Today was Carina’s 16th birthday. I got to enjoy the blessing of taking her out to dinner to celebrate. I made a turn by her house this morning to confirm plans and tell her, “we’re dressing nice tonight”. She didn’t know what we were going to do, just that I was stealing her for the evening. I had gotten permission to borrow the bakkie from CHI and went to pick it up around 5:30. I picked up Carina at 6:00 and we were on our way. After a very short drive we arrived at the Okahandja Lodge. As we were pulling in, I asked Carina if she’d ever been there before. “No,” she said, “I was just about to say, this is my first time coming here.” As we drove down the dirt path to the lodge, she shifted forward on the edge of her seat, anticipating. It was so great. It gave me such joy just to see her so excited. The lodge came into view and I parked the bakkie. As we climbed out Carina said, “I have butterflies in my stomach!” Carina chose our seats inside, near the fireplace, since it was a cool night. And we began to peruse the menus. The one stipulation I gave her was, “I want you to get whatever you want!” After seriously MUCH debating, she chose the spare ribs. We had lovely conversation, lots of laughter, and I got to learn even more about this great young lady. I wish I would have snapped a picture just as our meals came, because Carina’s eyes about popped out of her head when she saw hers….
She ended up eating the chips and veggies and what seemed like the smallest bit of her ribs. They were seriously pretty huge. She was really glad to hear that she could take home what she wasn’t able to eat. Her response definitely showed her heart when she said, “Oh, good! I can take some home and share with my family!”
Please pray for Carina as the second trimester of school starts up tomorrow. She is a very intelligent girl and a great student (for those of you who know anything about the grading system here, she got a 35 for the first term. Yeah!). Netball also begins this term, (she and two of the other girls in our bible study are netball players) so very soon I get to go to my first netball match.
And to finish off for tonight, here are just a few random pictures…
The view from my office/teen lounge/homework room at the MPMC
the sunset-lit mountains as we drove home from Sossusvlei