It is fun to think that even after 8 months of touring with these children that I still have the lucky privelage of experiencing "firsts" with them. Firsts for everything defined the start of tour- watching their faces laugh and tears of happiness come from the simple push on a swing, seeing their shocked faces at the idea of a washer and dryer (and hearing their confident statements that they can hand wash their clothes better!), seeing them marvel at a McDonald's playplace, watching them trying to eat spoonfuls of jam when they realized how sweet it was, or calling bacon "piglet" at the first taste...
Sometime later after travelling through many states and staying with so many different kinds of people on different walks of lives and in an aray of neighbourhoods and homes the pattern and routine of tour life has become comfortably familiar. Last night the church we were hosted by took us all out to mini golf and pizza. I can still think back and remember the children's first taste of pizza even in their first week in America- and how that was once a newly special treat of an outing! But last night mini golf was definately a first for most and I had a blast! Sometimes I wonder if I get more joy watching the children or if they get more joy from playing.
I got to mini golf with Hannington, Christopher, and Gilbert Big. Hanny and Christopher are two of our youngest boys and they were delighted to be playing with "their friend!". Gilbert Big, one of the oldest boys in the choir- and one whose facial expressions and sayings crack me up acted as a fatherly coach to the mini golf session. I watched as Gilbert methodically calculated how to gently tap the ball into the hole as Hanny and Christopher looked like they were playing a game of curling with the mini putter, and cheering the most when the ball jumped the rocks and they had to fish it out of the little ponds. Christopher's hole in one was definately one of the game highlights as he came running and screaming into my arms. And then I laughed as Gilbert Big coached the boys to "come on, putt gently boy!"
That was our last stop in Georgia as now we've moved on to Tenassee. Georgia caught me by suprise with its beauty- rolling hills and green everywhere! Our first stop in Tenassee was in Signal Point- the church the children sang at sat right at the top of a moutain, and the day after the concert our host drove me and the boys to the lookout point off the mountain- I've attached some pictures, although I wish I could've taken a shot which would have captured the panoramic beauty of it!
Enjoy the pics- I must sign off now for the night. We have just stayed all together at a missions house- I love staying alltogether and having the chance to stay up and talk with friends from the team, but it means I am feeling tired tonight! I also have 8 of the girls from the choir at the host home tonight, and I am sure that has added just a littled to the tired feeling:)