by John Q. Student

AFRICA 2007

Our Africa Trip "Journal"

Information About Our Trip:

UPDATED August 7, 2007

SORRY, PICTURES WIIL BE LOADED ASAP-- SEE JOURNAL BELOW.

Our goal is to allow you to view some of our PICTURES (While traveling) of our upcoming trip by going to the enclosed link:   TBA


You can also view our daily journal by scrolling below:

 

July 16th -EUROPE

No text or image added.
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July 16th

July  16 (M)   Departure at 5:05 PM from Atlanta arriving in Amsterdam at 7:50 AM-July 17th

Monday, 7/16/07- The day is finally here.

For those of us in the Nashville area, we left home abut 5:15 AM so we could make the Atlanta connection. Others flew in from Florida, Knoxville and Kansas City. There was also a group driving in from Florida. We had made arrangements with the Eastpoint Church Of The Nazarene to meet at their church and leave our vehicles with them. Almost all of us made it at the appointed time. We took time to re-pack our luggage and make it to the airport. After meeting those who flew in, we check our bags (None OVERWEIGHT) headed for the gate.

The flight to Amsterdam left at 4:30 PM. It was a WONDERFUL flight. We enjoyed plenty of food, beverages and snacks. We had in-seat video screens, so we could enjoy our choice of movies, games, etc. We arrived in Amsterdam (Tuesday morning, July 17th) at 7:05 AM.

 

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July 17th

July  17 (Tu)  Departure at 10:15 am from Amsterdam arriving in Nairobi at 7:20 pm

 

Tuesday, July 17th. (Thanks, Frank Ruckman)

We arrived in Amsterdam on-time, so we had enough time to make it from one terminal to another and prepare for our next flight. We left Amsterdam, bound for Nairobi, Kenya at 9:30 AM. We have fewer choices of video, as this flight did not have individual screens. We DID enjoy food, hot towels, juice and more food. The flight attendants did a super job of working with us.

When we arrived in Nairobi, we first had to obtain our Kenya visas. Since we had already completed the paperwork, it was a little easier, but we DID have to spend a great deal of time in line. It seems like everyone was coming to Kenya. We also ran into some other groups who were doing Work & Witness projects. After obtaining our Visas, it took another long wait to make sure everyone’s luggage had arrived. WE HAD ALL OUR LUGGAGE. Even the Ten extra cases of sheets, reading glasses, vitamins books, computer parts, etc. Wow, we are already blessed.

As we picked up our luggage and headed for the exit (about 8:15), we spotted the ANU sign. The folks from Africa Nazarene University WERE THERE. They were beginning to wonder if WE had been stranded in another airport.

We then started our first journey out to the university. The forty-five minute ride was one for memories. We traveled on a four lane road (only at the airport),a two lane paved road, an almost one lane rock road, then a dirt road. I can honestly say that I have NEVER traveled on a more pot-holed roads in my life. We drove and drove, but finally we made it out to ANU. What a beautiful sight. We were welcomed with open arms and a very warm reception from the ANU staff. They had even prepared an evening snack for us. After a little talking and eating and planning our schedule for the next two days, we were assigned our rooms for this part of the trip. We had NO trouble going to sleep as we have now been up from 3:30 AM Monday, to 10:30 PM Tuesday. We still feel blessed, as we made this part of the flight with no lost luggage, lost passports, AND we have received our first Visa.

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July 18th

 July 18th (Thanks, Frank Ruckman)

During our late night briefing when we arrived last evening, we were told that we would be having an early breakfast in the “Karibu Cafe”and would be joined with the work and witness team from Annondale, Va. Church of the Nazarene. We also got to meet some of our Lifelong friends, Randy and Mary Jane James. The James” have just arrived to begin their missionary work here at ANU. Randy is the ANU Chaplain and will be ministering to the students and faculty. Mary Jane will also have some areas of responsibilities at a later date. This was an enjoyable event as we shared fellowship and food with the group. They have been working on the new Helstrom Center. This building will seat approximately three thousand when completed. We had a chance to tour the almost complete facilities and were amazed with the size and the diffferent functions that will take place in the building.

After breakfast, we were given a tour of the campus. We saw the work of many work and witness teams who had come before us, and the buildings that many of us had heard about through our church missions meetings.

Our campus tour ended in the office and board room of Professor Leah Marangu, Vice Chancellor of Africa Nazarene University. This took place in the Harmon Schmelzenbach building. We shared greetings and introductions of the senior officers of the university, as well as the dreams of the Vice Chancellor. We left feeling that Professor Marangu has been and WILL lead ANU to higher heights. ANU is composed of students of eighteen different countries who are coming together to press on for the kingdom. The spirit of the university staff, leadership and students left all of us in awe. God is certainly blessing the university. In 1998, the first graduating class had about twenty five students. In 2008, there were over one hundred graduates.

During this day, we also heard about a miracle that has taken place. The missionaries that were supposed to meet us at the airport, John and Margaret Scott, were involved in a “set up” accident. A man walked into the side of their vehicle and was struck. Three others came along to “help” with the situation. They reached into the vehicle, grabbed the missionaries' pocketbook containing her passport, money and other valuables. They took off and left the person who had been hit behind. He had very light injuries and did not require any medical attention, but left the missionary in a dilemma. She was supposed to take us out of the country in a couple of days. That would not be possible without the proper passport and visa papers. This is where the “miracle” occurred. Just last Sunday, the missionaries had met a fellow Nazarene who had just arrived at the US Embassy for a six months stint. He was able to meet the missionary the next morning and help her expedite the LONG process of replacing necessary travel papers. They were delivered the very next day. Who says there are NO miracles happening today?

We were given the “royal treatment” for lunch as the university staff had prepared a delicious “African”meal with so many choices. Some items on the menu looked familiar, some did NOT. However, EVERYTHING was delicious.

We have learned SO much about the university today, but one of our highlights was our late afternoon meeting with several of the universities outstanding students. We heard the most wonderful music come from the singing group, and were heard why many of the students had chosen ANU. They come from many different countries and ethnic groups. What is so amazing is their commitment to get a christian education and use that education to “make a difference” for their country. We left their meeting wiping tears and with a renewed effort to help them achieve their goals. We were so impressed with their public speaking skills, their knowledge of the mission of the university as it pertained to them, as well as their Christian testimonies.

Our very rushed day ended as we were joined by the Vice Chancellor and Dr. Marangu for a lovely dinner at the Clarmont-a very nice restaurant in downtown Nairobi. We got to “enjoy”(both going and coming), the very bumpy ride on the roads again. We arrived back on the campus of the university about 11:30 PM. WHAT A BLESSED DAY.

