Where I am

GPS tracking powered by InstaMapper.com

10 days ago

* before anything, know that I'm not one of those people who goes on a 'mission trip' and gets all attached and emotional about 'the babies' or anything like that... not my style.

Anyways, 10 days ago I was worried about Peacemaker (sweet name), James and Bright. For whatever reasons, they've been orphaned and now live on the streets of Vic Falls, Zimbabwe.

(Peacemaker, left. Bright, right. James, top.)

You might be aware that Zimbabwe is in a huge economic crisis. If you weren't, now you are. People there can't afford to buy anything... and because they, like so many other countries, have become dependent on commercial farming/food production... they don't know how to farm on their own.

That being said, about 10 days ago I was fully consumed with thoughts of how I, we, humanity, could help these people. And now I'm fully consumed with thoughts of sound systems, lighting, video and order of service for a church plant. And by fully consumed, I mean partially, because I'm also thinking a lot about a new pair of boots, working at Starbucks, working on my spanish, wake boarding, and camping... and the list goes on.

There are a couple of folks from Rose of Charity that have moved to Vic Falls to work with the street kids. One of their goals was to provide adequate schooling for 8 of the boys-- they've hired a part-time teacher, bought the kids pencils, paper etc and drive them to their lessons three times a week. I asked Bright if I could take a picture of one of his journal entries-- he said sure... here it is:


p.s. if you're keeping up at all with the 'power sharing talks' going on between the current Zimbabwean government (ZANU-PF) and the primary opposition (MDC), here's an article I missed... maybe you did too: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2008/08/2008814115357679670.html


View Larger Map

So I'm back in Johannesburg, waiting for a plane to Amsterdam. So much has happened in the last week+ that I don't really know where to start. So here's a short rundown of the last 3.5 days.

- Thursday: supposed to get on a train to Bulawayo, but the train was fully booked because of a big holiday in Zimbabwe that weekend, luckily I found 1 ticket left in first class for Friday. Pulled up www.couchsurfing.com and found a lady in Bulawayo and sent her a message asking if I could stay on her couch Saturday.

- Friday: Went to Livingstone (in Zambia... which means crossing borders, and everything that goes along with that) to get some $USD so I could pay for the room I'd been using the last 5 nights. Found out that I had 'insufficient funds' on that card, but happen to have an old debit card to a bank in Kansas that had a few funds available. Great. Went back to the backpackers lodge in Zimbabwe around 10:00 am and realized that the power was out... a regular thing in Africa (load shedding). So I anxiously sat around waiting for the power to come back so that I could 1) check to see what was up with my card, 2) see if the woman in Bulawayo had responded. Around 1:00 the power came on, but no internet. Sat some more. Around 4:00 the internet finally warmed up and that's when I realized my debit card had been on a spree in Nemibia. But on the bright side, I also had an email back from Lanis in Bulawayo and she said she'd be happy to put me up for a night. Shortly thereafter, I headed for the sleeper train and was asleep by 9:30 p.m.

- Saturday: Woke up around 1 a.m. and realized the train had been stopped for an unknown reason somewhere between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo. Woke up around 4 a.m. and we were still stuck. Finally, around 6 a.m. a new engine appeared and we were on our way ( 6 hours behind schedule). Around 1:00 p.m. we arrived at the train station and I soon found Lanis just outside the train station. She took me by the veggie market, which was interesting. Everything was ridiculously price, but we picked up a couple potatoes, carrots and a head of lettuce. She then gave me short tour of the city, and then headed back for her house. She lives alone with her two dogs... but has a maid that's been with her for over 20 years who lives in a small house in the back... they're kind of like sisters now. Anyways, had a great time with her, talking about the old days of Rhodesia and the way things were before Mugabe.

- Sunday: Lanis drove me to a gas station and I found a guy on the side of the road who was headed to Johannesburg. He said for $250 Rand he'd let me hop in the back with the 5 other Zims... deal. On the way to Beitbridge we saw all sorts of animals, including a giant cobra slithering across the road... gross... but it stopped for a sec and lifted/flared its huge old head... cool. On the way to the border we paid off police at 4 different stops to let us through. At the Beitbridge border there was about a 2 hour line... but because our driver knew some people, we made it through in 14 minutes and 36 seconds. Then there was the Messina border into South Africa... nightmare. Again, there was a huge line, 8 hours, but our driver got us through in 2. We continued to press on at 120km... two people in the front of the truck and 6 in the back. The 5 Zims in the back were from the Ndebele tribe... they speed Ndebele, which is one of the 'clicking' languages... They're also pretty aggressive speakers as well... which became super comical (to me) when they all started sucking on hard candy and speaking Ndebele... lots of clicking. Anyways, I asked them to ask the driver to drop me at a hotel near the airport...driver said no problem... and after 10 hours of sitting in the back of a truck they dropped me off at the Formula 1 Hotel...where in the first 2 minutes I had killed 3 roaches, and left one alone in the bathroom. Talked to my mom and sister on Skype. Read some facebook message and hit the sack.

- Monday: Woke up at 6:45 a.m. to a large black man knocking on my door. I cracked the door and said hello. He introduced himself as 'Power' and said he'd be taking me to the airport. I told him that I didn't depart until 11:30 p.m....and he said he'd be back at 10:00 a.m. to fetch me. Power was interesting, and somehow, through his Afrikaan/English accent he sounded exactly like Marlon Brando in The Godfather... werid.

- Now: So now I sit on the second floor of the International Departure wing at the JoBurg airport, having mixed feelings about going back to the States and blogging.


Welp, two nights and one full day of traveling brought us back to Gaborone. I'm not gonna lie, it feels sooo nice to be here. You could basically take Gabs and put it in any American state and it wouldn't be out of place... it's comfortable, clean, chain restaurants (minus starbucks) and great public transportation.

Anyways, this blog is going on hold for a few days. I've started another and if you'd like to be able to read it, email me and I'll set you up with a login name/password. And if that sounds like too much work, I understand... one more thing to sign up for ... one more thing to log into... gross.

In 10 days I'll be on a flight from JoBurg back to the States. My time in Africa has been... so much more than I ever imagined. It's going to take a long time to really unpack everything I've learned/experienced. I'm so thankful and grateful for everyone who has been supporting me. God is good.

I'm absolutely loving it here. The people are so nice. The Victoria Falls are amazing... I'll try to post pictures later tonight or tomorrow.

Zimbabwe: Day 2

I read this article in the paper yesterday. Worth the read.

Here's another from the AP on inflation... and here's a quote

"Authorities last week released a new 100 billion dollar bank note. By Sunday it was not enough even to buy a scarce loaf of bread in what has become one of the world's most expensive — and impoverished — countries"


Copyright 2006| Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly modified and converted to Blogger Beta by Blogcrowds.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.