Saturday, October 5, 2019

Wedding of the Year!

Yesterday was the wedding of our niece Ariel Elizabeth Huntress with her beloved Dayton Craig Haynes.  The lemon flavored birch tree cake was delicious!  

 My sister Wendy and my Mom have been doing prep for this all summer.
 
Other things had to be done a little more last minute.  


The Flower Girl was a major highlight for us.  Just the curve of her cheek...so precious.  

 She is 2 years and 1 month and 5 days old, and she did a great job!
And then got wrapped up warm.  It was chilly out there on the beach.  
The stunning mother of the bride, making the groom smile as usual.  
The bride herself!  
 The lighting gave a silhouette effect, but it was just beautiful.  Good snuggling weather.
They each gave their testimonies making us smile, as well as letting us know their stories better.  Loved that part.

And then, in that wind right off the lake, they burned their bridges behind them!  Paper ones, and we all watched to see if the veil would catch fire too!  


The centerpieces 

 The main course was from Panera Bread.  It was YUMMY!  Everyone was exclaiming over the warm soup on that cold day.

 Ariel's friends came to help!

                                                    Family time was wonderful!
The father of the bride will get me if he sees this photo, but he's worth noting.  
The flower girl's shoe had a touch of sand in there.  

A pathetic member of our clean up crew.  


A job well done.  A new family well begun.  May God be praised.  



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

When You Are Allergic To America

First culture shock in the USA, we hadn't even made it to our airport yet!  We were in Atlanta, with a layover for a few hours, and I went to the Ladies Room.  This Ladies' Room had lights over each door, red if the stall was occupied, green if you could go ahead in.  Wow!  We see that in a few of the ritzy parking garages in South Africa, but not in a bathroom!  America is so amazing.

Other shocks/surprises have followed here and there, but none like the shock of seeing our little granddaughter, and feeling that instant love connection.  Clarity is undoubtedly the cutest, smartest two year old on the planet...at least there are no doubts around here! 
My Mom and Clarity

We got to be there for her second birthday, and had fun reminiscing about her mom's second birthday. 

We got whomped pretty hard by jet-lag, but for me it has a new twist this time.  Apparently I'm allergic to something, and I've had swollen eyelids and sinus issues which make me feel like a narcoleptic.  I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat!  Or while my husband is preaching (that's bad! Rude!  Disrespectful!  and sometimes unavoidable.)  Or I can lie awake for hours in the night which is annoying, knowing I'm  going to be bad, rude and disrespectful again later if I don't sleep while the sleeping is good.

So we started off the first Sunday in my home church in East Waterboro, Maine.  That afternoon the church came to us for a baptism.  That was convenient for nacroleptics, and good to see growth in our church.
Some good New Hampshire advice there. 

Paul preaching at the baptism.  I was awake. 



Many there remembered the momentous church baptism in 2006, interrupted by a call from South Africa telling my parents that Cherish, who was 2 years, 10 months, and 6 days old, had just stopped breathing in a South African hospital.  Evangel's future husband Ryan was baptized that day.  It was memorable.  I've always been grateful my parents had the church family there to take the blow with them. 

From there, we've had church(es) each Sunday and most Wednesday nights.  Schools have been filling in gradually, until we've been to 8 schools so far, with one more to go this month.

In between we've been sleeping a lot, spending delightful, laughing times with family, and taking long walks.  We've done some shopping trying to get our wardrobes up to par, and make sure Joshua has enough for his first year at college.  (African MK is learning about wearing shoes every day, and a tie!  Paul just had post-graduate homeschool lessons with him on how to tie a tie.  I had forgotten to put that in our curriculum.)

He's got a Learner's Permit!
We've had to get a working US cell phone, get Tim to the DMV to start work on a US license, organize Paul's stored chalk equipment and order whatever else was needed, and sleep some more. 

We're trying to spend time outdoors to help get us regulated to this hemisphere, and have taken walks about every day.  Paul's been in the lake about every day, with a mighty splash, though it may only be 40 degrees F outside.  He claims the water is warmer.  I feel his skin when he gets out, and he feels like an ice cube.

Paul works on his latest book when he has free time.  I go for family time.  My Mom, sister, daughter, and granddaughter are my favorite uses for free time at the moment.

Paul's book is growing, and someday we will have it to offer to others who want to do chalk talks.  He's also looking forward to having his notes in print so that he can use them himself on some of chalk talks where he actually looks at notes. 

Clarity calls us Big Grampa and Mimi to distinguish us from her (5!) other grands.  When I ask her, "What does Grampa say?"  She says, "Bzzzzzzzzzzz Sting!" for a little game he plays with her.  She loves to be chased and "stung."  She likes for me to sing her own song about her name.  We could just sit and watch her and listen to her for hours.  Such a sweetie!

I am thankful for how it worked out with Joshua at his new school.  He is in Connecticut, nearly 4 hours away from the Camp where we are staying, but we've still had opportunity to see him twice this month because we had meetings near him.  He is adjusting well to college life.  I asked him what was giving him culture shocks, and he said the way some of the guys used water was jolting to someone who has lived through drought in Africa. 
Guess which one is ours. 


We should see Josh next weekend too, when we pick him up for the wedding of the year as far as our family is concerned.  My niece Ariel is to marry Dayton Haynes on the 4th of October.  We are just squeaking in for that one, departing for Pennsylvania the next day, not planning to be back in New England until December.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!