 

July 19th

July  19 (Th)  Visit Amboseli game park (drive to game park, stay overnight there) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amboseli_National_Park

 
July 19th.....On the way to Amboseli Game Park (Thanks, Frank Ruckman)

This morning we had to get an early start as we were heading for the Amboseli Game Park.  We started with an early devotion at 7:00 AM, led by Margaret Scott.  Our chorus for this morning was "How Majestic Is Your Name".  (Wow, we could almost pass for a church choir). After breakfast, we packed ALL THREE vans with luggage, and headed out. We have six in one van, and seven in the other two.  The vans could communicate via CB radio, so we were "on our way".  The road from ANU into Nairobi was the best we had all day (Remember how BAD we said that road was?).  The next 300 kilometers (about 200 miles) was some of the worst we have EVER been on.  Gravel, bumps, dirt, DEEP potholes, road "heaves"....how else could we describe it?  On our way, we saw Ostrich, Camels, many bird nests AND huge termite hills and small villages where the Maasi people lived. That made the ride sort of "worth the bumps and dust".

As we "rocked" along, the roads were SO rough that one of our van's batteries came loose and grounded out on the metal frame of the van.  Thus, the battery seemed to quit working properly and the engine DIED.  After a brief stop at about the Kenya/Tanzania border(by all three vans), we exchanged that battery with one from another of our vans and we took off again. Another van had their battery "inflicted" with the "bumps"near the entrance to the park, so we again, exchanged the bad battery. The two vans with the good batteries made it to the Park Lodge, while our "sick battery van" decided to stop.  Here we were, out of radio communication( dead battery) with the other vans, and no way to reach them.  Finally, some of the Park workers came by and we were able to call the Lodge to ask our group to send "help" to us.

With a "good" battery back in our van, we made it to the lodge in time to eat our late lunch (about 4:30 PM).  We had an afternoon Safari scheduled, so they did wait until we could eat.  The safari was "worth the wait", as we spotted a Lion, several Chetahs, a Hippo, and many other animals.  About 7:30, we arrived back at the lodge ready to eat our evening meal.  None of us had to be "coaxed" into bed.  Our rooms were SO nice, but we were SO tired, it did not make any difference.  Oh yes, as we made plans for the next day, for those interested, THERE WOULD BE A "DAYLIGHT/SUNRISE" Safari. NOT me, zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


 

July 20th

July  20 (F)      Departure at 8:30 pm from Nairobi arriving in Johannesburg at 11:50 pm

Friday, July 20, 2007 (Thanks, Lisa Terry)

This morning we woke in beautiful rooms at Ambosseli Park with hot showers, mosquito nets, and soft beds! On my way to the vans for the 6:30 am tour of the park, I passed two zebras about 15 meters from the walkway. Once we were in the vans, we were treated to a dawn viewing of hundreds of zebras and wildebeests mingling together on their winter migration from the Serengeti. The zebras camouflage created a perfectly disguised tangle of stripes. Gazelle, wild boars, and families of elephants (sporting the latest in bird-powered insect removal gear!): grazed, rolled in the dust, and bathed in the marshes mere meters from our vans. Mount Kilimanjaro hid her head in the clouds, leaving only her great purple-blue base below. I was struck again by the genius of God's creation.

This IS my Father's world!

After a lovely breakfast (with things we recognized like: omelets, pancakes, sausage, and baked beans) done Kenyan style, we were packed into the three vans for the long ride back to the Nairobi airport. As we bumped toward Nairobi (jarring so hard the skin on my feet was shaking:), we saw more of the Kenyan countryside. People sold bags of coal by the road, and there were termite mounds several feet high everywhere looking like little orange mountains. There were also several Masai people, many in red clothing and tons of beaded jewelry, herding goats and Brahma cattle (and tourists when you stopped within souvenir buying distance!). In my van, our driver Joseph successfully avoided all manner of things: giant holes in the road, reckless donkeys, and the cars who drove in a combination style best described as Nascar meets demolition derby! As Joseph, and dozens of other Kenyans have told us, “Hakuna Matata,” which means, “No Problem! God bless Joseph and the other two drivers, who all had to endure over 200 kilometers of roughly shaken hands on the wheels, not to mention blown out tires and battery wires that shook loose! God protected us through all the crazy roads, and we had no accidents, and no one harmed us in any way!

At a souvenir shop we stopped at on the way, we found beautiful carvings of giraffes, hippos, and elephants. After bargaining on those, jewelry, carved bowls, and cloth hangings, we went to wait for the vans. While we took group photos under giant flowering bushes, we sang “How Great Thou Art,” and the singing attracted a local woman who spoke to Mr. Al Griffin. She told him she was a Christian who had come to the Lord after she was sick for several days and went temporarily deaf. She prayed and God returned her hearing and she has been serving him since. She was very anxious to trade us for any Christian literature we might be willing to barter to her. Carolyn Brace gave her a beloved leather bound bible which the good sister deeply appreciated.

After getting to the Nairobi airport, we checked in, and waited for the extra baggage (containing sheets, glasses, baby clothes, etc.) that we had stored at ANU. We soon learned what shrink wrapping luggage was. We paid a few hundred shillings, approx. $6 US, to have giant Plastic wrap wound tightly around our luggage. This helped to ensure that the bags wouldn't be cut open and robbed. After checking the luggage, we sailed through passport check and on to a late lunch (about 6 pm) and some restrooms. Having found most bathrooms sort-of-similar to those in the US, I was startled to walk into a stall and find polished granite steps leading up to a hole in the floor with modern plumbing. Apparently, I had found a squatty potty (no name for it was given by the bathroom attendant). Bewildered and tickled, I tried to laugh quietly, but my breathing was so labored that Sharon Jones thought I was crying. I pulled myself together, etc, etc, and then took a picture (see it on the site)! We managed to find a shop that sold calls home. Kristin Aucoin and I both manged to find people at home. The quick connection was a breath of fresh air, and helped relieve anxiety since those of us with international phones have been unable to find anywhere that they would pick up (and many calls had been promised to family!). We also managed to find chocolate at the duty-free shops (woo hoo!), and then passed through the security check to our gate. 

The 8:30 pm flight boarded from steps on the tarmac around 9 pm. The Kenya
Airlines flight crew were kind, serving a meal (and Sprite and crackers to those of us who couldn't stomach curry or fish), showing a movie, and allowing use to try to sleep.

We arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa at about midnight (7 hours ahead of Nashville time).

