Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas greetings from Cape Town! More to come on how we celebrated together in Cape Town, but I wanted to share a few images from my past two days here. I am so thankful to share this time with Amanda, Ann, and Jessie. We've celebrated, laughed, decorated, cooked, sung, cried, given, and received together. It has been a good Christmas so far, and I look forward to the rest of our time here.

Merry Christmas, and let us continue walking together.
Peace be with you.

"Do not be afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Slow down. Quiet. It's Advent."

Advent greetings from Mthatha. This is a season of expectant waiting, preparation, and one of my very favorite times of year. In Sewanee we used to have, “Slow down. Quiet. It’s Advent,” signs up around All Saint’s. As it was then with the busy nature of the end of the semester, these past few weeks have been full of preparations for the end of the year at Itipini...

We had a World AIDS Day program at the beginning of the month. The older kids designed and painted posters for the day, the choir sang, and Yoliswa, who has been my language tutor, was our guest speaker. We also had an AMM staff lunch outing last week. It was great to have everyone together outside of work to share a meal. Probably the biggest event of the month though has been preschool graduation. Last Friday, twenty-two very eager five and six year olds proudly received graduation certificates from Itipini Preschool. It was a pretty exciting day to say the least.

I’ve also tried to decorate my rondavel with a bit of festive cheer, and we’ve had two very successful braais (Afrikaans for barbeque) here at the hospital to take advantage of the warm weather this time of year brings to South Africa. The picture from the coast was taken in Chinsta where I travelled with three AMM volunteers for a weekend to relax. Not a bad view from our room, huh? This past weekend, it was also great to have a visit from Travis, a fellow YASCer, who came up for a visit from Grahamstown.

While it has been hard to be away from home at a time when that seems most familiar, I’m enjoying spending this season in a new context. I’ve been trying to slow down, find moments of quiet, and get ready for the joy of Christmas. I’m also excited for an upcoming trip to Cape Town next week, where I’ll get to see three of my fellow YASCers and celebrate some new-to-me Christmas traditions. Enjoy the pictures, and thanks for stopping by. Peace be with you.