Saturday, January 19, 2008

Relaxing in South Africa

Hello!  I've had the great opportunity to spend a couple days with my friend Adele who is from South Africa but living in Kenya, working with ELI as a missionary there.  Some of you might remember I celebrated my 40th birthday with Adele - you can read about it here if you forgot! 

Adele flew to South Africa just before Christmas to spend time with her family.  Terrible violence broke out in Kenya just after Christmas and Adele hasn't been able to return to her home there.  We were talking on the phone and suddenly realized "hey, let's get together!"  So we met up in Nelspruit, where I come every 4-6 weeks and where she had lived for a couple years as a child.

We've had a great time together - it's so nice to have company while on my respite in SA!  We spent an afternoon at the Botanical Gardens and the next day, drove through the beautiful Lowfeld area to a town called Hoedspruit where there is a Cheetah Rescue project.  I thought I'd see a few cheetahs but we also saw a baby rhino, a baby zebra, hundreds of vultures, two lions, grounded hornbills,  a King Cheetah, VERY rare, and . . . a tiger!  Yep, that's right, a tiger!  Yes, he's on the wrong continent but will probably live out his life in this refuge.  He was actually abandoned in Mozambique by a Portuguese circus.  Sounds bizarre and I don't think I got all the details.   But it was still wild to see him.  His growth is too stunted to release back into the wild, that's why they're not transporting him back to Asia. 

This trip, and even the beauty of the drive, was probably the highlight of what we did. But the highlight of my time was definitely just talking with Adele.  As another missionary with several more years experience than I, she is a great sounding board, encourager, resource, etc., for life on the mission field, in so many areas.  As a single woman, ministering among the poor in an African nation, even being a white missionary in a primarily black culture.  And let me not forget - just as a fellow Christian passionately pursuing God.  It was good to spend time together and it's given me lots to think and pray about!  Thank you Adele for being such a great example!  And for coming to Nelspruit!

(In addition - Adele is very techno savvy - can you tell she reminded me how to add links in my blog?!?)


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