Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Living the life.

2 Nephi 5:27..."And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness."

My friends I am here to tell you that I have and am living life after the manner of happiness. I just spent some of the greatest three weeks of my life learning from the beautiful children at the farm. I am now back in the city of Lusaka where I will join my sister and all the other American volunteers on an expedition. I'm sad to leave my little home in Kasupe. I love these kids with all my heart. They've taught me powerful lessons about finding joy in all things. They never complain about anything. The power goes out for the entire day and we have no water and they don't complain. I have felt so much peace living with these people. They have taught me how to be calm and live life to the fullest. I've learned that living life to the fullest doesn't mean I have to do a million things in a day. It means that I need to BE...find joy in most importantly LIVE!!! They know God and trust him completely.

Thank you for your wonderful examples!!!

My last supper at the farm. It makes me cry thinking about not being there anymore so that's all I'll say for now. I walk the kids to and from school every day. On the way we pass some kids and every time they see me they start yelling "Muzungoo, Muzungoo" which means white person. I respond with my usual "Muli Bwanji" which means how are you and they giggle and laugh when the white person speaks their language. On Tuesday this little girl wanted a snap (picture) so we stopped and got a picture taken together. She was adorable. Note the house in the background. football pitch waiting for everyone to show up. After the little boys play the big boys play. It was so fun to watch them in action.
To all you parents out there I would urge you to please read to your children. I realized the other day that these precious children have never had someone sit down to read to them. My sister's read to their kids on a regular basis and the kids love it. When I got here and pulled out all my little books the kids looked like they had died and gone to heaven. They ate it up. They wanted me to read, reread, and continue to reread every book that I brought. They flipped through the pages over and over again. When I would finish one book they would hand me another. I don't even think they could understand what I was reading they just wanted to be read to. It made me cry to think about how lucky my nieces and nephews are to have good parents that will sit down and read to them. It made me sad for all the years that these kids have spent and not had one book read to them. Here's a picture of me reading to the kids. They've all got books in front of them. These are moments I will treasure forever.

This is Ms Carol Zulu that I posted about in my last blog. She's delectable. And that hair. It stands straight up at all times. Had to get a picture of it.

The other day I walked out of the house and saw Bwalia holding something in his hands. I was afraid to ask what he was holding but did so anyway. He found a bird, plucked all the feathers off, and was just waiting to cook it so he could eat it. I told him that was just gross and he smiled real big. He apparently doesn't think there is anything wrong with finding a dead bird and eating it.

This is a picture of the kids watching a movie from my ipod. They all sit on the table and watch a little tiny screen with no sound and think it's the greatest thing in the world. If only we were so easy to please.

Here's a snap of all the kids and adults living at the farm or more formerly known as the Mothers Without Borders Children's Resource Center. There are about twenty kids and six adults. They've been my family for the past three weeks and have treated me like gold. I will miss them.

Saturday's are wash day. That's a lot of wash to be done for so many kids. I walked out of the house and saw this mass of what looks like confusion. Come to find out it's a very orderly process of washing clothes. Look at the smiles on their faces. I do my wash on Friday's, let's be honest, I don't really do it. They laugh at me every time I attempt to wash my clothes and then just take the clothes from me and do it themselves. I certainly don't put up a fight. They tease me about our machines in America that do the wash for me. They think I'm lazy. They're right!

My running crew in the mornings. This is the most that have ever come with me. The numbers have dwindled considerably. On Saturday I couldn't get anyone to go with me. It was nice, however, to have the time alone with my thoughts. Haven't had very many of those moments living with twenty adorable, enthusiastic, energetic kids. On the fourth of July I told everyone that we were going to celebrate America's Independence Day. I pulled out all the toys that my nieces and nephews bought for the kids and we had our own little Independence Day. Connor, the kids loved the popping fireworks. Jaxon, Emily, and Abbie, thanks for buying the stickers, jumpropes, bubbles and other toys. They LOVED playing with it all. You guys made their day.


Stephanie said...

wish I were there with you. Jaxon says thank you for sharing that last picture. He sure loves all those African kids. As do I.

Stacie Raddatz said...

Thanks for all the pictures and descriptions. It all just really makes one think.

Heather said...

Heather Raddatz, this is Heather Adams. I saw your blog through Steph's. I am amazed at all your doing! I am really greatful that I was able to read your blog today! I find myself TOO OFTEN "sweating the small stuff" as Luke reminds me! I am so greatful that you are doing something worth LIVING for!
Take Care!

Shelly Karren said...

Hed. As usual, I've been quietly reminded that I have so much for which to be grateful.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog off of Stacie's. I am so glad I did. You have such a wonderful way of making me stop, think, and truly appreciate what God has done. He truly is good! Thank you so much for sharing all your experiences.

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for sharing your experience! I love reading about it.
Tell Heidi hello!

brenda said...

You have such a gift for sharing your feelings through writing, Heather. Thank you for doing these posts. Maybe you can't do any more now that you've left the farm??? Oh well, I'll just reread these. Thank you!!!

Breezy said...

What beautiful children. It has been so neat to share in even a snipet of your experience. I can't wait to see all the pictures and hear first hand the joy of your experiences.

Brenna said...


As with every post - you have touched my heart. I am thankful that you have taken the time to share your beautiful experience with me. I am so proud of your decision to go out there and serve!
luv luv

Mirm said...

All I can say is I LOVE YA TONS!! What an amazing thing to carry in your heart forever.

Heidi said...

I finally have a long enough on a computer to read your blog. The best part is I know exactly what your talking about. I too will miss those delectable children and am so glad to have finally met your sweet, little family. They are choice people. No wonder you love them so much.