On our trip to Africa we brought tons of stuff to give away to the orphans and the houses/house parents. This is what all of our luggage looked like upon landing in South Africa:
Needless to say…
We travel light.
Using the free internet in the lounge at Heathrow airport. The sun is shining. 2 cups of coffee downed. Ankles are swollen. Thankfully we all slept a majority of the last flight. Thank God for sleeping aids.
Did we mention we saw a Cheetah in Africa? We did.
Okay. Off to more airline recycled air & more swollen ankles. Woohoo!
So y’all liked the Flashmob huh? We have to work on our routine a little bit. We had it down a few weeks ago and looks like it’s time to brush up on a few areas.(Ahem, Jill) Watch out though, cause you never know when we’re gonna bust it out!
In other news, many of you have been asking about the “A Night For Hope” benefit show this year. We WILL be having another benefit, but it won’t be in 2011 as we have been traveling so intensely. We haven’t been available to plan the show the way we want to. Be on the lookout for another benefit in 2012. Thanks for being so supportive and contributing to a cause that’s so close to our hearts. For more info, you can always visit www.housesofhopeafrica.com to support!
So far so good on the 31 days of blogging…what would you like us to blog about for the next 21 days?
I know I’ve always heard that time starts to fly the older you get…and wow, I’m really feeling that…cause it seems like just yesterday I was in South Africa with three good friends playing with beautiful kids…when in reality, it was two months ago.
But here I am, two months later, sitting on my couch, my TV is on, fuzzy warm slippers on my feet, sipping my freshly brewed coffee and they are still where I left them two months ago. I’ll admit that when I’m there I’m focused on their needs…I wonder if they are hungry or consumed with sadness or whether they are having a good time playing the silly game we taught them, etc. But somehow, when you are removed from them, you start to forget about them. I know that sounds horrible, but it’s true–at least for me. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t forget about them in a permanent sense but I don’t think I live with the thought that every hour of every day I live in luxury and there are kids out there who need help…lots of help.
So that’s where I’m at this morning…wondering how I can help more, how I can keep them at the forefront of my mind because they are still there. And for the twenty-something kids that I met and locked eyes with, there are millions more out there. I live in a world of absolute excess…I’m embarrassed at times at the amount of food I buy at the grocery store and waste because I just chose to eat something else. I wake up in the morning in a warm bed, can take a hot shower anytime I’d like, I can see a doctor whenever I choose, etc. I live in a world of excess.
The story I am about to share is heavy, heart wrenching and true. I wanted to share with you because this is reality. It’s not separated from me anymore. A girl who was dropped off at an orphan home in South Africa hours before we got there is 13 and has AIDS. Both her parents have died. She was living with her aunt who was physically abusing her and while that was going on, her uncle was repeatedly raping her. Her aunt found out and got mad at this precious little girl and kicked her out. I could hardly believe my ears. This was this girl’s reality just hours before we arrived. And now she is living at one of the orphan homes in South Africa. This story hit me hard.
I wish I had a nice way to tie up my thoughts…so I’ll leave you with a pic of the kids doing a little painting craft when we were there 2 months ago. You have no idea how much your prayers and love helps these kids. Thank you for supporting them with us. xoxo -k
On August 10th, 2010 Team Africa…a.k.a. Jill, Kate, Todd & Meghan flew to South Africa to hang out with the amazing kids at the House of Hope. We had a fabulous time and wanted to share some highlights with you
Playing cards prior to boarding the 15 hour flight. Plus, Kate bought a new camera in the airport and was testing it out.
In the airport after landing, Todd met….drum roll….MISS INDIA GLOBE 2010!!! Who’s excited?
Play time on the lawn out in front of the Houses.
Todd giving a little photo lesson.
Craft time with fun foam letters.
We did a painting craft out on the lawn…it was fun…some of the kids even used the paint to paint their faces. Haha.
Noted: Don’t turn your back on kids with paint
Before we left, people donated clothes, shoes, etc. We divided them into plastic bags & gave one to each kid.