After making it through passport check ( The Lord really came through for us by getting Mr. Lloyd Terry through without his shot record!), we finally rounded up our luggage. Then we said goodbye to missionaries Margaret and John Scott, and hello to Carol and Johnny Filmore who were kind enough to drive us for an hour in the middle of the night to the Good News Conference Center in Muldersdrift, Republic of South Africa {RSA} (just next door to Nazarene Theological College). We found comfortable beds (bunks and twins for the single ladies and men, and other accommodations for the couples), hot running water, and warm rooms (thanks to the asbestos heaters). A few minutes later, just after 3 am, we tucked ourselves into beds thankful to be resting and safe in South Africa. Lisa Terry

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July 21st

July  21 (S)    Stay at Good News Conference Center at Muldersdrift, Johannesburg
               (Food at GNCC for breakfast, shopping at Hartebeest Port Dam and visit Rhino Park)

Saturday, July 21, 2007 (Thanks, Jamie Sharpe)

The sun greeted us with a gentle embrace as we gathered in the courtyard of the Good News Conference center for our first morning in South Africa. Only three hours of sleep separated us from the long flights and jostling bus rides of Kenya, yet the smiles on each face were easily as warm as the morning's sunny glow.

As has become the custom, we began with prayer and a few hymns, then clamored into vehicles for a one-block drive to a breakfast of country ham and eggs, corn-flakes and creamy milk, and of course, the famous coffee and tea of which we have already become so fond. (As a side story, adjusting to the cultural differences has it's moments and this morning there were many sheepish smiles when some discovered that the lovely-looking jam in the bowl next to the toast was actually ketchup...)

The itinerary for the day was a brief shopping sprint into Hartbeespoort, lunch among the locals, and a meeting with Principal Mashangu Maluleka here at the Nazarene Theological College. So, after establishing group safety precautions (ie. only food 'baptized by fire' is safe for 'holy' consumption) we embarked upon our adventure for the day.

I could write pages about the glimpses we caught both in our drive to Hartbespoort (a town built around a dam and man-made lake) and in our experience bartering with the merchants there. I could describe the city-blocks of shanties that many natives still live in after being segregated into their own little colonies decades ago. I could talk about the myriad of salesmen (and women) who peddled their wares in various form and fashion. I could also list out the fun little sideline stories, including the one about the “holy” tangerines or the man who followed Frank for a city block carrying five-foot-tall giraffes carved in rosewood calling, “Sorry! You see giraffes?!? Sorry! You see giraffes?!?” (btw, The giraffes have been ADOPTED and are on their way to the USA.)

But though these are all good stories, stories that capture important aspects of the culture and ministry here, I want to fast-forward straight to our experience tonight with Mashangu and the students at NTC.

It would take far more time and space than I have to adequately capture the challenges that face a a man or woman called into ministry as a part of the Nazarene church here in South Africa. All the hardships in preparing for ministry students and families face in the US these students face - times ten! Although the per person tuition & costs are only $4,000 per annum, this is a people who may be lucky to make $300 a year! I imagine that there will be many a conversation that I will have when I return to the states concerning these needs an challenges, but I what I really want to write is this.

I walked into the chapel tonight to the sound of students on drums and guitars, singing and praising God as they waited late into the evening, in the chill of an unheated room, to speak with the Americans who had appeared in their midst. Immediately I knew that the Spirit was there with them. They didn't know us. They didn't know why we had come. But as we sat down they began to share their testimonies, even as the Principal had done earlier that evening, about how God had called them to preach the gospel.

And, almost suddenly, we were all testifying, encouraging one another, sharing stories, preaching, prophesying, singing together: “Where God leads, we will follow...”

People, God IS moving in Africa. I don't know what He may want to accomplish through me here, but there is so much opportunity and need! How can we turn our faces away from the good work God is doing here? I, for one, cannot! Ask me how you can help, too: sparrowband@hotmail.com. ~ Jamie




 

July 22nd

July  22 (Sun)  Stay at GNCC, visit NTC and Africa Regional Office (Food at GNCC for breakfast, attend chuch and eat at the Carnivore) CARNIVORE LINK: http://www.simonandbaker.com/carnivore.html

July 22nd.  (Thanks, Heather Bryant)

Greetings to you on the Lord’s Day!  Sunday was truly a day of the Lord for the EDU Foundation team.  As Sunday is a time for rest, time for reflection and worship to God, the EDU foundation found themselves doing just that! 

 As many prepared for church, many of the ladies opened up their suitcases to pull out their dresses or skirts for the first time.  As we all gathered together around the breakfast table at Nazarene Theological College in Muldersdrift, we were introduced to Hanukah.  Hanukah is the daughter of Rev. and Dr. Lockard (Chaplain and Academic Dean of NTC).  Hanukah is a few credits shy of graduating high school and she leads children’s church at Trinity Church of the Nazarene.  Trinity Church gathers together in the NTC chapel on Sunday mornings at 10 am.  A few members of our team decided to help Hanukah with children’s church as the rest of the team gathered for worship. 

 Worshiping at Trinity Church was a delightful experience.  There was a group of 60-75 students, local people, visitors, and missionaries who worshipped together.  One of the fascinating observations about this service was the variety of ethnicities that came together for worship.  In the Church of the Nazarene in South Africa many churches still find themselves separated into four types of church (Black, Colored, Indian and White Churches).   It was a joy to see that there is some reconciliation that is beginning to take place after the apartheid.

 “Look and Live” (Old Worship Hymnal # 199) was one of the titles of a hymn that was sung by the congregation.  This phrase was one that colored the rest of my day.  Our call as Christians is to really look around us at what God has created and to live abundantly into his promises.  There is a sense of responsibility placed on us to pay attention to the glory reflected around us in nature, in people and in the body of Christ, and yet, maybe more so, there is a responsibility to pay attention to the devastation that pervades the earth reflected in our decisions (poverty, hunger, malnutrition, corruption, AIDS).  Secondly it is to live into God’s promises both as we see the glory of the Lord and the devastation of the masses. 

 Sunday’s message was brought to us by a graduate of NTC who currently pastors in Durban, South Africa.  He spoke with great authority on the church and on the Holy Spirit.  He preached with power as he proclaimed that the Church can only be the church if it is empowered by the Holy Spirit.  It is with this promise that I think the EDU foundation was ready for their next two adventures for the day.  God goes with us to face new foods, new challenges, and new adventures for the Church of the Nazarene.

 Following church, we gathered together for a quick tour of NTC.  Included in this tour was the archives of the Church of the Nazarene in Africa we were able see the history of the early church in Africa come to life. 

 After being inspired, we loaded up the van to meet Rev. Chambo (the regional coordinator of education and discipleship) and his wife, Samantha and Dr. Duarte (Regional Director of Africa) at the Carnivore.  The Carnivore is a restaurant that serves game meat like crocodile, wildebeest, ostrich, kudu, gems bok (antelope), impala, lamb, and of course the usual, pork, chicken and beef.  For me this was an experience.  I am one who is known for not eating green things (like vegetables) and for not eating fine delicacies that I cannot identify.  With this said, the Carnivore did not meet these two criteria and therefore I had a number of friends who could not wait for me to try everything.  Again the phrase look and live came to mind.  So I did.  I tried everything.   It was a memory that I will not forget.

