Wednesday, May 2, 2012

first post from africa

Oh my goodness! I am in Africa!! It is more beautiful then I ever thought it would be. As soon as I arrived off the plane, everything was so different. It is so much greener here; trees and plants everywhere! It is also extremely humid and you are dripping all the time. You also never ever feel clean :) The streets are mostly dirt here in Dodowa (pronounced doe-doe-wah). The people are beautiful and very often when you pass by children on the street they yell "abruni" at you meaning white person. Mango trees cover a lot of the land, yes, dad you are probably way jealous. I have not tried one yet but oh boy I am going to eat a lot of mangos. Banana trees are also everywhere as well. Our volunteer house is nice compared to others. It is a cement house with a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a toilet and shower area. We take bucket showers because there is no running water. The showers are cold but it feels so nice compared to when you are sweating all day!  Our room is the hottest because there are six of us in there. My roommates and volunteer mates are all girls from Canada. They are super nice and really easy to talk to. Kristen, who has been here for a little over seven weeks, has been showing us how everything works and taking us to places.
       Even though all of this has been so wonderful, my favorite part has been the orphanage. As soon as we got there for the first time, all the kids were sitting quietly listening to a church group that came to visit, but as soon and the group left, the kids came to us and began to touch our faces, arms and hands. They asked us our names and we began to try to learn their's. There are 79 kids in this orphanage. The youngest is 3 months and the oldest is 19. They are so cute. They are so friendly and really good to each other. They have to look out for one another because no one really takes care of them. Even the 2 year olds are very independent. They smile and hang on you because they are so excited to see us. They love to be held and kissed and hugged. I think I am gonna like it here!! One thing that is really sad is the conditions that they live in. Most of them sleep on the floor while others have bunk beds. They go to the bathroom wherever they want and are constantly dirty. They get a bucket bath everyday before school. They get three meals a day of mush which they love, and don't have toys or nice clothes. They do have shoes though. If they don't behave, the house mothers beat them. Mamma Jane owns the orphanage and is there very rarely. I am constantly putting band aids and antiseptic fluid as well as calamine lotion on systs and heat rash. I love these kids already and I have only been with them a day!! oh my goodness! Their names are beautiful. They are beautiful! As of right now I am not allowed to take pictures at the orphanage but we are working on that. So, pictures to come!!


  1. I am so glad you are doing well and arrived safe. We (Mom and I) were worried if you had made there okay until I got your phone message. Eat some mangos for me. DAD

  2. So wonderful to hear you are doing well. This experience will change you forever. You post has brought tears to my eyes. I am so proud of you, and what you are there for. Stay safe, work hard, and enjoy the beautiful children. Much love, Aunt Charlie

  3. Caitlin, Im so gad to hear from you! And relieved that you made it safe and sound! It sounds like you are so happy! We are sad to here of the conditions in the orphanage! But are so happy that the children have you their to hug and hold them! Did you give them the extra suitcase? Do the children get to have candy, toys, etc.? What is the address so we can send the extra donations? And what kind of food are you eating? Let us know when you need a deposit! Much love and prayers are sent your way! Heavenly Father will bless you for your service!
    Hugs and lisses to you and the children!

  4. Its great to read your blog! I volunteered at the orphanage for 3 months last year and am going back in 3 weeks. How long are you there for? I can see a lot has changed in a year but glad to see volunteers are still loving it and the children are lovely as ever!