As you can see I have definitely fallen behind with my blogging. Luckily I have been trying to journal when I have a chance, but I am definitely taking pictures as much as possible as well. I am categorizing my pictures so I can remember everything that I have done and what I would like to make a blog about.
It is so hard to believe that 3 weeks ago today I was arrive in South Africa. I am sitting in the same place outside where I wrote my first blog here in Africa. It is another beautiful day here. It is chilly but its a great day to sit outside. Unfortunately the Cape Town winter is going to set it in tonight and tomorrow and it is going to be very cold and rainy .
It is with a heavy heart that I write this blog.... but I feel like it is a very important topic to write about. As most people know South Africa, but Africa in general has a huge HIV/Aids epidemic. For me I have always known this fact and known that it is a huge problem in the US as well. However, being a person that has never had anyone that I know of impacted from this huge medical crisis, it never has hit home from me.
Look at the picture of the kids above. This picture was taken by a grade 10 student that I gave my camera to for the day and I said go around and have fun and take pictures. The faces of those 3 kids gets to my heart every time.
About two weeks ago with visited the Etafani Day Care center. http://www.etafenitrust.org This day care center primarily tends to young kids who are infected with either the HIV virus or Aids. When I was here at the center I don't know what I was doing, but somehow I missed that information that was being said. As soon as I saw the little kids in the preschool I was so overjoyed. It is something about little kids that just brightens up my day. I am always joking and saying that I want to have a baby or a little kid because they are so cute and adorable... until they grow up and become the teenagers that I teach on a daily basis... :-)
However, I had the best time sitting down and playing with these two little kids with legos. This one little boy was having so much fun building lego blocks. Then he would take them apart and give me the legos and I would build something, show him, and then take it apart and he would build something different. I could have spent a whole day there and would have been the happiest person ever.
Then as we were walking around the daycare center and seeing the other parts of the center that were there for not only little kids but resources that are their for adults I heard more about the center. As I left the daycare I was informed that all of the kids that had been in the daycare center that I had just played with where infected with HIV or Aids. My mouth dropped and my heart sunk. Wow! Words could not express what I was feeling at the time.
Typing this I become emotional because I wish you could see the joy that was on these kids faces. I mean just look at the picture that is above. Those kids were so amazing. Those three kids who look so happy are dealing with a life long infection. These children did not asked to be born with this infection. It just really brought into my perspective the widespread issue of HIV and Aids. I am just glad to know that agencies like these exist to help children enjoy the years that they have. It truly makes me appreciate my life and health and value others who are giving so much of their time and effort to help people live a quality life for the years that they have here on earth.