Januray 20, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007By Justin Boldt
This morning we said goodbye to the friends we made in Kgautswane. Before we left, the opportunity to visit the chief presented itself. However, once we arrived we learned that the chief was out so his delegate greeted us instead. Each Calvin student presented a gift, we sang two songs, and then said our goodbyes. It was interesting to see the chief’s house because he had leather couches, a relatively large tv that was showing MTV, and nice drapes. His wealth in the rest of the communities’ poverty was striking.
As we packed up the vans, Mama Clara Masinga and all the wonderful women who helped to make our stay comfortable sang two traditional farewell songs. They requested that the professors give speeches, which was then followed by our singing (the 2nd time in about 3 hours), and then hugs all around. It was a very special time because although we were only visitors for two days, the people at Kgautswane truly welcomed us as part of the community.
Once we piled into the vans our group of 22 people, who hadn’t showered in more than 48 hours, set out for Kruger National Park. Psalm 19 says: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” This verse struck me on the ride to Kruger because we rode through some of the most majestic scenery in South Africa. Although the ride was quite long, we saw towering mountains, miles of tall tress, and colorful new flowers. We stopped for lunch and all had take away pancakes, which we ate on the side of the road. After filling our stomachs, we got back in the vans for our final leg of the journey.
We pulled in to Kruger around 3:30 and were welcomed by lots of monkeys! We checked in and all went into our rondavels, which include air conditioning. Most people then rushed to the pool or to the showers and cooled off. Feeling much cleaner, we all met for dinner at seven. We were going to go to a take away spot, but it closed early, so we went to the nicest restaurant at our campsite. I think that everyone felt much better after being fed and there was lots of laughter around all the tables. We met in the boys rondavel to go over details for the next day and then all headed to bed. It was a great day of traveling and we are very thankful for another day of safe travels.