 Following the Carnivore, we once again loaded up the bus to go take a tour with Dr. Duarte and Rev. Chambo to the Africa regional Office.  There we spent a few hours discussing the challenges and adventures of extension education.  We soon discovered that there is only 1800 residential students and only 800 of those students preparing for ministry.  Further we discovered that there were more than 5,450 students who are enrolled in extension education.  After learning about extension education we met Sal the Regional Coordinator of Literature.  We toured their global literature facility and he told us they have publications printed in 42 languages and yet the last survey studied there were over 70 different languages where the gospel is preached in Nazarene Churches worshipping in Africa.  Further, Dr. Duarte told us that there was on average one church per day that is started in Africa.   What wonderful news!

There is much to be inspired by in the Church in Africa and yet there are so many challenges!  “Look and Live” came back to my mind as the Church in Africa seeks to look around them and see the hope of the gospel spread around the world and living as abundantly as possible with the scarce resources they have. 

July 23rd

July  23 (M)  Departure at 8:00 am from GNCC arriving in Manzini, Swaziland at 3:00 pm (early breakfast at GNCC, lunch at Ngwenya Glass and dinner at Nursing College

 Monday July 23, 2007 (Thanks, Mary Meighan)

An early cold departure from Johannesburg, followed  a continental breakfast.  It was a announced that we would be functioning on US timing.  This was done so that we would "leave" on time, so we could "arrive" at our destination ON TIME.  The road was great.  We made good time.  Our regret was leaving the wonderful hot shower and heater at the Good news Conference Center.  Our 6:00 AM departure found many bleared eyed souls.  Soon the beautiful scenery of mountains, cows, eland, goats, chickens, man planted pine forests scented our thoughts.  We passed a massive Buddest Temple. Ready for a break ,we made a quick pit stop at Ultra City, after a couple hours of being on the road.

 

We went through several towns and were attracted by the architecture of the the churches.  Arriving at the RSA / Swaziland boarder at 11:30 A.M., the process went efficiently. Back in the 15 seater white van and silver landrover off to Ngwenya Glass, where we were able to eat lunch and enjoy the beautiful blown glass items .  The changes noted in my 16 year interval from Africa: Johannesburg the incredible industrial growth and foreign investers.  The Transvaal now has tolls on the roads with heavy fees, well marked warnings to aid travelers.  The changes in Swaziland noted were increased private entrepreneur, craft sellers, rerouting of roads from Mbabane going toward Manzini.

 

We stopped for shopping in the many shops selling local crafts: wood, stone, sicel, cowhorn, and beautiful cloth mahiyas (swazi patterns of cloth).  Manzini mission station was our next stop.  Our goal was to arrive by 3:00 P.M.  We arrived ON TIME and proceeded to settle in one of the former mission homes occupied  by many previous physicians families.  I hesitate to name, not wanting to exclude anyone.  As we left our living quarters, we had to lock THREE DIFFERENT DOORS TO THE HOME, as well as chain lock the gate to the home.  

We then drove t
o the Nursing college where we met Sam Young , a churchman and business man well known in the area.  The Principal Winnie Nhlengethwa came to greet  and welcome us to Swaziland and the Nazarene Nursing College.She asked the chaplin to lead us in  prayer. She shared with the group some of the following facts: we have 250 nursing students, two programs diploma in general nursing
3 year course, midwifery 1 year following . We introduced our selves and those present from the college head of Midwifery department:  Lois Dlamini, and Catherine Sihlogonyane.  Dr. Winnie explained details of the administrative functioning of the college. She was asked: 

1. What have you accomplished that makes you are most satisfied.  Her reply: We have a committed team who are dedicated to our work.  We know we produce a student that we are proud of from the reports received from the community.  

2.  Secondly : What do you find most disappointing?  Answer When we have disharmony in the college.  Fortunately we are able to resolve the issues and come to a unified resolution.
 

After we enjoyed a meal provided by the College of Nursing,  we settled in for the evening.  We have a full day planned for tomorrow.  We will be touring the Nazarene Teacher Training College, the Nazarene College of Nursing and the Fitkin Hospital.  After lunch, we will be given a tour of the Nazarene Theological College. Please keep us in your prayers. 


 

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July 24th

July 24  (T)   Stay in Manzini and visit Nazarene Colleges of Nursing, Education and Theology (breakfast at accommodations, tour NCN and NCE, meeting with Consortium),drive to Siteki and visit Nazarene College of Theology, dinner with students/faculty and spend night).

Tuesday July 24, 2007  (THANKS, Shirley Caldwell, Sharon Jones and Kristin Aucoin)

We started the day with food we all recognized and ate – eggs, bacon, toast, cold cereal with pasteurized milk, Nescafe coffee (yes, we’re happy with instant), berry or orange juice and tea! We ate as table space was available since there are 20 of us in the house and two tables.  (It’s the Nazarene version of Big Brother). 

Before heading out for a full day, we sang together (we’ve gone on the road) and Johnny Filmore, our missionary/driver/fearless leader, read Isaiah 8 and we shared in prayer.

The whole group went to the first institution, Nazarene Teacher Training College (NTTC), which was established in 1936 and was the first in the country.  We toured the campus, met with the Principal and met several teachers and were impressed with the commitment of everyone involved. 

The science teacher, Job Kyamogi, enthusiastically shared his vision and testimony of his desire to impart the science knowledge as well as the mission of the church to the students.  He voiced his desire to send out “ambassadors”from NTTC into the world.  We were so impacted by his determination, we asked him if we could pray for him and we did in the “African way” – we pray in a group with hands on the teacher with one person praying for the group and everyone else praying out loud at the same time.

Next, we toured the Nazarene College ofr Nursing (NCN), which was started in 1929 when three women gardeners were recruited to help in an "amputation".  Currently, 250 students (Diploma in General Nursing) and 25 midwives are enrolled with plans to expand to a Bachelor's Degree program.  Currently, Dr. Winnie (Nursing College Director) has a new curriculum for a BSN program; she is wanting other nurses to read it and give comments.  If anyone is interested, she's e-mailing it to Sharon Jones (sharon.jones@vanderbilt.edu).

The NCN is GROWING, as a second floor is currently being constructed onto the Administration Building for classrooms and offices. They also have a nice amphitheater with capacity for 308 people.  However, the Learning Lab is the only section of the building not air-conditioned.  The lack of air-conditioning with many students surrounding an instructor and the practice bed, PLUS,the heat and humidity, make it hard to learn.

The NCN has graduated more than 4,000 nurses to date.  Many of the graduates are in high positions in the country, as well as the government. They average a 97 percent pass rate, with 100 percent pass rate on the Nursing Final Exams this past year.

