If you have been to Pulane, one thing that you will know for sure is that regardless of where you are coming from, it's a complex and long journey to get here. People ask why we set up a children's centre so far away from everything. And they often ask that as they stumble out of the car, after crossing the river, wondering why they didn't arrive hours ago.
The answer is a long story, but let's just say this: You could throw a dart at a map of Lesotho and two things are almost certain, where the dart lands will be hard to reach, and it will be a place with children and people in need of help.
As a family, we tend to travel out of Pulane, into South Africa about once a month. We renew our 30 day visas at the border, stock up on our personal food, and we spend a few days shopping for all the things PCC needs that we can't get locally: medicine, certain hardware, new equipment, and so on. This last month I was able to do a bit of flying at a flight school in SA while Emily did the shopping. It's important for me to keep my flying skills up to scratch. On this trip we had the added benefit of meeting up with my parents. We always enjoy our time with them and appreciate the babysitting.
We had a 3-week visit from our Irish friends, Rob, Patrice, Penny and Ericka (and a week visit from Stephen and Ben) during the last month. They are from Liberty Church in Ireland, and have started up a project called One Day: Lesotho. They are in the process of taking steps to start a centre similar to PCC in the Butha Buthe district in northern Lesotho, about 7 hours away from here. They spent the month seeing how things work on a day to day basis, and will no doubt base some of their ideas and methods on how PCC and its staff run things. We are so excited to partner with them from a 'moral support' point of view, and give them any info and assistance we can to enable more projects like PCC to start up.
We also had a very successful Winter Fundraiser over the last few months. It's now closed, and we reached our target, allowing us to buy PCC branded jackets for our staff, and winter shoes for all the children. We are so thankful for the support and contributions to do this.
The coldness of a winter in the mountains seems to magnify the struggles that people face on a daily basis. Things all happen slower, and we see how the older people in the community are in a little more pain, the younger people tackle their daily jobs with a bit less enthusiasm, and everyone just starts to show that they are ready for warmer weather. It constantly reminds us how fortunate we are personally, but also that we are in the position, with your support, to make sure our children and staff are warm, well-fed and happy.
If you are feeling low and in need of a smile, head on over to our Facebook page, or Instagram, and find the video of our newest boy (5-years old), riding a swing for the first time. It's a sure way to crack a smile and feel warm inside!