Interim Travel

Sunday, April 30, 2017
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Last Chance - getting everything ready for our time away.

As we prepared for a trip to the US, it seemed like all of the important meetings needed to happen . It seemed like just when we were hitting a good pace, it was time for a break. Even though were needed in Malawi, that doesn't mean that were essential. It's nice to be needed and it's nice to feel like we are actually doing some good in giving our brethren in Malawi some of what they might need, but while we are away, life will go on.

As we packed our bags, did some last minute shopping for gifts, and buttoning up last minute meetings, I think I experienced one of the most busy times in my life. Every moment of every day was spent rushing from one place to another. I did have a few moments of sitting still, enjoying a cappuccino at a new little spot we found. And after certain more stressful meetings were adjourned, I was able to relax and realize that everything was going to be ok. We packed everything up and headed out the door early in the morning ready for a long trip.

Excitement leaving Malawi but not the way you would think

I won't go into too much detail about the excitement that Lena and I experienced in the airport, but I will say that we will never look at ourselves the same way . And we will never feel the same way about the airport in Lilongwe. And we will be more cautious about our possessions, realizing that things don't always work the way we want them or expect them to.

Travel to Johannesburg/Pretoria

The roads in South Africa are probably some of the nicest I've ever driven on! Last time we were traveling through Johannesburg and Pretoria, we were greeted warmly by Jason Webster and his family. This trip we were in our own in an only semi familiar place. But we were headed to a guest house we had been to before, and not venturing out too far so we didn't worry much about getting lost. We caught a cab, checked into the guest house, and headed out for a walk and some groceries.

Services and Visiting

One thing that I have come to enjoy very much is repeat visits. It's nice to have met people once, especially in places where people don't get very many visitors . But to see people a second time when you thought for sure you would never meet again is quite an amazing opportunity. As we travel, we do our best to set up opportunities to meet up with people more than once. On our way back through South Africa we had the chance to visit the congregation in Johannesburg a second time. Although we showed up in the middle of a holiday weekend there were still many familiar faces to greet us. We sat and talked for a while before services began. I was asked to give a sermon so I took some time to review my notes. I had the chance to share a little of the work we were doing in Malawi, but also encourage the brethren in South Africa.

Trip to Rietvlei seeing animals

We woke up early on Sunday morning and looked at what time we had to be at the airport to make our flight out of Africa. We had more than enough time! And it just so happens there is a nature reserve between our guest house and the airport. So we drove to a park called Rietvlei not far from the city of Pretoria where wild animals live. Ostriches, rhinos, donkeys, a type of gazelle, hippos, birds, catfish, zebras, and some really breathtaking views! The temperature turned out to be perfect that day and a lot of other people had the same idea we did. Boats were in the reservoir, people were relaxing by the lake, the smell of brai was in the air, and the sun wasn't too hot.

Flight to the US - home for a visit

We dropped off our rental car, grabbed a bite to eat, climbed on our plane, and headed home to the USA for a visit.
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