Tuesday, October 2, 2007

More Americans in Tweeling!

Last week Tweeling saw its third influx of Americans, making 2007 most definitely the year that the most tourists (or any tourists at all!) came to visit the tiny dorp.

Connie and Brian Mahady arrived in Johannesburg with Sherry and Andy Farkas on Thursday afternoon after almost 20 hours of traveling. We all arrived in Tweeling about 2 hours later, where an expectant group of kids were waiting patiently for the visitors' arrival.

Once we arrived in Tweeling, Sherry Farkas broke the gifts that she had brought for the neighborhood kids (an entire suitcase filled by the Farkas family). Every kid received a coloring book, sidewalk chalk, reading books, crayons, bubbles, and other gifts from America.

Reatlehile and Ntombi beat each other with the punching baloons all evening.

After another "big dinner" with the Motale family, the Farkas and Mahady team retired to the Skipskop, the only guest house in Tweeling, where they were champs about sharing a room, sleeping on rock-hard beds, and taking cold baths.

The next day the family went on a full tour of Tweeling, starting with the Creche, the local pre-school. The kids at the Creche were waiting outside for their visitors and greeted them with a very-well-practiced song and dance routine.

The Creche hosted their visitors for biscuits and juice.

Andy and Kate printed a photo from their last visit to the Creche, which they brought as a gift for the kids. The preschool teachers helped each kid find himself or herself in the photo.

The family moved on to visit Refeng-Thabo, where the students had "knocked off" already (at 10 am!), but a few had waited around to meet the visitors.

Kate's 8th grade class had practiced a song to perform for the Americans. The students very sweetly honored Kate's request to sing her favorite South African song, "My Home is Far Away," for the parents.

Every student wanted his or her picture taken alone with their new American friends.

After about 20 minutes of photos with the family and questions about whether or not any of them know Beyonce, we were able to visit Refeng-Thabo's library. Connie Mahady raised over $1200 in donations to purchase books for this library, which will go a very long way here. Kate will be finalizing the order later this week (once the dollar goes back up a little bit) and will be sure to share the photos of the new libraray once the books arrive.

We left Refeng-Thabo to continue on a tour of the township where Andy and Kate both work.

Everyone that we passed either wanted to pose with, or to pose for, the visitors.

We returned back home to celebrate the visitors with cake and ice cream.

At home, the Mahadys and Farkases brought out the clothes that had been donated by family and friends.

Three of the girls from the township fit into most of the clothes donated by Cleo, Shawn Mahady's girlfriend, and were excited to wear their new clothes to church.

All of the baby and toddler clothes donated by the Mateos and the Whiteds were snapped up for baby brothers and sisters.

Kate was able to save the Mets shirt for little Tshegofatso.

After 2 days in Tweeling, it was time to move on to another family vacation adventure, which earned its own blog posting...

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