2019 September South Africa Team, Day 3

Today we finally got to go to the Ditshego Property where we met Nortje, the Operations Manager. He was quite funny & very informative as he showed us the gardens and the tanks where they grow tilapia fish.  They recycle the fish water for the garden vegetables. Every effort is made to make this a “green facility”. 
The driveway was made of pavers in a circular pattern that reminded me of the yellow brick road from The Wizard of Oz. There is a huge eucalyptus tree near the entrance.  We noticed a large bird had gotten stuck in a string hanging from one of the tree branches. It was very high up and was hanging upside down flapping its wings trying to get loose. The girls from Russia and the Ukraine were so distressed for the bird that they started praying for God to help the bird be freed. Nortje found a telescopic pole and with some effort the bird was released. 
The property itself is an old brick ranch that houses children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, as well as classrooms (inside and outside). A decorated shipping container is used for storage and Nortje’s office. They have a large lapa (out door, covered patio) for meetings and they served us tea & finger sandwiches there. 
We started with a devotion about communication and spent the morning playing listening games and team building games with the staff. My cheeks hurt from laughing so much. Isabel, the head of Ditshego, said it has been a tough year for the school so this was a much needed break. There was a bit of a language barrier but most of the staff spoke some English,  and quickly formed teams with us to play the games. 
After lunch we spent time with the Principal of the preschool (3-6 yrs), Mma Maria, and the leader of the at risk program for kids, Lesiba. It’s a sad situation but not terribly unlike the problems kids face in the United States with drugs, alcohol and abuse. 
Then we treated the female staff members to a hand massage and painted their fingernails. You can really get to know someone when you are massaging lotion into their hard-working hands. 
 After a short ride home, a nice dinner, and our evening devotion, we all fell into bed for a good nights sleep.  
Tomorrow is a big day in South Africa, because it is a national holiday & we will be working along side our friends from West View Methodist Church at Ditshego. 

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