Originally, new born babies were being carried home wrapped in newspaper, so baby bear was set up to provide warm knitted baby clothing.
7am this morning we took off from Mercy Air in a 10 seater Kodiak plane wrapped up in blankets. The journey wasn't too bumpy considering the misty weather- plus we had Paul as our pilot who frequently flies to different areas in Southern Africa.
We arrived in Durban and the small airport was covered in mud. The building flooded yesterday, half a metre up the glass doors you could see the water line. Anyway, we were picked up by Thaisbo and Chris from the airport who gave us a quick tour, seeing some of the most expensive areas in Durban and then some of the poorest places and informal settlements. The contrast was very obvious and prominent.
At St.Mary's, Thaisbo took us to the Maternity ward where mothers with their tiny newborn babies were lying and we handed them the parcels according to whether they'd had a boy or girl. They were very grateful to receive them and we were grateful for them allowing us in to see their babies.
We also visited a Labour ward where mothers were waiting to have their babies and then a children's ward. The children aged from around 3-8 years old. Most of them suffered from malnutrition or infections. We were playing with balloons that they had and I also spoke to one of the nurses who said it was fun to work there but tended to be very difficult especially in warmer weather.
After that we left the hospital and visited the Jabulani Self-Help Centre. Sister Marco started this centre in 1988 for women and men who have little money and/or food.
A lovely lady called Gloria greeted us with open arms excitedly saying 'come my children', referring to us. She was incredibly happy to see us and show off the site she was a part of. We saw the different workshops: woodwork, sewing, recyling and the kitchens. Usually there would be lots of children there but because of floods, mothers were worried to bring them along. There was a great energy to Gloria and she was incredibly thankful for our visit and also thankful to God.
We then headed back to Mercy Air and I sat in the cockpit for take off which was very instersting.
Although a very short day, there was a lot to take in and experience. It will be interesting to see how this partnership develops.