Principal Winnie Nhlengethwa and Vice Principal Beauty Makhubela have Ph D's from Boston University.  Both women are on several different task forces for different aspects of education and are a "driving force" in their own right.

One of the biggest highlights of the trip came next when we toured the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital.  Our group brought baby clothes and blankets (about 240 lbs.) collected by children on the Tennessee District, as a "Children's Missionary Project". We had the honor of presenting all of it to the hospital personnel, doctors, nurses, Dr. Winnie, and several parents.  We gave each child there an outfit and blanket and we also gave some older children toys.  The hospital will use the rest for newborns, especially premature babies who stay for a while.  Families must bring their own sheets, blankets and food from home.  We then sang a couple of songs (we DID mention we are on the road) and prayed.

At lunch, we met Dr. Samuel Hynd, the son of another famous missionary doctor-Dr. David Hynd.  Dr. Samuel Hynd is now 84 years young and is STILL running an Aids clinic at the hospital farm.  Sister Mary runs the HIV and AIDS projects started through the church under the Evangelized Task Force.  HIV and AIDS is a HUGE destructive force in Africa, in and out of the church.  178 orphans are fed on the hospital farm at the present time.  Volunteers are being recruited and given a 12-week training period to provide quality care, support of caregivers, and evangelize.  THEY NEED VOLUNTEERS, MONEY FOR FOOD, AND TRAINING.

Dr. Winnie is a powerful force in leading NCN's challenge by directing the set of 17 satellite clinics for women and children's education and prevention of AIDS transmission.  Last year UNICEF awarded NCN a grant for $ 500,000, with an increase to $ 1,000,000 this year.

Pray for Dr. Winnie, as she is leading many initiatives, serving on many task forces, and is leading the faculty at NCN.

While the other 14 team members drove to Sitecki to visit the Nazarene College of Theology (NCT), (the third part of the proposed consortium/beginning university), the four nurses on the team were given a personal tour of the 350 bed hospital, led by, you guessed it, Dr. Winnie.

The maternity ward is booming.  24-30 babies are delivered EVERY 24 HOURS. The hospital looked and smelled much better than when Shirley Caldwell visited in 2005. BUT, the structure and furnishings need MUCH replacement and up keep (Hint-work/witness teams).

A Consortium among NCN,NTTC, and NTC is being developed and is planned for launch on October 22, 2007.  The consortium will work for 2 years, with the goal of uniting into one institution, called the Nazarene University of Swaziland.  Administrative departments will bve established as soon as possible.  They are searching for a Rector to be in charge of all 3 schools.

We left for "home" (all 20 of us in one big house), tired, but IMPRESSED. This was ALSO the time that we were able to "present" the needed 18 volt Drill Kit to John & Carol Fillmore.  This drill, made possible by a couple in the Gallatin Church of the Nazarene, will be used by a Missionary who is putting steel buildings together.  It was a GREAT priviledge to bring and present this drill to our missionaries on the mission field.

Group to Siteki (Thanks Sharron Shands)  We had lunch today at the Nazarene College of Education.  Our meal was the traditional "Swazi" meal.  They had prepared a FEAST.  We were joined by Dr. David Hynd.  We have certainly heard the "Hynd" name all our Nazarene lives.

After the meal, we traveled to Siteki.  This is about 50 miles from Mancini.  The college is located on top of Piggs Peak mountain.  While traveling, we had to dodge cows and donkeys as they woould be grazing in or near the road.  If they decided to cross, they went right ahead.  Near the college, we past the Nazarene Primary School, the Nazarene High School, and the Nazarene Pre-School.  The students were leaving school in their uniforms.  Next, we came upon the beautiful campus of Nazarene College of Theology.  The Principal, Collen <maganula met us and took us on a tour of the campus.  We also met Hugh and Evelyn Friberg.  She is the Librarian and he is the  Registrar. Hugh Friberg was imprisoned with Armond Doll back in the early 70´s when Mozambique was going through civil war and all the ministers were persecuted.  This was a time when Nazarenes had united in prayer of support for those that were imprisoned.  I remember that time well.  I found it a privilege to meet Hugh and his wife.  This campus looks great, but does have many needs.  They are in dire need of men and women with degrees to teach at the college.  Since the recent robberies, there is a GREAT need for a security fence around the campus.  Our drive back to Mancini was very fast paced.  Thank goodness the goats, cows and sheep had gone to bed.

July 25th

July  25 (W) Departure at 8:00 am from Siteki arriving in Maputo, Mozambique at 12 noon (early breakfast at NTC, Mozambique border crossing, lunch and supper at SNM) (tour of SNM facilities and an orientation regarding IBNAL)

 July 25, 2007 (thanks Paulette Whitten)

The morning started with an early 5:30 AM wakeup call in Manzini, Swaziland.  Some thought the wakeup cal would be at 8:00 AM.  Surprise. The vans were packed and ready to roll by 6:30 AM. Suprise again.  The van would not start. After a very LONG half-hour, the van was on the move to Sitiki for one last goodbye to the Frieburgs.
On to the Swazi border to check out of the country.  After 40 minutes, we were ready to check INTO Mozambique. The time was well spent as we got to enjoy a view of the Indian Ocean with Heather Bryant.  This was her first time to viw an ocean. She also got to stick her feet in the water.  We were all excited to share this moment with her. 
While we were there, all the group that had connections to Trevecca donned the TNU T-Shirts to make a "Where in the world were You?" picture for the TNU Alumni Office.  There were nine that shared that moment.

On to SNM for lunch.  The pre-school children sang wonderful songs in Portuguese for us.  They sang like angels. We were served a gracious meal of chicken that had been cooked over the open fire.  We were treated to wonderful music by the COOKS that cooked our food. Again, we appreciated hearing them sing.  However, our group, not to be outdone had been doing a little "practicing" of our own.  WE SANG TO THEM.  We then heard from the principal of the school.  He made us aware of MANY needs facing that school.  He also spoke positively of future plans for the school. We were each presented with a wood carving of the country of MOzambique.  We will cherish these forever, as they had been carved by one of the Bible School students.  Margarite Scott then shared with us about the extension program that she is directing.  Many, Many pastors are being trained throughout Africa by our Nazarene Extension program.

A tour of the campus followed.

After our evening meal, we had an opportunity to share some of the items we were able to provide from all the folks back home.  We presented several cases of vitamins, sheets and eyeglasses to the Fillmore’s.  These items are in short supply for the student pastors and other students.  The Fillmore’s mentioned one student who had to close a business so he could attend the College of Theology.  He also had to leave his family.  Because they knew his need for reading glasses, he was invited to meet with us.  We will NOT FORGET the look on his face when he tried on a pair of glasses.  HE CAN NOW READ THE BIBLE.  Wow, what a blessing.

