Wednesday, 12 March 2014

South Africa Continued...

     It's been a busy week for us here in South Africa. We spent the weekend resting up and recuperating from our long travels. On Sunday morning we traveled to a church; the team was excited to hear and see how the African people worshiped. we knew it would be amazing. What we imagined was completely incorrect -- it was a small and cluttered schoolroom and the congregation was mainly made up of children. It was so humbling to be around people with so little resources, yet they still worshiped like they were the most blessed people in the world. Our team sang some praise songs for them and then they took a turn.

      The rest of the day was spent by pool... it's definitely everyone's favorite thing to do here. The weather has either been very hot or raining. For Mr.VandenBoogard, this is his first trip with more than one day of rain, but we are enjoying ourselves regardless!

       Monday was our first day at the school, Theocentric. It was raining when we arrived and so we had to wait to meet all of the students. We taught our bible story and craft, gave a mini-lesson about Canada and made new relationships with the staff and students.

     Each day at the school, we are overwhelmed by the amount of students who just want to be as close to us as possible -- we are getting trampled and bombarded, but we really don't mind. We also led the children in games and sports, and this morning (Wednesday) we were invited to attend their morning devotions which consisted of singing and dancing for God. The countryside here is beautiful, the people here are welcoming, and we are truly blessed as a team.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Travel Days: Canada to South Africa

After we said our goodbyes to our families on Wednesday, we left Grimsby for the Toronto airport. Our flight to Paris was smooth and we landed in Paris at about 8 AM Paris time (2 AM Canada time).

Once we grabbed our metro passes, we were well on our way into the city of Paris.

We went to the Louvre, toured around and saw the Mona Lisa. After this we walked to the famous "lock bridge" where millions of couples in love have locked up their love and tossed the keys into the Seine River.

We made our way to the Eiffel Tower and on our way, we walked through a market where we ate lunch. We could not have asked for better weather to be walking through the beautiful city of Paris: some of us even got burnt! Then we arrived at the Eiffel and worked up a sweat making our way up to the second platform of the tower. It was a beautiful view and pictures are to follow shortly.

Our last stop was the L'arc de Triomphe. We made our way back to the airport and freshened up before our long flight to Africa.

For most of the team, this flight was the first time we got to sleep in about 36 hours, and we were very grateful to safely land in Africa and to have real food rather than the food offered on the plane! All of us were relieved to have our luggage arrive and then we packed the vans up and were off for another long, 5-hour drive to the cottages.

The drive was beautiful and warm. We were amazed at the beautiful landscape of Africa. We made one stop for food and continued to the cottages. Being cramped up in the hot vans offered a perfect team bonding time; we are all getting pretty close with each other!

We finally got to the cottages and were relieved to have an abundance of delicious food and a warm welcome from our very friendly host, Thea. While some of us relaxed by the pool, others relaxed with games of poker or chatting with the team. We were able to settle into our cottages and for the first time we were all very happy to shower after about about 72 hours of long hot travelling.

This morning we were all able to sleep well into the morning and while waiting for our "brunch" we decided to update the families at home! We are all really looking forward to the week to come and are anticipating a great time here.

Pictures are to follow this blog as soon as we can and our next update should come throughout the middle of the week!

 - From the Africa Team 2014!

Saying farewell at school.

Saying good-bye in Grimsby.