Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

The Reality

Monday, September 5th, 2016

I sweat in places I never knew I had! Carrying 15 pounds on your back is uncomfortable and then you add a couple bottles of water. Washing yourself and clothes in the shower and hoping they dry by morning as they are strung all around the room is a test of faith. Chopping all your hair off and forgoing make up eliminates all vanity almost as much as wearing form-fitting wicking clothes and then binding yourself with all the straps giving you a Michellin Man appearance.

Dawn doesn’t come until 7:45 but you’ve been walking for almost two hours with 100 people who want to pass you. You climb a mountain only to turn and see 2 more ahead. You see other pilgrims stop for a break but you push on because you’re slower and there won’t be enough beds at the hostel if you lag. And at first you try to avoid the sheep poop but after doing a jig all over the countryside you just give up. That’s why you leave your boots at the door!

But having conversations with others about faith and their country of origin (Finland and South Africa the farthest so far) gets deep. Talking with Rolph, with terminal cancer, who is trying to get right with God and sharing your faith and cancer travels . Getting your first bedbug bites and considering them your badge of courage. Praying all the time, mostly for those back home and taking time to listen to answers, but also for that cramp or stiff back and waking new every morning.

It’s a trip of gratitude, testing, and like a praying friend said “with perseverance, even the snail made it to the ark!”

And it’s only been a week.


Out Of Africa

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Brenda and Perry Jansen

This summation is probably for my benefit as I reflect on the incredible experience Steve and I had In Malawi and South Africa.  Safari’s are not glamorous but folk who dedicate their lives to helping others are rock stars! They are the people who captured my heart on this God-led journey.

Dr. Perry Jansen: visionary, doctor,awesome guitarist, expert in AIDS and tropical diseases, Man of God, Caring father, colleague to many, and funny.

Brenda: devoted Mom and helpmate, tender and focused heart, hostess, musical,anchor.

Nate: bright student, college bound, passionate worship leader, great guitarist, kind big brother, huge potential.

Jansen Family

Erin: emerging woman, playful kid, good writer, great big sister, sweet tooth.

Olivia: small voice, big smile, large heart, pixie, chocolate bundle of joy and delight.

Blessing: phenomenal natural talent, dependable, quiet, polite, appreciative. Bird painter extraordinaire.

Donald:  supportive friend, gracious, focused ladder climber.

Anna, Miriam, Joseph, Lester, Ida, Lucy, Octavius, Grant, John Hamilton, John Fielder, Cory, Elizabeth, Stalkers, Colleen, Maxwell, Agnes, the kids of Takambe, nurses in frilly caps, Blue-gingham girls, the 4:30 ambulance pile-in, Chijenzes, ironed shirts, short ties, and the miracles God brought about to pass every single day.

Blessing and Donald

Things I wont miss:  Goats, potholes, crumbling roads, cold showers, bicycles, smoke, power outages, no internet, pushy vendors, extreme poverty, flying for 26 hours, converting kwatcha$, nsima.

Things I did miss or will miss:  Family at home, new friends in  Malawi, wine, big salads, servants, the warmth of the people, power outages (hey candlelight is nice) the African worship, people with passion, childrens’  faces, visiting, tv-less, early nights, early mornings, MASH episodes.

Dick and Charlotte Day

In Zomba we now have fond memories of Moira and Steve Chimombo, Dick and Charlotte Day, Windeson’s cooking, Winston, Ben, Jean,Irene, Isabel,Catherine, Faith the villages of Simyoni, Kawiya,  Makundula, the Mponda School and Zomba Central Hospital.

And we took the love of wonderful folk who donated panties, time, baby caps, pencils, quilts, stencils and funds to make it all happen,  and PRAYER and those who offered it up that kept us safe and healthy!! and a husband who shared a passion and humbly served others. Love him even more.

Thank you Editor, you keep me grounded and connected.

What a journey!


Kruger, South Africa

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

We made it to the Blantyre Airport for the twice a week plane to Jo’berg.  It’s quite an event when the plane touches down, refuels and heads back to Johannesburg.

A two hour flight, one way cost us each $595. But no competition will do that.  We are Safari bound.

We are picked up at the airport by Len and Esta, our guides.  For the next 4 days we will be together as they drive, cook and escort us through Kruger park.  A 6 hour drive just to get to the park.

Here come the animals.

Mongoose Play In The Front Yard

Friday, September 24th, 2010

I am really scurrying. All of this internet work is going on our guides’ phone bill, so this is all for now.  After 9 hours in the car driving all over Kruger Park (its’ huge) I had had it for the day.  But the other three have gone out to look for some lions reported to be in the area.  The gates to our camp site close a 6 so they will be back soon.  I even uploaded a few pictures, so you should see those in the Photos page soon.  I am going out to watch the sun go down and the mongoose play in the front yard.  love ya, over and out for today.

Scenery Like Victorville

Friday, September 24th, 2010

2nd day of Safari…102 degrees, scenery like Victorville, our husband and wife guides with us 24/7. I vote Wild Animal Park. Steve enjoying KC’s camera..Eager to post animal pictures.

Travel To Kruger

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Leaving Zomba for a 2 hour drive and 2 hour flight to Jo’berg and a 6 hour drive to Kruger for a 4 day Safari.  Pray for travel mercies in this crazy country! It will be a long day 🙂

Funny Money

Monday, September 13th, 2010

The  unit of currency is the  Kwacha where the South African currency is the Rand.   There is no money-cooperation in Africa like the Euro.

It takes 500 kwacha to make about $3,  so the  money belt is FULL just to carry $100 US dollars.  The tax rate is 16.5% on purchases and an extra 5% if you  use a credit card…if they even let you .  We could only use it once.

So we go to the ATM and then to a currency exchange to convert it all to Kwacha, and pay whatever fees that entails. It is pretty, though.  Oh, and if your payment is close to the total due, you aren’t getting the change…

Sooooo Far To Come

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Well, here we are on the other side of the world!

Steve and I boarded an “Airbus’ in D.C. (it’s as big as a football field) for the flight to Johannesburg, South Africa via Dakar, Senegal for gas.  In Dakar, before taking off again, the stewardesses run down the aisles  with bug spray above their heads, spraying the inside of the plane and us occupants with insecticide saying: “please cover your mouths and close your eyes.”

After 20 hours, several airplane meals, and NO sleep, we arrived in Jo’berg for an overnight before the last leg to Lilongwe, Malawi and another 2 hours of flying. But we’re here, and our friends Brenda and Perry and their lovely family have opened their hearts and home to us. What fun getting to know them all over again.

Tomorrow, we check out the tasks ahead.  THANK YOU for all your prayers , they keep us uplifted!

Soooooo Long A Flight

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

We are in Johannesburg for an overnight and then 3 more hours of flying tomorrow to get to Lilongwe and finally see familiar faces.

It is just such a brutal flight…especially if the tv in your seat doesn’t work.  I am glad we don’t turn around and leave in a week.   We see lots of soccer signs.  Sending you all hugs.