By the Grace of God, all the children are back in school today with the exception of a few high school girls attending a private school that starts on Monday. I say it that way for two reason:

  1. We had a student who did poorly (failed) last year and weren’t readmitted to their schools. We found this out on MONDAY, met with the principal on Tuesday with no luck, and showed up to another (supposedly full) school this morning and begged our way in. Thanks Jesus!
  2. I think we (volunteers) are all thankful for the start of school! Having 52 children here 24/7, plus the fact that we have had several volunteers leave to go home, means we all need a the break that the school day affords us!

Trey was a rock star husband this morning (I’m sick…again**) and got up to go with the children who aren’t in boarding high school to school this morning. He and Julian, my assistant, successfully dropped kids off at 3 schools, begged the above mentioned student into registration, showed four of our kids to their new school, and registered 3 preschoolers in a new school. All under an hour and with great success. Trey reported that the only iffy moments were when our new girl Angel, who doesn’t speak English, wasn’t responding to Trey’s “Angel don’t touch that!” and almost grabbed an electric fence. And when our youngest preschooler looked at Trey and asked “You are going to leave us here all day?!”

On Monday I went to Pietermaritzburg to buy all the uniform pieces the children had to have to start school, and the school supplies we didn’t have in stock from donations. We were really excited about the opportunity to do this, since there were no funds at GGA for these things.  We were blessed with some generous gifts from friends and family over the holidays and some extra income because of the extra hours Trey had to work at the paying job that made it all possible!

If you have ever shopped Tax Free weekend in Texas, then you have a good picture of what my day was like. Only without air conditioned stores. I did manage to get most everything I needed for uniforms after several stores and several 30+ minute lines to check out.

By this time it is 3:00pm and I’m POOPED. I was dropped at the school supply store and the GGA car had to return home to take a volunteer to the airport. Julian ended up coming to pick me up about 5:00 in the car Trey and I bought from the former volunteer coordinator. Since I knew I had time (really since, it was shoulder to shoulder people, I felt bad, and I was tired) I took a few breaks in the shopping process.

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The 30 or so office chairs in the store were “out of order” so I took matters into my own hands.

I shopped so hard I blew out a shoe!! The blow out was coming, but shopping solidified it. Also, when will I learn to wear comfortable shoes when I go shopping?!

I had to keep three arm cart separate for children who have sponsors. Luckily they didn’t hate me too much when I checked out with four separate transactions.

The bottom of the cart was reserved for what “we” bought to round out the donations of school supplies we had in December.

After 4 more hours of sorting sizes and school supply requirements the kids were all set up for school! Exhausting, but worth it. The children have so many obstacle in their way to doing well in school, and it is important to me that we remove as many of those obstacles a possible! They were really thankful and excited. Happy Happy!

 **On Monday, after a really long/stressful weekend and the day captured above, I got a really sore throat. I did everything I was supposed to- gargled, nose sprayed, allergy meds, etc.   Yesterday I was miserably sick and still extremely busy with meetings and sorting school supplies and uniforms. In the middle of the night last night I had a high fever and was THISCLOSE to resorting to demands of Trey calling my Mom…which has only happened one other time during the swine flu epidemic of 2009. I’m still pretty sick although I’m taking a combo pack of tylenol, caffeine, ephedrine (EEK), and mystery drug that the staff here swear will cure me. I took these “wonder drugs” (ummm hello, sure ephedrine and caffeine make you feel better) on my first trip to GGA in 2006 and had good luck getting well and whacked out dreams. I have to get well for my parents’ trip next week! Prayers would be appreciated, as this is the third sick since being here. I’m tire of feeling ill.