4 months in South Africa is not enough time in this beautiful country. Although I’m in Cape Town for such a long period of time it is also very short time to see the country. As usual my fellow house sisters and I planned every second of our upcoming weekend. Happy and excited for the weekend to come, those plans had to change. One of the younger kids in group A, Nadine (one and a half years old), is in the hospital and has been in for about a week now. She was scheduled to stay in the hospital alone to receive treatment for 10 days. The orphanage did not have the funds nor ability to have a staff member on duty the entire time while she was there. Once the volunteers from that group found out they immediately took action and developed a schedule so Nadine would not be alone at the hospital. This schedule included 17 to 24 hour shifts, day and night in order to accompany her. Due to sickness or weekend plans there are not enough people to split the shifts any other way.
Immediately my thoughts started racing. First, no one no matter what age likes to be in the hospital alone. Once I was in the hospital for two hours by myself and I felt like crying. I can only imagination what a baby who doesn’t fully understand feels. She only wants to be comforted and loved through the entire experience. Secondly, I commend the volunteers for taking it upon themselves to do something about the issue. On the other hand, they shouldn’t over extend themselves and need a helping hand; therefore no matter what I had planned this weekend could be cancelled. My heart yearns to be there for Nadine just as I like to be there for my kids at the medical clinics. It doesn’t matter if I am sitting there for hours to see the doctor, but for the child to know someone is there for them is more important.
I am learning the art of sacrifice, dedication, and consistency that some of these kids need in their life. Their entire life has been made of disappointments and being alone. Now is the time that disappointment to end and help them gain the trust back. When the definition of being spoiled equals 10 minutes of one on one attention, my heart is saddened. I have so much love for these kids and I want each and every one of them to feel that love. Today a staff member said to me, “I do not want to be at this place the day you leave, because you have touched so many kids in different ways that it’s going to be heart breaking.” It’s going to tough, but luckily we don’t have to think about that right now.
(Pictures were from my second trip to the clinic.)
Until Next Time