Sunday, January 31
We had a great day today! Our day started with the beach and a braai with our friends Pete, Lexi, and their two girls. We met them at the beach around 10:30 and played there for an hour and a half. Tisetso and Brian had a fun time riding Chris the crocodile on the waves (well, Tisetso rode the waves on Chris and Brian helped). It was really, really great to watch. I love seeing their relationship grow and develop.
I was able to talk with Lexi quite a bit while the girls (and sporadically Tisetso) worked on a sand castle. It has been so nice to have friends here while we’re away from our family, friends, and church family. It really makes a huge difference!
Our lunch was cooked on the braai (grill) by Brian and Tisetso. We had chicken kabobs, steak, and boerewors (farmer's sausage). We also had some corn on the cob, pineapple, kiwi, nachos, and bread. It was quite the feast! My personal favorite was the boerewors. It’s super flavorful, unlike any sausage common in the U.S., and just hits the spot! Add the desert course of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (baked by Tisetso the evening before) and we were stuffed!!
After our friends headed home, we spent just a little time picking up and washing dishes. With most of it taken care of, we headed off to church. The church we decided to visit is attended by our lawyer and social worker, as well as some other friends we've met here. It wasn’t until our arrival at the church when we realized how hot it was today! We have the breeze coming right off the water in the bay to our flat, which keeps things moderate even when it's 95°. Leaving that area increased the temperature significantly! And much like the rest of South Africa, there was no air conditioning in the building. For the whole time there, we were sweating away. I felt like I was melting!
Church was really enjoyable. We felt very welcomed by the people there and the pastor. They are used to having international families who are adopting from South Africa visit their church. It was interesting because here we noticed in a big way that Tisetso does not like to be touched by strangers. In this culture, kids are free reign for touching and hugging and tickling, etc. Tisetso is not a fan! He really pulled away from people when they would come up to him and start touching him. I think, especially in this regard, he’s going to like America and the personal space!
After a hot and sweaty church, we headed back to our flat and the cool sea breeze.
Today was the hardest day for me as far as homesickness. We've been gone well over a month (including our London trip), and I think today was a culmination of missing our home, missing our church, and missing our people. I am ready to go. I think the one thing keeping me here (other than legal paperwork needed to exit with Tisetso) is the fact we return to winter. I like having to put on sunscreen (or forgetting to put on sunscreen) in January. It's hard. This is a long time to be gone. So much has happened and I am longing for familiarity. I am thankful Roger and Merry Ann (Brian's parents) will be coming this week to visit and meet their grandson. I think it will help break this trip up.