Sunday, April 30, 2006

Annual Mission Meeting, South Africa

Every year we have a meeting for all the m's in our cluster which includes Botswana, Zimbabwe, parts of South Africa, and Angola. It's a great time of fellowship, worship, renewal, training, and of course business. Our days were busy but we also had time in the evenings to just relax. I'm so thankful for the time to spend with others m's and to see how God is working all over Southern Africa.

Border crossing on the way to South Africa

Me and my good friend Shawna who's in the southern part of Botswana. Thanks, Lauren, for the new addition to my wardrobe!

We had a retirement party for my supervisor and his wife since they've been on the field for 26 years and will be leaving us in August. The festivties included several musical selections, a drama depicting them in the retirement home, and a farewell gift. Lots of laughs!

Paul and Sally enjoying the show

So there are now 10 journeygirls in our area, 8 in Botswana and 2 in the northern part of South Africa.

I got to hang out with some great Mk's when we weren't in meetings. Let me introduce you to some of them...
Hope and Thomas
Jayson and Nick

Charissa and Patrick

Elizabeth, Callie, and Emily Sarah, Sarah, and Megan

These two, Megan and Nick, are graduating this year and headed off to college. Megan is going to Scotland and Nick is going to Union, dearest Union.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Camping in "the bush"

My very first real full out camping trip! Sleeping on the ground, cooking over an open fire, no running water since the elephants came through looking for water and knocked everything over (before we got there not during our time there) was great! We spent the majority of the time riding around in camping chairs in the back of a double cab pick-up truck looking for animals and playing mexican train dominos, one of my new favorite games.

On our way into the park we saw these elephants playing in the water that you can't see

Paul had to beg and plead for a spot at this campsite. Thankfully they agreed

Setting up camp

Time to collect firewood...Stacie and Sally are attempting to brace Paul while making an effort not to look in the wrong place

A storm's a comin'. It rained both nights we were out there and we all know rain and camping aren't the most compatible. But it sure was beautiful to see the clouds coming in

This group of spring buck, part of the antelope family, didn't seem to care that they were blocking our route

Tough life

We stopped for a "family" photo in front of a giant baobab tree.

If you look really closely you can see the head of a male lion to the right of the giraffe. You probably can't see the female but she's right in between the back legs of the giraffe. These two lions were mating so they couldn't care less about the giant feast passing right in front of them

The zebra were absolutely everywhere and seemed to like posing for pictures

Here's a close up of the big fella. He was probably 75 feet from our truck

Guinea fowl seem to have the right of way

Paul and Sally's truck out of the blue made this aweful popping sound and smoke started to pour out from under the car. It ended up being just the air conditioner but it sure gave us a little scare. Getting stuck out in the bush is not my idea of fun.

Baine's Baobabs...these trees are absolutely huge! They're kind of in the middle of nowhere and they overlook the pans which you'll see in the following picture

These are the "pans"...the water is only ankle deep all the way out to the other side. But I love the reflection of the clouds on the water

I think my secret is safe with him

The infamous phani worm...most of the Batswana love eating these things. They go out and find them on a mophani tree, squeeze their guts out, dry them, and sell them by the bags. Mmmm, protein