Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pictures from Africa

Below are just a few of the many pictures we took on our mission trip to Africa, March 6 - 18. I had hoped to be able to upload some while on the trip but our internet connection was too slow. I hope you enjoy viewing them now.

First Stop - Orphan Feeding Center

Our first stop was the Orphan Feeding Center. I soon found
myself dancing with one of the cooks.
The cooks at the orphan feeding center cook in this kitchen for 350 children per day.

This little boy feeding his sister was so cute!

Breakfast and Church on the Mountain top!

Sunday morning on the mountaintop. An amazing view on an amazing morning.

Jerry, far left, is John's cousin. They grew up next door to each other in Baudette, MN. Jerry, and his wife, Karen, are now missionaries working with Blessman Medical Ministries in South Africa. I am so impressed with them both, but especially Karen. She likes her creature comforts and pretty things as much as I do. She has given up a lot to be there eight months of the year. It was fun to be with them and minister together.

On our way down from the mountain top we saw these two giraffe enjoying the morning. At least they look like they are having fun. It's hard to say with giraffe.

Team Photo

Our team photo was taken at "Camp Granada." I believe our oldest team member was 69 years-old. Nothing could slow her down and she put me to shame as she continued to out-work me every day!

Frank's Orphanage

We spent about an hour one afternoon at an "orphanage" where the kids in the community come to be fed everyday. For many of them, this was the only meal they received that day. The man who ran the orphanage was Frank. God has put a huge vision in his heart for ways to work together with the local churches to care for these children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. The needs of these children are overwhelming.

Roadside Shopping

One of the roadside shopping areas. Lots of stuff, very inexpensive. We didn't buy much as I had made a little error in calculations at the ATM. Instead of getting $50 in African money (Rand), I got 50 Rand, worth about $6.36. Glad I paid that $2.00 ATM fee to get $6.36! It was really fine though. I didn't really want a lot of stuff to bring home. It's just more to dust! And really, how many elephant figurines does a person need?

Vision Care Week at Various Schools

This was by far the nicest school that we worked at all week. It was well cared for, had clean bathrooms and the garbagae was picked up. Most of the classrooms held between 45 - 120 students and weren't really any larger than our classrooms here in Cannon Falls. Maybe smaller.


This is the school kitchen! Can you even imagine trying to hire cooks at our schools in Minnesota with a kitchen like this? And, this was at one of the two schools we were at that had nice bathrooms with running water! I hate to think of what the others looked like.

At the end of our last day of eye exams I found these students peeking into the classroom to see what we were up to. Once I started taking pictures a crowd started to gather so I had to stop. They LOVE to have their picture taken!

John doing an eye exam at one of the schools. He got all of the patients that the rest of us couldn't figure out. I think his job was much easier because he had the correct instruments and know-how. I decided I'm glad I'm not an optometrist. Thank God for a husband who loves what he does!
One of John's last patients was an 83 year-old woman who was so happy to get her glasses. John fell in love with her because she was so sweet. He said he liked her weathered face. That was particularly good news for me as I'm not so many years away from a weathered face myself.

The rest of the pictures are all from our safarin in Kruger National Park.

Wildebeest have got to be some of the most interesting animals God ever created.

This is some sort of wild turkey. If I remember correctly, they are almost extinct. I believe I also remember that they only lay eggs every 9 years. That would explain the "almost extinct" issue.

This crocodile was sunning himself on a rock in the river, far, far away from where we were sitting in our van.

The thing to look for at Kruger National Park is the "Big Five." These include rhinos, elephants, lions, Cape buffalo and leopards. We saw three of the five within the park, and the Cape buffalo outside of the park (no pictures, sorry). The only one we didn't see was a leopard. We did however see a leopard print (photo above) and talked to someone who saw the leopard go under a bridge but not come out. No one on our team was willing to act as leopard bait in order to entice the leopard out from under the bridge so we had to settle for a picture of the paw print.

We saw quite a few baboons but this one cracked me up the most. He is drinking the water on the road left by someone's car air-conditioning drip.

The zebras at Kruger didn't seem as skittish as the zebras we saw on our safari last year.

Though we saw plenty of elephants within the Park, this one we saw after leaving the park. It was in a riverbed right outside of Kruger. What keeps it from going up into the hotel property a few yards away, I do not know! At least it didn't charge us!


Look who is brave now? The elephant is plenty far away from him!

5 comments:

Jen said...

Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Great pics! I can't wait to see more! I cannot even believe those kitchens..wow! And I love all the animal shots!

Erin

Jackie said...

Great pictures! Wow! Quite the experience!

Anonymous said...

very cool pictures! the one of the giraffes looks like a postcard!

and they say you can't dance?!!!
Beth

Dad said...

john and nancy,
i'm at fran and bruces place.
we are going to the va tomorrow
and then hit for home. we enjoyed pictures of your trip to africa.
love emily and harold.