More craft fun–we printed out pics and they decorated their own frames!
We made one to leave with them!
One of the kids taking Todd’s camera around taking some sweet shots.
Project OFB continues. We taught them how to make them and read them some of your letters.
Special delivery on some hand made hats!
The kids were so happy!
On our way to the airport we stopped and visited a kiddo that we met last time that is now at a different home. We got him some little shoes that light up! Woohoo!
We spent the last day of the trip in Kruger Park and saw some animals…but we’ll share those pics in the near future. Thanks for all of your love and support for the kids.
Much love from super jet lagged jillandkate
Ps…our SOT17th is still coming…but Jill lost her voice on the trip so we are on hold until she has it back!
So, we are exhausted from travel but had an awesome time in Africa. Once we rest a bit we will tell you ALL about it
In the meantime…take the image below and help us spread the word about the Broke* wrap party tonight in Nashville. Make it your Facebook profile pic or post it on your wall or print it out and safety-pin it to your t-shirt…haha…
Se you all there at 8pm. 12th & Porter.
So we are having a GREAT time with the kids at the Houses of Hope! The kids are seriously such a fun group We have made crafts everyday, sung songs, played games in the sun, and gotten tons of hugs…we’ve even had our hair braided numerous times! They have all LOVED the friendship bracelets too…We sat them down and told them how we told our friends about them and that that’s who made the bracelets for them! Needless to say, they were so excited…we had so many bracelets that most of the kids got one on each wrist or an ankle too. We have been trying to document as many of them as possible but here are a few to start with
Thanks again for sending your love with us to these kids…they need it!
So, Kate’s dad, Bill, took a trip up to Zimbabwe and took a bunch of friendship bracelets with him to pass out to the Houses of Hope kids up there. He snapped a pic…how awesome is this?!? We have the rest of them with us and will be passing them out to the kids that we see this week. We are SO excited…like…wooopeeeee excited
Okay…so you know that we thought you guys were all cool and awesome already…but after evaluating the IMMENSE, CRAZY AMOUNTS of friendship bracelets we received to take with us to the kids at the Houses of Hope we are absolutely, positively blown away by your absolute coolness and generosity THANK YOU SO MUCH! Some of you even sent other items because you didn’t feel creatively inclined to make bracelets…and that was awesome too! Seriously…we are so excited to get over there and give the kids their bracelets.
We are gonna be taking as many pictures as possible–so we will do our best to document the bracelets on their precious little wrists!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this fun project with us. Looking around we are so blessed, by SO much….we are looking forward to sharing some quality time with these kids.
Again…thank you. Pat yourselves on the backs for making this a HUGELY successful bracelet-making mission. Tell your friends and neighbors and ice cream man that you made some kid in Africa super happy.
More updates coming soon.
Love to each of you.
If you follow us on Twitter you’ve probably seen our tweets about making friendship bracelets this past weekend! Our friend Meghan had an awesome idea to make friendship bracelets and take them to the kids at the Houses of Hope. A few of us are taking a trip to Africa pretty soon to go hang out with the kids again and we thought that we could make some for the kids, but also teach them a fun craft!
So, if you want to make a bracelet or two and send them to us before August 2, 2010, we will take them with us and give them to the kids!
All you need to do is head over to your local craft store and buy a bunch of this thread: (it’s not too pricy either–a BIG package for under $4):
Then, either find a friend to teach you or go & watch this handy how-to video….
You can experiment with all different patterns etc….this is one Jill is currently working on:
It is kind of time consuming…but we have also felt it’s kind of therapeutic We’ve turned FRIENDS on in the background and tied away!
The end result is a bunch of these:
So, if you feel so inclined to make one of these bad boys–send us your bracelet to this address:
ALD c/o HOH
P.O. Box 176
Wheaton, IL 60187
Feel free to include a letter if you’d like…we promise to take all of them with us and share them with the kids.
Lots of love and friendship bracelets…