Tuesday, March 6, 2012



null Photobucket

{Top collage (clockwise from top left): Azile, Yanga, Onika, and Kanyo (bottom two are sisters); Bottom left collage: Vuyokazi, Sive, Emelie, Bongiwe; Bottom right collage: Vuyisa, Nomfundo, Thandile, Nwabisa}

Well hello all! To be quite honest, it's getting harder and harder to blog the closer my departure gets. I have been experiencing such waves of emotions thinking about leaving this place. It's going to be very hard. I've grown so used to my life here, and even though it's been a challenge, it has all been beyond worth it. I've been stretched here more than I ever have in my life. In a way I feel like I've grown here in the past couple months more than I have in the last five years. I don't want to go home feeling useless. I think that is my biggest fear about returning home. But I have to remember it doesn't have to stop there. I can keep contributing to this place in my own way. Let's just say I have a few things up my sleeve right now, and it may have to do with art ;)

Speaking of art, almost all of the kids have been relentlessly begging me to draw them. As you can see above, I've been chipping away one by one with portrait sessions after school and am hoping to have enough time to draw all those who want to be drawn before I leave. At first I was dragging my heels and getting frustrated with how many of them would not leave me alone about it, but now I'm the one going up to some of them offering to do the honors. When I first arrived here I actually felt pretty rusty in my artistic abilities and had little motivation to be drawing up a storm outside of class. I had been going through a pretty extensive artistic dry spell at home and was having a hard time imagining myself teaching it when I was doing so little on my own. (Yeah, I admit it now). And now I am surprised to find that instead of my art classes really inspiring me to pick up the pencil, it has been the students outside of class that have inspired me. Drawing them has become some of my favorite moments just to spend time with them, as a bunch of them usually gather around me to watch. I've found that the more I draw them, the easier it gets, and thanks to the kids I no longer feel rusty! Now that I'm on a roll I feel inspired to try to draw as much as I can before I go. I want my sketchbook filled with drawings of the students here as something to show people and remember them by. I've been making sure to give the students copies too :)

This week has gotten a lot easier, thanks to all the prayers I've been receiving from so many of you. Someone here was really encouraging to me when she heard about it too which was a major blessing. To tell you the truth, the circumstance in and of itself probably wouldn't be as hard on some people as it has been on me. I just wasn't sturdy enough to handle it well. But of course I can to anything through Christ who strengthens me and He has brought me through the roughest part. And in other good news, I was generously offered to borrow a laptop they keep at the Retreat Center here to use in the evenings and over the weekends! That has been a major blessing to me and has allowed me to continue to email and blog and stay entertained in my down time. So thanks Kristy and Matt! :)

In school news, we are now in our last full week of classes before finals start next week. Crazy! The last two weeks the kids are here will be mostly filled with finals, but they will only be half days. I've already put together a rough version of the final, so my next big hurdle will be grading all of them afterwards. I'm trying to prepare myself by doing as much over all grading before I have to tackle the final grading so that I won't be overwhelmed. It's things like these make me so aware of my inexperience in teaching, and I still get moments where I can't believe I'm actually here doing this. It's pretty amusing and amazing at the same time and I know it's only by the grace of God that I am able to.

Lastly, let me just say that I'm SO incredibly excited that my parents are officially on my continent!!! Slowly but surely they are making their way over here. Right now they're in Ethiopia, where tomorrow they'll be getting on a plane for Rwanda. They'll be in Rwanda for about a week before arriving here next Thursday. I can't wait!!!! Keep them in your prayers as they travel over. My poor mom is in the process of passing a kidney stone so be praying for little discomfort for her throughout her trip. And of course, keep me in your prayers too as the end of my time here is quickly approaching. Only a few weeks left! Thank you all for all the prayers you've already made and all the support and encouragement I've had from so many of you. It has helped me tremendously throughout my time here. Till next week!


  1. There are so beautiful Addi. I love looking at your sketches, and I can't even imagine how much you blessed those kids by drawing them. Love you! When do you come home, btw?

  2. Had to pinch myself a few times asking myself, "it this really MY daughter?" Great drawings and poignant post. Can't wait to see you in just about 8 days.

  3. Love the art. Love you. Can't wait to see how God uses you HERE, girl. Praying for all ... xo

  4. O, the privilege to be used by the God who created these children,... to affirm and elevate and enjoy them,... and to acknowledge their beauty and dignity, by your loving and lasting focus upon them. You bless them. You bless me. Murakoze cyane.

  5. Oh my goodness, darling Addi - what beautiful, inspired drawings. What a gift you are giving to these young people, who have probably never been made to feel so special. I am sooo proud of you, and cannot WAIT to see you very, very soon!! xoxoxo Mom