 

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July 26th

July  26(F)   Departure at 8:00 a.m. from Mozambique arriving in Kruger National Park (view animals and spend night at Skukuza Camp)

http://www.krugerpark.co.za/Kruger_National_Park_Lodging_&_Camping_Guide-travel/skukuza-camp.html

July 26th (Thanks Frank Hallum)

The day began for us before daylight as we had to get up about 5:00 AM in order to meet the day’s departure schedule. Breakfast  was at the apartment of Johnny & Carol Fillmore at 5:45 AM.  It consisted of delicious baked oatmeal, coffee cake, “perked coffee”, and juice. Everything was VERY good and coffee was the first perked coffee we’ve had in 10 days. Luggage was loaded at 6:00 AM and we left the seminary at Maputo, Mozambique promptly at 6:30 AM, on our way to Kruger Game Park.

We reached the border of Mozambique and South Africa about 9:00 AM.  It took about 35 minutes for our group to be processed OUT of Mozambique and into South Africa.

It was only a few minutes later that we arrived at the entrance to Kruger National Park at crocodile bridge.  There was an intense”game to see who could spot the first animals.  Sylvia Ruckman spotted the first Impala and Jamie spotted the the first hippo in the river.  They won the ice cream from the Fillmores.  We were immediately greeted by a family of warthogs and several impalas.

After a brief stop inside the park where we purchased maps, as well as other items, we were on our way to see what the park had to offer.There were no shortage of animal life as we constantly telling our drivers (The Fillmores) to stop so we could take a picture of something. We saw elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes, wart hogs, Kudus, crocodiles, monkeys, baboons, as well as many beautiful birds.  After lunch at the Lower Sabie camp, we set out again for a full afternoon of searching for animals. We found many of the same types of animals but were always trying to find that “perfect”shot photo that was better than the one before.

Shortly before 5:00PM, we arrived at our planned destination for the evening.  We stayed at Sukudo Camp.  This camp is filled with accommodations filled with circular “huts” consisting of thatched roofs.  The accommodations were WONDERFUL as we all got to take hot, long showers.  We had air conditioning, hot water and clean beds and we could even “drink the water.  What more could we ask for?” After checking in to our huts, we took those hot showers, then enjoyed a buffet “ fit for a king”.

Well, it we\as a very long, but exciting and fun filled day and we all looked forward to a good night’s sleep.  We will be ready for that 6:00 AM sunrise ride to see MORE animals.  WHAT A DAY GOD ALLOWED US TO ENJOY.

July 27th

July 27th (Thanks, Al Griffin) Kruger National Park

The day started EARLY for those hardy souls that wanted to take an early ride to see the animals at sunrise. John Fillmore and four others left at 6:00 AM and they were rewarded for their efforts. They saw eight Rhinos, 20 to 30 elephants (some with babies) and about 30 Duikers.
They were back for breakfast about 8:15 to join the "sleepers" of the group. Bags were packed in the trailer and vehicles, then we had an opportunity to SHOP in the gift shop from 9 until 10:00 AM.
We left Skukuza Camp about 10:15 after Al Griffin led the group in prayer.  We are also very thankful that there has been very little sickness among the team members.
During our day Safari, animals of several species were observed.  Those included elephants, crocodile, lots of Impalas (they were EVERYWHERE), Monitor Lizards (which are very rare), Kudos, Wild3ebeasts, Water Bucks, Zebras, Bush Bucks and HUGE Termite mounds.ie. About 20 feet wide and six to eight feet tall.  We saw many controlled burn areas that removes the old grass and undergrowth.  This allows new growth to appear.  This is supposed to be helpful to the animals by improving feeding areas.However, smoke filled the air for miles.  
A stop was made at Silolweni Dam and we observed Hippos, Elephants, Giraffs, Saddlebuck storks and crocodiles.
We took a bathroom and rest break about 12:20 PM at Schokwane Rest Area. It had some shade tables and rest rooms.  We were on the road again by about 1 PM.
During our travel time, we observed a LARGE Baobot tree.  It is supposed to be the LARGEST succulent plant in the world.
At 2:30 PM, we stopped for a light lunch of chips, Bars, Fruit, Peanuts and drinks.  That stop was at the Satara Camp. After a short rest, it was "on the road", again.
We were heading north through the park and we began to see many more animals.  A Kori Bustard, the largest flighted bird in Africa was enjoyed by all.  We saw Zebras, Ostrich, Steenbok (sort of like an Antelope), Hyena, Secretary bird, elephants and others.
At the Oliphant River, there were many elephants feeding.  The word Oliphant, means Eliphant.

After quite a rewarding day in Kruger, National Park, we spent the night at the Oliphant Lodge.

Unloading luggage sometimes is an interestintg challenge as it was today, but all is well, and we thank the Lord for another safe and interesting day.  We had dinner in the lodge cafeteria all TIRED travelers retired for the night.
We will enjoy another interesting ride tomorrow for those wanting to have an early wake up call.
              

July 28th

July  28 (S)  Kruger National Park (view animals and spend night at Forever Yours-Swadini Resort)

Saturday, July 28, 2007  (Thanks, Heather Bryant)
Greetings to you!  We are on our second full day of Safari at Kruger Resort.  Some of us woke up very early to the sounds of birds chirping and grand ambitions of catching a leopard eating a morning snack or a herd of rhinos marching to a watering hole.  Instead, our sleepy eyed travelers met 300 baby and adult water buffalo crossing the street.  What a sight!  

By 8:30 am most of us ordered breakfast.  This time a few of us tried a random species of French Toast that called for grated cheese.  It was tasty.  Once again with our bags packed, we loaded up the trailer and off we went to catch a glimpse of our last animal of the big Five!  The Leopard.  Hours of traveling, cameras ready, doors locked, we peered over the dusty hills to find more elephants, giraffes, and baboons.  We arrived back at our favorite lunch resort and ordered the daily special, steak sandwiches, or German sausages.  Yes, you read German sausages.  Ask grandma Shirely about her fine German sausage!  Following lunch we decided to look around us and as we did we found new forms of bird life!  We discovered a little owl sleeping in a tree.  He was too cute.  Only about six inches tall, he was nestled in a tree, ignoring the bustling tourists on their way to see their leopard!  After a few quick camera shots, we climbed in the van and headed to Swadini Resort.  

