November Birthday Braai

Last week, we celebrated all the November birthdays, putting on a proper South African braai. For any non-South Africans, a braai is pronounced “brie” with a long “i” sound—what makes a braai unique from any other bbq is that you cook your meat on a grate over an open flame of burning wood–the making of a nice smoked flavor! The braai gave us all a chance to get together—houseparents, children, and staff. The kids were so excited about all the colorful decorations going up, and the balloons were causing quite the stir! Some of the little kids lined up their chairs to pretend they were on a bus, and one of the older kids got in front, using a shoe for the steering wheel–what a sight to see! We also played musical chairs–many of the kids had never played it before. It took a few tries to get the rules down, but they were having a great time of it all the way through 🙂
We ate a delicious meal of grilled sausage, pap (cooked maize meal) with gravy, and bread. When everyone was finished, we handed out the gifts to the joyous birthday recipients (three children, 2 babies of staff, a houseparent, and Papa Jean). We recently learned the birth date of one of our little girls and decided to celebrate it even though it had passed several months ago. We wish all could have seen the way she lit up when her name was called to receive her birthday gift (it was a surprise indeed!). She was given a tiara to wear for the evening, and her smile showed that she felt like a little princess. How precious this moment must have been to our kind and loving Father in heaven.