Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fun with the Sun

Okay, okay, please don't be mad at me. I know I haven't updated in a long time. I'm sorry.

Anyway, this is what's going on in the orphanage!

Do you remember my exciting update about the bigshots from the bigshot hotel chain saying that they were going to donate formula to us? That was in February, and I heard from them last week. They said, "We're going to come out to the farm on Saturday and bring the formula we ordered in for you and some food for the kids." Great! The last time they made a visit to the farm, I was beautiful from spending the morning cleaning the house in Jake's sleeveless work shirt. They showed up with well-dressed South Africans and white people with video cameras. Needeless to say, I was pretty well mortified. This time, I was prepared!

They said that they would be there by 10 o'clock on Saturday morning. So, I got up early, showered, dressed up, and even put on some mascara for the occasion. My clothes matched, my hair was brushed, it was a day to be remembered. I seem to also recall thinking, "Maybe I should do the dishes." No, no. No time for that. I had to rush over to the orphanage to make sure the kids were clean and in their finest for their national debute. I pulled out new clothes and shoes and things and after all the kids had had bathes, they got to put on shining new outfits without mango stains, bleach stains, dirt stains, and stains from who knows what else. Even the babies got to dress up. Now, dressing up and keeping 53 kids clean is more of an obstacle than I'm willing to admit at this moment. And doing it with Mukansunda screaming my back because she's in an attachment stage was another thing all together. However, it was a joyful day! I didn't care about anything but the kids having a good time and getting that donated formula. I was singing the "I won't blow my budget this month" tune.

Once the kids were all dressed up, they were kept inside (for obvious reasons). The women swept off the new back porch. Jacob started up the grill (the manager who called suggested we have "braii" ready for cooking.) When they rolled in on their big tour bus, the kids were singing and I was calmly prepared to greet them.

The South African HEAD CHEF of the Royal Livingstone (the $600 a night hotel in town that sits practically ON TOP of Victoria Falls) came off of the bus and informed me that he had roasted chicken, fresh bread, fruit, and vegetables for the kid's lunch (along with 10 cases of formula). Great! "Let me just show you to the braii." He said, "Oh, it would be much better if we had a stove and an oven." Okayyyyyy. "Let me just show you to my hallway that is my kitchen. The dishes aren't done and I'm pretty sure the stove has crusty stuff on it. But, Mr. Very Rich and Famous Head are welcome to it!" Before I knew it I had the head chef and 5 line chefs in my kitchen. They had to improvise and enlarge my stove with aluminum foil and duct tape. I tried to explain lack of counter space and the chef said, "We're not going to blow a circuit or anything are we?" No, I assure him, (lying through my teeth).

To make my unbearably long stories short: The kids had a great time. They all got to eat chicken legs and Italian bread to their little heart's content. They stayed clean for about 5 minutes, but I don't think the Head Chef noticed. A great time was had by all. Except for the manager that came out with the group. She said, "I don't like to come to this orphanage cause there are just so many kids and they are just so young, and it's just so sad." No, I assured her, it's not. It's sad that they would have died in the bush. It's not sad that they don't have a billion personal toys or 10 pairs of shoes. It's sad that you have ignored it for so long because it hurts your heart to come. (Okay, so I left out the last part, but I was thinking it.) I am grateful to the Sun International for their donations and to the Head Chef for ignoring my dirty dishes!

Have a great week!