Again always looking for our leopard, miles and miles we drove or should I say kilometers and kilometers we drove and no sign of wild life!  Until…we discovered vultures! There were about ten of them, patiently waiting in a tree.  John Fillmore suggested, “This can only mean one thing!  There has been a kill!”  Leopard we thought!  Only slightly disappointed, we discovered it was a lioness eating a water buffalo!  We were educated about African Wildlife.  Usually a lioness kills its prey, eats her fill and leaves the carcass.   Vultures patiently wait to slurp up the remains to where only bones are left!  Then the hyenas come!  They finish off what the lions started.  We also found out more about hyenas than we probably wanted to know.  Once leaving Kruger Park, we saw a white pile of poop!  Hyennas has been here!  Because they eat bones, their leftovers turn out white!  With a brief lesson on African wildlife, we left Kruger, without spotting a leopard, but on our way to our resort we discovered a white rhino on the side of the road!  He was huge!  Only a few of us had a glimpse of a rhino a day earlier.  This was a great consolation prize!  

We arrived at Swadini resort to find exquisite chateaus and ate a lovely dinner.  We soon discovered that some of the chefs possibly came from our Nazarene Technical School in Arthurseat.  This was a great introduction to our journey for tomorrow!  

At Swadini Resort there were some of us who discovered a small grocery store!  The young members of the EDU foundation decided to pick up a few South African delicacies!  Did someone say peanut butter and banana sandwiches and cocoa!?!  After a long day of safari, some discovered their comfort foods for dessert!  Following dinner the EDU Team decided to meet in the Fillmore’s chateau for a brief meeting and time of reflection.  This allowed the 20 of us to sit together and reflect on our time at each school, country and safari trip.  This was a sweet time as we were able to hear from everyone in the group about the changes they had seen in themselves, the gratitude shared by most as we continue to be in awe at the way this group was brought together.  Some of us are retired bankers, nurses, school teachers, social workers, missionaries, and theology students.   What a random, but perfect mix!  We were very grateful to see what God was doing in each part of Africa, thankful for each person on the trip, and appreciated the help of all of our missionary guides.  

To conclude a perfect evening, some went straight to bed while the young members stayed up for a little hot chocolate, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and a round of Skip Bo. 

July 29th

July  29 (Sun) (Thanks, Sylvia Ruckman) Departure at 7:00 am from Forever Yours-Swadeni Resorts.  We ate breakfast at a beautiful buffet at the resort.  We were able to sing Happy Birthday to Al and gave him his birthday card.  We rode into the Blyde Mountains or Drakenbury Mountains.  The rock formations and mountains were simply beautiful.

We rode on to the Arthurseat Technical College on Bushbuck Ridge.  We toured the building and then went to Thembi Mogorosi’s home for tea and cake.  An important prayer request was Thembi’s job in Johannesburg.  Her husband is already there managing the Good News Conference Center and she needs to join him as soon as possible.  We were able to ask questions about the school and gained an understanding about what was going on at the school.  The courses taken at the school usually last 3 semesters and cost 2000 rand or $308 per semester.  The school is considered cheap and affordable in the area.  Students often pay with grand parents money because their parents have died of AIDS.  The government helps pay some of the faculty but the problem with that is that the government can move those faculty members to the government schools at any time.  A very important need of this facility is a library.  They have NO library.  Another problem is that to be a registered school with the government requires that the school be able to provide retirement among other things and the financing is just not there.   The outlook for the school is rather bleak if it does not get registered with the government.

We were told that the church had laid a good foundation in this area.  Even the hymns sung in the community are Nazarene hymns.
 Dr. Orval Jenkins visited Africa in the 80’s and he said that Africa was a subsidized society.  Salaries are so small the tithe is not enough requiring a subsidized society.   People graduate with good high degrees but unemployment is high because there are no jobs.

 We traveled on, stopping for an occasional break to stretch our legs.  We stopped to buy macadamia nuts and pecans.  We snacked on these as we rode along.

We arrived at the Good News Conference Center about 7 pm.  Johnny unloaded the trailer once again.  We were assigned our rooms and went to the conference center for an African pizza supper.  The pizza was different from US pizza but very good.

After one last trip to the computer center to get our curios that had been left there when we had headed north and we were ready to call it a day.

July 30th

July  30 (M) Departure at 10:20 am from Johannesburg arriving in Lilongwe, Malawi at 12:45 pm
                 (breakfast at GNCC and departure for airport at 6:30 am)  Late lunch at Nazarene Theological College of Central Africa and tour of college. (Accommodations arranged by NTCCA at Kaku Lodge)


July 30th .....Malawi "The Warm Heart Of Africa" (Thanks, Paul & Carolyn Brace)
5:30 AM AM J'burg--A new day dawned and our tired travelers pickup, eat a quick breakfast and head for the Johnnesburg Airport.  Little did we realize that the Johnnesburg working class were already on the road in full force as we got stuck in unbelievable traffic.  Our troops began to fear that we would not make our 10:30 flight.  We DID need to check in 2-3 hours early as we were leaving South Africa, bound for Malawi. One of us prayed for God to make a way, then we began to sing choruses, hymns and quote scripture.  The stress ebbed away as we refocused our hearts and minds on worship.  We made it to the airport in plenty of time to check in.  Thank you, LORD.

9:30 AM--We boarded the plane to Malawi and safely arrived by 1:00 PM. Our Missionary friends, John and Margaret Scott were there to meet us,along with Cosmos Mutowa and Gary Sidle.

We had our first luggage mishap of the trip.  Lisa Terry's backpack did NOT arrive with us. It contained the all important "medical kit", her journal notes,and her prescriptions. Even with those losses, thank goodness nothing else (passport, other papers, gifts) were in it. She had to file a claim and we pray that it will be returned to her via postal mail.

3:30 PM A twenty minute ride to NTCCA....hurrah.  This was the shortest airport ride between the aiport and our landing destination that we had the WHOLE trip. Since we were already behind schedule, we quickly toured the campus.  It embodies a dining room, dormatories for male, female, female, and married students, classrooms, chapel, Library (currently being built), a community medical clinic, a vegetable garden and banana grove.

The faculty offers education for primary and secondary schooling, as well as Theological training. There are close to 500 students enrolled in the Diploma Program and 45 in the Theology Certificate  program.  About 150 students reside on campus, while others come from nearby communities.  NTCCA primarily represents 3 countries-Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In addition to classes being offered on this campus, there are approximately 500 students enrolled in Extension Education courses in 47 centers in the above 3 countries.

The Scott's and NTCCA staff shared their vision for the future of the school There are SO much needed to be accomplished for the school to achieve "Excellance" status in their vision.  Computerization is a MUST. Staff cohesiveness and vision planning is also essential.

We also had discussion regarding the AIDS/HIV epidemic in Central Africa.....What are Nazarene's doing to meet the challenge.

After a time of questions and answers, we headed for our lodging, then to supper at a local Lebanese Cuisine Resturant. The food was delicious as was the fellowship with our NTCCA hosts.

