I had a great day today.
1. I got a nice acknowledgment during church this morning. I heard them talking about me, and saw that they took a special collection. Well, it was for me! The congregation gave over R600 to thank me for spending "my year of living dangerously" with them. This was probably one of the most meaningful things I've seen, as I know many people don't have extra money to give. They also gave me a nice gift for my wife to thank her for saying "yes" when I said I wanted to come.
After services, the church leaders held a tea for me. The orphan children all came and thanked me for what I had done for them. They said I was an inspiration, that they now knew that people cared and that they had a future. Noluyolo gave me a big hug and started crying. That was hard - I really hope she can make it out. A few of the other leaders thanked me for my humility and help, which felt really good.
I jokingly told them that I was sad because I just figured out how to sing in Xhosa and now it's time to go. Not too many people laughed - something was lost in the translation, I'm sure.
2. This afternoon, my baseball team had a couple scrimmages against a very good under-12 team. It was great for the kids to see "real" baseball - the other team didn't hold back at all. They pitched hard, stole bases and even bunted once. But my kids stuck in there, even scoring a run and closing one defensive inning with three solid outs (the other innings ended because of too many runs scored by the opponents). I told them I was leaving when we got back to their school and they all clapped for me. I think they'll keep going and I'm excited to see how far they've gotten when I come back.
3. I'm off now to wrap up my day with a big plate of sushi. Or maybe a pizza.
More to come.