Thursday, January 24, 2013

We are heading to South Africa for 7 weeks!

Hello everyone. We are new to this blog thing but wanted to make a way to connect and share our story(ies) with people outside of our personal Facebook accounts. On February 2, we will head to South Africa to teach swimming for 7 weeks. Say whaaaaatttt??? I know, it sounds crazy, but we are thrilled to be on this ride together. 

Here is a bit about what we are doing and who we are doing it with(excerpt from Crystal's bosses):   The pool is under the management of YEA. Youth Empowerment Action of Franschhoek (YEA) is a well-established organization to support youth in the Franschhoek area.  The vision and hope for this pool is for the students at Franschhoek High School to all be competent swimmers before they graduate.  It is for the residents of Franschhoek to have a place to swim laps.  It is to have their children learn to swim.  It is to teach children from the surrounding township to swim.

The dream is to enclose this pool so that it can be a year round swim facility.  Franschhoek High School has enough students along with local residents children and surrounding area to build one of the strongest swim teams in South Africa.  This will not happen without an indoor year round facility and a great coach.  We hope over the next few years as children learn to swim and the facility is utilized that this dream may become a reality.
Already this pool has brought together residents of the area from all walks of life.  There are the generous gentlemen who did the initial refurbishing of the pool; there is the man from Groendal who does pool work who has given his expertise in keeping the pool clean and it’s chemistry on track, the local high school headmaster who has been open to this pool being utilized by the people outside the school, the social worker who is donating her time to keep the doors open for lap swim.
    The pool is ready for use and staffed.  The facility itself still needs work…. Brickwork, showers for locker rooms, heater, lane lines, pool covers.  However, in time the hope is that these things will be put in place.

The main objectives of YEA:
• To empower the children youth of Franschhoek Greater by facilitating their complete reintegration back into their families, schools and community as a whole.

• To empower the children and youth of the Franschhoek Greater by creating resources that will promote healthy, holistic development, thereby preventing at-risk behavior in our children and youth

We are beyond excited to be part of the beginning stages of what we believe to be an amazing project. We have been blessed with so much, and we look forward to giving back as much as we possible can. This would not be possible without first and foremost, God, He is the reason for everything we have. of course, the support of Jeff & Joan Smith of King's Swim Academy and our friends, family and even strangers.  I will be updating as often as possible from there, I'm not sure what our Internet access will be like, but I'm sure I will get some time :) we have access to wireless where we are staying, but not sure how much it costs and that. 

*That Kopo's visa will be approved ASAP and sent back in time for us to board the plane next sat!
*That we get the financial support needed to carry us through our time in SA. 
*For lives to be changed and students  to swim!!! And for us to teach people there to teach so the vision can continue without us there. 
*Safety for our flight there and while we are living there. 
*Clear direction for us while we are there and when planning our return home(namely, where we will live when we return)
*For our marriage to grow and be strengthened while we are away and for God to remain the center if not only our marriage, but our lives. 
*That we will be open to anything and everything God has for us, and we would obey.

All donations will be through the non-profit "New Day" no amount is too small, we are grateful for the people who have already asked how they can contribute.
If you would like to donate to our trip, it's a bit old school :) please make checks out to: New Day
Please send checks to: 938 Junipero Avenue, Redwood City CA 94061
If you could please include your name and address so we can better track donations. My sister will continue to collect donations after we leave.

*if you prefer to donate personally to us, please email us: You can also do it if you see me in person, or at King's Swim Academy, my last day of work is 1/31/13.

Thanks you!!