WOW - It's been 6 months since I left Canada on July 15 (the anniversary of my father's death) and Jan. 15 (my birthday), significant markers in my life, and the events in between a blend of joy and heartbreak.
So... July 30th I walked into a clearing in the bush and announced to the leaders of Mbayi that I'd heard they had some challenges and was there - supported by friends in Canada who wanted to share - to help. Imagine what must have been going through their minds - WHO is this woman and WHAT can she do? Well... on Jan. 7th we met in the same spot and a man rose to his feet and said - God knew that we in Mbayi were suffering, so He sent Wendy, and we are committed to working very hard in order to make the most of this gift. A lot has happened in 6 months, all recorded in previous reports, so I won't bore you with repeating a lot of the details.
Coming to the aid of a poverty-stricken community and implementing projects aimed to meet basic needs and promote sustainable livelihoods is a long term commitment, but we are off to a good start! With the maize (corn) growing steadily and looking healthy and chicks soon to be delivered for the kick off of a poultry business, the buzz around the community is about a prosperous 2011.
In the meantime, tackling starvation through the delivery of care packages to the MOST vulnerable (and making that decision!) is our main effort. Malaria is a huge problem - getting those who are suffering to the clinic and/or meds to them - isolation and limited funds being the primary issue. Looking forward... before long, we plan to purchase goats and when the rainy season ends, dig and stock a fish pond.
My dad was born on January 16th. He quietly extended a helping hand to many throughout his lifetime. He was a great model for me of compassion in action, encouraged my heart for Africa, but worried about poisonous snakes! I just know, at this moment, he'd be beaming with pleasure.