We adjurned to our rooms after another briefing of our last day intinerary and a "homework assignment" given by the Scotts.  Our group had discussed A way that we could help them with an "immediate need".  There is a need for a Board of Trustees/Staff Inservice meeting.  We pledged to "underwrite" that needed workshop. We also gave a "Love Offering" to our leaders.

On to bed, as our last night in Africa, and an EARLY wake-up call would find us catching ANOTHER plane, bound for USA.

 


 

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July 31

July 31 (Thanks, Sylvia Ruckman) (Tu) Departure at 1:20 PM Kenya Airways Flight 424 from Lilongwe arriving in Nairobi at 4:25 PM (stay in transit) (breakfast, and departure for airport at 10:00 am) (remain in transit at Nairobi International Airport for lunch and shopping)Departure at 10:15 PM KLM Flight # 566 from Nairobi arriving in Amsterdam at 5:30 AM on Aug. 1

July 31, 2007
We got up early at 6AM in Malawi.  No electricity!  When Frank went to check on the electricity he found that meant that the part of the city we were staying was without power, not just our building.  We showered with the help of a glass pouring water to rinse off the soap.  We packed and then went to breakfast.
 
We had filled out a paper the evening before to order our breakfast.  Breakfast was cooked on a gas stove.   It seemed that one order was prepared at a time.  The meal made us long for Cracker Barrel.  The cooked potatoes were icy cold.  Sharron Shands and I ate with an African woman who was staying at the Resort.  She was in Malawi working on a project but plans to move to a nicer resort on August 8th.  She did not eat her breakfast.  She said the resort she was moving to was MUCH nicer and more beautiful.  The landscaping and flowers were beautiful where we stayed.  I took several pictures.
 
We returned to our rooms to finish packing as this was the final packing as we were heading home.  We brought the suitcases down for the last time to be loaded into the trailer.  The suitcases have gotten heavier and heavier as the trip has progressed but this is it.  The homeward journey is approaching.
 
We went to the conference room, to meet with our missionaries, Jon and Margaret Scott.  After serving the church in several other countries, they came to Africa in May of 2000.  Margaret explained that you had to have an understanding of the people in Malawi.  She told us that nothing was important to the Malawi people unless it was important to someone they knew.  She also said that the people they worked with were not task oriented but relationship oriented.  She referred to the reasons why Jon had been made principal of NTCCA.
 
The missionary, Gary Sidle, gave us an update about his responsibilities.  He told us that the Books for Pastors are sitting in the US because of the lack of postage.  There are 482 books at 4 pounds each.  This is something that needs to be addressed if anyone knows of a crate that could be used.
 
Jon and Margaret Scott, and Gary Sidle helped us get to the Kamuzic International Airport and stayed there until it was time to leave.  (On the way to the airport we saw a truck with the words Logistics Transports and realized those were the big trucks that carried people on them.)  After hugs and tears and paying a $30 departure fee to leave the country, we left them.  They are dynamic people and are totally involved in God’s work.  I feel that I am a better person for having known them.
 
To get to the boarding gate was quite a process.  The departure fee-$30- was paid, our passports were checked, boarding pass with the departure stamp was checked, we then had to get an immigration stamp, and then were able to proceed to the waiting room.  A lady quietly came around and told us the Nairobi flight was loading.  We went down a long ramp, passed through the security  screening machine, then were patted down, and our carry-ons and pocketbooks were searched.  Then on to the next holding area we went.
 
A sign in the second holding area said, “Please Identify Luggage Before Boarding Aircraft.”  I suppose it did not mean anything because after our luggage was checked when we got our boarding passes we never saw it again until we got to Atlanta.  We went directly to the plane by way of a bus and a flight of stairs.
 
Air travel is interesting—it is hurry, hurry to get on the plane and then sit and sit waiting for it to go somewhere.  As soon as we were off the ground we received a warm cloth to help us freshen up.   A meal of little round chicken balls was served.  This was the first time I have ever seen little round balls of chicken that looked like salmon patties.
 
By the time we could finish eating, the flight attendants were picking up the dishes and preparing for landing.  We landed in Nairobi, Kenya after a short 2 hour flight.
 
The wait in the Nairobi Airport was LONG.  We went to the lounge but it was packed.  The man at the lounge took us to another placer.  The waiter there told us we were in a restaurant and we had to order something but we told him the restaurant manager said we could stay there.
 
I had dropped my walking canes in Malawi breaking one so Frank went shopping and replaced it.  The lady in the shop packed my old ones and the new walking canes in bubble wrap for better travel.
 
After our 5 hour layover, we were ready to board our plane for Amsterdam.  We had about a one hour wait aboard the plane before we were actually off to Amsterdam.  We were served a meal of beef something,  The salad appeared to have raw fish in it.  I removed the fishy substance and ate part of my salad.  I went to sleep only to wake up terribly sick.  My meal apparently did not agree with my digestive system.  After my sick spell I had the flight attendant bring me a Sprite.  We were served breakfast- egg, sausage, baked tomato, potatoes, a roll, jelly, and yogurt.  I ate what I could.  We soon were ready to land in Amsterdam as the "dawn" of August 1 arrived.


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Aug 1st

Aug. 1(W) Departure at 10:20 am from Amsterdam arriving in Atlanta at 1:50 pm

 August 1, Wednesday (Thanks Sylvia Ruckman)
We disembarked from the plane.  As soon as we were all assembled we sang "Happy Birthday" to Lloyd Terry and gave him his birthday card.  I think it was the first birthday he had ever celebrated in Amsterdam, Netherlands (ha).
 
It was then onward, forward to the next departure gate.  We stopped and got the last of our gifts for family members.  Then it was the nice long hike to gate D43.  We had about a 4 hour wait there,  These long layovers seem excessive but Johnny Fillmore said that’s the way they go home—it’s just to be expected on the way to the US.
 
We had the usual wait aboard the plane waiting to take off.  The plane was another exciting one.  We each had our own TV and a selection of movies we could choose to watch.  That certainly made the time go more quickly.  The flight attendants were very attentive and after dozing throughout the flight we were arriving in Atlanta.  We went through customs, got our luggage off the belt, went through immigrations, returned our luggage to the belt for a security check, and then finally getting our luggage off the belt for the final time.  Everyone got their luggage but Carolyn and Paul Brace.  Their luggage with their souvenirs did not appear.  (On a brighter note- They have now notified us that it did eventually turn up and was delivered to them.)
 
When we arrived in Atlanta, some were having to rush to catch adjoining flights, so it was impossible to tell everyone goodbye and how much the trip had meant to me.  I feel that each of the travelers are now part of our family.  It is always rather sad for trips to come to a close because we know we will never be with these friends again in a similar situation.  This was certainly the best group we have ever traveled with.  I will always treasure the memories!!!
 

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