Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day at Granny's

Dayna, Tony, Sarah, and I all drove out to Soshanguve mid-day on Christmas to celebrate with Granny and the family. We hung out with Granny's family, ate chicken & pap, and exchanged small gifts white-elephant style. They loved the cookies the girls had decorated the night before! During the afternoon, we read the Christmas story from the Bible together, and then Dayna played guitar as we sang Christmas carols. The family loved learning "Little Drummer Boy," and after we sang the carol, Dayna talked about how Jesus gave himself to us at Christmas. The boy in the song brought the gift that he had—himself—to Jesus. In the same way, Jesus gave himself to us. As I sat in the midst of this family who has welcomed me in, who has given of themselves to me so richly, I saw a reflection of Christ's love in Granny's family. I am so thankful to minister both to and with this family… and to be ministered to by them.

Me and Tshegofatso

Tshegofatso and Lungile

Dayna, Pretty, Emily, Annah, and baby Douglas: singing carols together

Christmas dinner #1: chicken, pap, chakalaka, coleslaw... and gingerbread and sugar cookies

Me, Emily, Dayna, Granny, Annah, Alex, Pretty, and Sarah: wearing our hats from the Christmas crackers!

Christmas Morning

The R15 Christmas tree in all its glory (please note the origami penguin in the middle)

We traded names and did Christmas stockings for each other. The Christmas stockings being cool socks into which we stuffed various gifts. Here's Busi with hers...

What I called the Magnificent and Wondrous Christmas Breakfast.

Eating breakfast in the living room

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, Sarah and I invited Lizzy and Busi to spend the night at our house for a Christmas Eve slumber party. Our party included cookie decorating, movie-watching, Christmas crackers... and even a power outage. The power did eventually come back on so we could watch the movie properly instead of on Sarah's laptop!

Lizzy, me, and Busi decorating cookies

Some of the finished masterpieces

Roommates in Christmas cracker hats (please note our R15 Christmas tree in the background)

All the girls

Christmas decorations

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pool party

Granny's family (well, women and children under 10 was the rule!) came to Pangani yesterday for a pool party. Of course, it rained for three hours the night before and was therefore cool and cloudy most of the day... but that didn't stop the kids from getting in the pool!

Granny's the only one looking at the camera (clearly there is something going on beside me that I am unaware of), but I had to post this because she has such a great smile.

Precious, Laurence, Nthabiseng, and Tshegofatso

All the kids... and Doris

It rained all the way back to Sosh, and this made for an amazing sunset on the way home.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Traditional ceremony

Champagne, one of Granny's granddaughters, invited a bunch of the NCSA gang to come to a traditional ceremony for her husband's cousin. Sarah and I headed out to Soshanguve on Saturday and had a great time with the family, just hanging out, and observing this celebration of Nosiwe's coming of age. Here are some pictures...

Champagne's baby boy, little Douglas

How the party ended...

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Those of us left behind in Pretoria (the Stewarts and Doug have headed back to the States on furlough until late January) are working hard around Pangani, getting things ready for next year. Yesterday, Daleen and Sarah and I got to work stripping all the wallpaper in Room 4... since half of it was falling off and the other half had mold behind it. Lovely. I lived in Room 4 during my apprenticeship year, and though I wasn't terribly attached to the wallpaper, it did feel a bit strange to be tearing it all off the walls...

Pangani Thanksgiving

A belated Happy Thanksgiving from South Africa. These pictures were actually taken on Thanksgiving Day, I'm just slow posting them...

The meal all laid out...

Table set in the garden. Gotta love a summer Thanksgiving.

Doug carves the turkey while Moses fills his plate.

Daleen & Petro toasting a happy Thanksgiving to each other.

Melissa and me

And, finally... pie. Apple (thank you, Dayna), pumpkin (my own creation), and New York style cheesecake (thanks, Lizzy!).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Farewell Dinner

The 2008 apprenticeship has concluded, the apprentices have headed home, and it's really quiet around here. Here are some pictures from our final dinner last week. I miss these people!

All the girls...

Sarah and Natalie and me... Sarah and I have been mentoring Natalie over the past couple months. And eating a lot of cookies together.

Melissa and Andrew

Me and Kellie

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Addition to the household

Daleen's 80s Birthday

This is just a selection from the many amazing photos of Daleen's 80s birthday bash on Friday night.

Yes, even Richard Simmons joined the party.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Year-End Celebration

It makes me sad to type the title of this post--this year's apprenticeship will end in two weeks! Saturday night was our big year-end celebration. We invited over 60 people--friends, ministry partners, community members--to Pangani for dinner. It was a bittersweet time. It was amazing to look back on the year and celebrate all that God's done over the past months. And it was sad to have yet another reminder that the 2008 apprenticeship is almost over. And, I might add that the apprentices did an amazing job of planning and pulling off the event. All I had to do was carve some chicken...


Daleen is wearing Mairin's princess skirt on her head. Mairin is not amused.

People are always confusing the three of us, so we decided to dress up as each other. But maybe you can tell the difference...