Final Thoughts

Thursday, January 25, 2007

By Matthew Kuperus Heun

Greetings everyone:

Here is our final group picture from Detroit.

What a wonderful experience! It was a joy to participate with each of you this past month. There are several people I want to thank, and this weblog is as good a place as any to do it. So here it goes (in no particular order). Thank you to:

  • Our great God: the world you made is endlessly fascinating. “Father we adore you!”
  • Students: you make it all worthwhile. I hope that if we stretched you outside your comfort zone on this trip, you also learned more about yourself, South Africa, and the US in the process. Thank you for your willingness to research, make presentations, write blog entries, learn, sing, and experience.
  • The Calvin College administration: the Interim term (January) is a wonderful way for students to experience other places and cultures. For many students this is the only possible time in busy academic schedules.
  • Parents: you trusted two Calvin professors to take your precious children halfway around the world to a place few of you have ever been. We hope that your child’s experiece merited that trust.
  • Blog viewers: Your interest in our experience and pictures has been amazing. We blew past 10,000 hits, and we’re still counting!
  • Blog czars (Jeremy and Jeff): You spent many long hours updating the weblog while we were in country. Those hours were very much appreciated by friends and family back in the US.
  • Calvin’s IT department: Your willingness to let classes blog provides many benefits, including communication with parents and a student-generated record of off-campus experiences. In particular Ben Nanninga and Emily Brondsema deserve all the credit for developing the design for our blog site.
  • Matt’s mom and Tracy’s sister: Without you, none of this would have been possible. Your time is valuable, and you chose to spend it with us in South Africa.
  • Our South African hosts: So many people in South Africa gave their time and energy to meet with us, talk to us, share ideas with us, and fellowship with us. Here’s a partial list: Linzay Rinquest and Mr. Koen at Cape Town Baptist Seminary Noor Ebrahim at the District Six Museum Edwin Louw and Xolani at the JL Zwane center Uncle Lionel Davis and Vanessa Mitchell at Robben Island Dean Rev. Rowan Smith, Rev. Bruce Jenneker, and host families at St. Georges Cathedral Amanda Gouws at the University of Stellenbosch Clarie Hughes at Fisantekraal and Clint Atlee of A-Gas Fanie Dutoit and Charles Villa-Vicencio at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation Carin DeVilliers at the Koeberg power plant Nico at the Emerald Guest House Hosts from the NGK church in Johannesburg Mmathabo Mrubata and Marlett Balmer from PDC Our township lunch hosts in Kwa Thema The East Rand Proprietary Mine guides and Robin Binckes Lynn Abrahams and Thandi Chezi at the Apartheid Museum Mama Clara Masinga and others at the Kgautswane Community Development Centre Africa and Duncan and other guides at Kruger Park

May God bless and inspire us all.

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