Friday, September 20, 2013

Baie dankie

I've been in South Africa for a little more than a month.  It's hard to believe this much time has already passed!  Since I've been in Hawston, I've started to learn a few Afrikaans phrases, my favorite of which is 'baie dankie' which means 'thank you very much'.  The main reason why this is my favorite phrase is because it is pronounced exactly like 'buy a donkey'.  Baie dankie is more than a quick thanks.  It's a sincere thank you for going above and beyond what is expected in order to make life easier for someone else.  I decided that, in honor of my first month here, I'd like to say baie dankie to some of the people who have made my transition to life in South Africa surprisingly easy.  This is by no means an exhaustive list.  I'm grateful to every single person who has welcomed me here, and also to all of my supporters at home.  But I think the people listed below deserve an extra special thanks.

Baie dankie to Carol, the house mother of Anhouse, where I stayed my first week in Cape Town.  On my first morning here, I had not been to the grocery store yet, so I had no food.  Not only did you give me breakfast, you gave me yogurt and granola, which is my very favorite thing!

Baie dankie to Marianne and Mick for showing me your favorite parts of Cape Town on my first weekend.  I could have done the obvious tourist stuff by myself anytime, but instead, because of the two of you, I spent the day sipping fabulous coffee, meeting the artist at a gallery opening, and taking pictures of the most incredible sunset I've ever seen in my life.  I can't wait to come back to Cape Town so you can show me more!

Baie dankie to Iggy.  You quite literally put your life in my hands by teaching me to drive on the left, and avoid the rampant jay walkers, and stay out of the way of the crazy minibus taxis.

Baie dankie to Mari and Ari for housing and feeding me for a week in Cape Town.  I don't know how I got so lucky to stay in your lovely flat with you!  I miss you guys now that I'm in Hawston.

Baie dankie to Desiree for jogging with me every Monday and Tuesday, and for showing me some of the most beautiful running routes that I've ever seen.

Baie dankie to the Hermanus Whalers Athletic Club for accepting me into your circle and letting me participate in your organized runs.  Thanks especially to Liz for slowing down enough that I could keep you in my sights and not get lost!

Baie dankie to Martin for giving me such a great orientation to the care centre, and for empowering me to take charge of what happens here.

Baie dankie to Malan and Ria for opening not only your home, but also your hearts to me.  For everyone who doesn't already know this story, Malan and Ria live near Hawston and are involved in some of the projects that happen at the care centre.  While he was googling the phone number of a care centre worker one day, Malan found my blog!  He and Ria read all of my posts, and shared it with their other family members.  Once I got to South Africa, Malan contacted me and offered me their love and support.  I think it's so amazing that they found this blog sort of by accident, and now they have already become a big part of my life here.  God works in random ways sometimes, but I'm so glad that He has put you both in my path!

Baie dankie to Emily for listening to me during my lower moments (though they have generally been few and far between) and for reminding me that a a few bad moments are normal during a transition like this.

Baie dankie always to the entire parish of St. John's Church in Richmond.  I would not be here at all if not for your financial support, and I truly believe I would not have had such a smooth transition if it weren't for your prayers.

Last and most of all, baie dankie to Jacob.  In the first month we've been apart, I've realized exactly how much I rely on you.  I don't think I really appreciated what you mean to me until I didn't have you around every day.  When something amazing or stressful or sad or funny happens, you're the person I want to tell about it.  Baie dankie for listening as intently over Skype as you do in person.  Baie dankie for the way you reacted when I told you I wanted to leave you for a year.  I said I wanted to do this, and you asked, 'Are you sure?'  When I said, 'Yes, I'm sure,' you simply said 'OK' and started looking for ways to make it happen for me.  Baie dankie for believing in me.  You have confidence that I am capable not only of completing my service here, but also of enjoying it and becoming a part of this community.  The knowledge that you believe that of me is what has gotten me through this transition period so easily.

Dankie to everyone who reads my blog, and baie dankie to everyone who comments on it or sends me emails!  Keep them coming!


  1. Baie dankie for bringing tears to my eyes, especially by what you said about your wonderful husband, who we get to see all the time!
    Peace and Love,

  2. Ditto to what Laura said. And baie dankie to you for giving us this blog as a link to another culture.

    Winged prayers for health and safe adventures,