Yesterday, afternoon after a straight 37 hours of traveling the Team touched down in Salt Lake City Utah. We have had a few very busy days of travel and used the time we had to squeeze in as much of Africa as we could with our limited window.
They have a saying TIA – It means Time in Africa – Time in Africa works differently than Time in America – it means that you have to be flexible and that somedays things will work and somedays they will not. Expectations, should you care to have this amazing experience, should be set to understand TIA and you will end up laughing instead of feeling frustrated about no internet and stuff really that we all take for granted, and just go with it.
So, I have some catching up to do, now that I am back in Wifi America:)
Sunday October 23rd.
We woke up early had a team breakfast and made our lunch, packed up and said our goodbyes to the the amazing staff at our Team Accommodations at Sunset Palms. Communal Living brought our team closer and allowed for bigger conversations to take place. We all greatly appreciated the staff and their efforts to make our team feel so comfortable at the end of each day our our journey.
We travelled with all of our belongings packed in the trailer to the CarePoint picking up the Bo’Make on the way. We arrived at the CarePoint to a few groups of Children waiting for us – we finished up our “Hand Print” Project and met with Pastor Jeffery – Pastor Jeffery is the Community Pastor and we were treated to go to his Church. Church is Swaziland is usually 5 hours. Comprised of singing, gospel time, and prayer time. Prayer time as we know it – it is not. Prayer time in Swaziland usually has a person airing their troubles to God, they scream, they cry, and thrash around…The Team is witness…I am a witness. There are REAL reasons for these screams – is authentic – it has a suffering component to it of devastation, loss, and as you listen, you understand even though it is not being said in a language – you understand. The person screaming is soothed back by the congregation singing. They sing softly at first and the singing grows louder and louder. It was moving. Pastor Jeffery spoke on Luke Chapter 15. Basic message was that if someone you know is really trying to turn their life around, don’t kick them back into the trench by judging – rather lift them up and help them to higher ground. Church was beautiful. The Team cleaned up the CarePoint and gathered the garbage up from the prior FunDay Fair, and tried to leave it better than how we found it.
We said our Goodbyes once again and loaded the bus. We had a 5 Hour Drive ahead to meet the Babbs, for a one day safari at Kruger National Park in South Africa, one day before leaving this beautiful country. The Team was quite in the bus today – lots of emotion and trying to come to terms with how for a week you meet and fall in love with this place, its people, the children, and the joy that is present even when so much is absent as we see from our perspective – learning from them as much as they are learning from us…
We crossed the boarder from Swaziland to South Africa, without incident and arrived at the wrong hotel (Lucky) an hour added to the journey, but (TIA) and while we figured out that we were at the wrong place, we were able to see a lot of animals -wild Hippos and Monkeys and Giraffes and Water Buffalo – a total bonus!
We arrived after the most amazing sunset from the road into a place called the River House – nice hotel that backs up to a river where all the animals graze. First good night of sleep in a while and even though the shower was still a cold shower it was nice. Interesting how perspectives change in such a small time…Gratefulness is a choice, an opportunity it feel it in such a raw way was priceless.
Monday October 24th
4;00am wake up – early bird gets the worm. Again an amazing sunrise and set – a day spent on Safari in Kruger National Park (4 times the size of Swaziland in size) is a unique experience. Our truck ate the dust of our teammates in front of us for most of the day – Josie had a bird fly into her neck while she was sleeping, work up not knowing what was going on and threw it on Lex – everyone broke the rules of stay in your seat and stay quite…still laughing – but seriously an amazing day of seeing God’s hand in creation. We saw Leopards, Rhinos, Water Buffalo, Lions, Herds of Elephants, Cool Birds, Bald Eagles, Giraffe, Boar, Wilde Beasts, and so so much more. Total transition from where we were the day prior, but it allowed for us to see and enjoy something while we were in this country so far from home and the memories from this day will last forever.
Most of the trip we all have prayed for rain – rain for Swaziland and rain for South Africa, river beds are dry, people are suffering the team was witness to the fact, that the drought is real. The last night before travel to airport large thunderstorm clouds grew, lightening came and then thunder and then the rain! I watched the rain come down in Africa!
Tuesday October 25
Arise 5:30am toy with running out to see the sunrise…body is tried, I chose to go out on my deck instead and watch the birds and the river with my coffee cup in hand. Open my door – it is so hot out and the sun isn’t up yet. Drink my coffee, and process a bit more, and it is time to get moving. We pack up and check the room for left behinds and go to breakfast with the team. We say our goodbyes to the Babb Family, they have been so amazing to us during our stay. The journey home begins – 5 hours in the car. Arrive Jo’burg around 2:00pm. Check in at 2:30pm. Have time for shopping or dinner Misty and I chose a window view for some appetizers and did some quick shopping and met the team at the gate at 5:45pm – Boarded for our first 10.5 hour flight to Paris. Landed in Paris (5 hour layover) had breakfast, put our feet up and used the wifi. Boarded to a very foggy day in Paris. Fog delays flight an hour – we are flexible – we see the snowcapped peaks in Greenland and time slowly winds down. 11.5 hours later. We are home, we clear customs and we get to see our loved ones waiting for us as we exit from this most amazing journey. Life does in fact require you to show up.
Thank you all for your love and support! May you all at some point decide to travel to Swaziland and serve this community – it is special and yes, it will change you, but with TIA or without TIA you will grow in ways you never imagined possible.
#capitalswazi #swazi16medical #givethanks #capitalchurch