Day with the Websters in Pretoria

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Today is our first full day in South Africa.  We slept well last night. We arrived at 5 p.m. last night. We were back at the Webster’s home by 6:30 p.m.  It was the perfect time to arrive after a long overseas flight over two oceans and a continent.  After arriving at the Websters' home we got settled, had dinner, played with the kids and went to bed. 
The morning quiet was shattered by the Hadada ibis (a Sub-Saharan African bird) screech.  I had not heard it in a year… not since being here last year.  I immediately thought about our elder Arthur Fisher here who talked so loudly about how he hated that sound.  To me it sounds so comical.  How a bird can make so much noise!
After breakfast all eight of us went to Irene Farms which is a place for kids to see animals, mostly cows, right in the city. Today is a holiday in South Africa, Human Rights day.  School is out and lots of people are at the farm. 
As black as South Africa is, it was amazing that almost everyone, except the workers were white.  Lots of little children as families were spending time together. We walked around the interesting gums trees, swans and cows. 
Then we had lunch and drove home, not much more than 20 minutes away.
Arthur and Gail Fisher then arrived and we talked a long time.  We are going to their home tonight since they live so close to the airport from which we will fly to Lilongwe on Thursday morning.  It was so wonderful to pick up conversations where we had left them a year ago. 
I asked questions about the stories we hear about in the news in America: the water crisis in Cape Town and the threat of land from white farmers being repossessed.  The answers seem to be unclear in both areas.  Cape Town is holding its own in the water shortage and there have been some rains.  No one seems to be THAT worried about it long-term.  The reservoirs are down to 20% capacity, but there is still SOME water.  People seem to feel that it’s just a matter of time before the crisis is abated. 
About the land grab.  That’s up in the air, too.  The new leader Cyril Ramaphosa, they say, is a business man.   He knows what repossession of land would mean economically and he would not allow it to be actually carried out.  Look what happened in Zimbabwe.  People do not seem to be in fear that its imminent.  Farms are still bought and sold in South Africa as I write this. 
Arthur was ordained an elder a year and a half ago. He was reluctant and unsure of himself at first to step into that role not knowing if he was qualified for that role in the Johannesburg congregation.  But, he along with his wife Gail, have proven to be quite the servants and leaders that this church needs at the moment.  He has taken a liking and deep sense of responsibility for the congregation and he exhibits tremendous wisdom. He also travels to another congregation in Bloemfontein about four hours away once a month.
When going down to Arthur and Gail’s home in Kempton Park, we were not sure if all our luggage would fit with four passengers.  It did… with a tiny bit of room to spare.  Jason Webster is a master engineer who can figure anything out and our four large suitcases, two roll ons and other carry ons made it!
We had dinner at the Fishers and talked over church business and reminisced about former days. How wonderful these moments are with friends!  Tomorrow we fly to Malawi.  We hope that we are not charged overweight.
We really enjoy being with our friends.
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2018-10-18