Monday, February 21, 2005

Bananas and Babies

This morning we had breakfast at the hotel and then rode the ADRA land cruisers to their compound. At the compound, we visited the Church’s home where they care for 12 AIDS orphans.

Max’s wife Davona is quite passionate about the babies. She’s taken in quite a few AIDS babies so far, and they’re building a beautiful centre on their complex to host the project (I think it’s called “Cradle of Hope”.)

In the morning, after our briefing with ADRA staff, some of us went to visit a vegetable research centre, while the others stayed and helped with the babies.

The research centre was interesting, but didn’t hold a lot of appeal. It’s not something we fund or have anything to do with, but the local hosts thought it might be nice to visit a place that works with indigenous plants. It was a little difficult to figure out what their goal is, but it seems they want to promote good farming practices and help support the use of indigenous plants.

After visiting the research station, we went back to the ADRA compound. Those who had stayed to help with the orphans had taken 4 of them to get tested for HIV. All of them had come out negative.

The Churches have a pool in their backyard, so Corrie Lynn, Brenda, and I went for a dip before lunch. Dan went to the supermarket to pick up lunch. We ate buns and peanut butter and honey and plantain chips, cassava chips, potato chips, etc. I’m getting quite hooked on plantain chips and cassava chips.

After lunch, some of the group visited an ADRA funded banana plantation. I stayed at the house and we took some of the orphans swimming. I played with a little girl named Shelly. She was quite delightful. She reminded me a lot of Maddie. She had a bold effervescent personality. She loved everyone and assumed everyone would love her. She kept saying “too-too” which apparently means bug.

Since the Churches have internet connection, I went online and sent a birthday e-mail to Nikki.

When the group got back from the banana plantation, we got together for a debriefing. We started out comparing notes about the trip so far – where we’d been, what we remembered.

After the briefing session, we walked to a nearby Danish training centre where we had supper. They served a nice buffet. I’m feeling better, but I still have that strange discomfort shortly after I swallow – like there’s an obstruction in my esophagus.

It's Nikki's birthday today. Happy birthday my beautiful girl.

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