Each meeting has been special (even the school where I stayed in the car and slept with my nose in the air)  and some are worth sharing.

Dublin Christian Academy is always a treat to visit.  I was a student there from 1980-1984 so the memories come flooding back when we visit.  Their upgrades delight me, and finding faculty and staff who are still there also delights me.

We had a missions conference in New Britain, CT, with Tabernacle Baptist Church.  It was so good to get to know the new pastor and his wife, and to meet other missionaries each evening, and learn a bit about their ministries in the States.  We're in a needy world, and it's good to share our problems over snacks  and feel them grow lighter.


Nute Ridge Bible Chapel is another one that comes to mind.  It has memories for me from way back in 7th grade, but we made a new one this year.  Paul got feeling very low between their morning services, and when I mentioned it to the pastor, he whisked us downstairs to introduce us to ladies who took over and cooked Paul a second breakfast---eggs and English muffins!  It gave him just the lift he needed.  I got a mint Oreo with Double Stuff!  I had forgotten those things existed, and it was nice to get reacquainted. 
Tim finding out how Clarity feels.


Of course, Central Baptist Church in Southington, CT, gets a mention.  They have a beautiful prophet's chamber for people like us to use.  We used it when Paul preached at their schools and church, and they let us use it again for the Missions Conference.  It's a favorite any time, but even more now since Josh is there in New England Baptist College. 

This past weekend we had a family conference with Tri State Bible Baptist Church at the corner of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire.  That was encouraging!  Young families, oodles of children, and people taking Biblical commands seriously was refreshing!  Timothy preached twice there too.

We're soon to swap families for Paul's side of the family, and that will be nice too.  Thankful!
Sunset at Square Pond


















Monday, September 2, 2019

White River, Barberton, Jo'berg, Cape Town (just some snippets)

 
 
By Timothy Young with input from Paul and Vicki

Recently, we went to an African church near the town of White River in the province of Mpumalanga.  After dad had preached a sermon at the church we drove through a section of town called Jerusalem, in the Masoyi tribal district (I saw that sign).  The house was unfinished, but it was much bigger and better than many African houses I have seen.  

We were all sort of tired from the travel over to the church from another town, and from the service.  Also after we had taken a tour of the house, the fire for lunch was started.  We were sitting outside, on a porch, when the first part arrived.  It was a clone coke and four really big, really nice pieces of chocolate cake that raised both our spirits and our ability to carry on a conversation.  Remarks could be made about the nature of conversation or sugar or something, but I will refrain from those.  (I, Vicki, would say that Coke/cake combo saved the day!  We were a droopy, blah bunch, and the unaccustomed caffiene turned us into hyper conversationalists.)

So then, adequately refreshed, conversation started to flow.  When Pastor Samuel wasn’t cooking, we asked him how he was saved.  He was a refugee from the Mozambique Civil War in the 90s.  He had come to South Africa after both his parents had been killed in the fighting, and he was in with the wrong crowd.  Then in ‘96 a woman brought him to the large church of Rhema for a few weeks.  Nothing happened there and then his boss started bringing him to another church.  Here he realized that God was real and said that he would become a Christian, on condition that he could become a South African citizen.  He had very little hope of success, but prayed for it.  He also prayed that since he was planning to stay here, that he could speak English.  God answered these prayers.  He could suddenly speak English.  Armed with these two answers to prayer he and a friend went into the premier’s office.  A secretary came down as they came in, instructed to bring in a white man and a black man who had an appointment.  They being white and black, were both rushed in.  Pastor Samuel said that he explained, crying, that his parents had been killed in the civil war and that he had no relatives in Mozambique.  The premier said, “I am half Mozambican, we are brothers.  I will send your papers into Johannesburg.”  In fact, he didn’t just send his papers, but made a declaration that all Mozambicans who had been in the country five years or more were to report for identification documents.  So we can say God answered this prayer too.

It is kind of interesting how we met Pastor Samuel.  Dad had just preached in a Dutch Reformed Church and had left a number of books for people as we usually do.  They are Afrikaans and not generally known for fellowshipping with Africans, and usually the feeling is mutual.  However, due to the bravery of one kind DRC minister back in the early 2000s Pastor Samuel had been holding a Monday service for poor people there.  There was no money to be made here, which is why a number of other black pastors had refused the DR church’s request.  But Samuel  came.  When he arrived on Monday morning he noticed one of the books that Dad had given out the night before.  It was Principles of Church Growth (http://drawingotherstochrist.com/text_sermon/pcg.pdf), and after reading a few pages he prayed that Dad could come to his church.  He had seen that we lived in Cape Town and had not expected his prayer to be answered that soon, but he called anyway and found that dad was in the area.  Dad visited him and arranged for the Sunday meeting.

In 2011 his wife got meningitis and went into a coma for three years.  People advised him to put her into a home and ignore her.  But he daily took care of her needs and stayed faithful.  Some neighbors mockingly said something like, “He healed others but can’t heal his wife.”  So he built a wall around his property for some privacy.  It is a nice wall.  Others of his neighbors said “He doesn’t have the heart of a man, but a cow.” He has a big heart.  Basically it means that he cared more for his wife than was expected of a man.  But in time God did answered his prayers, and his wife was healed.  She cooked a very nice Sunday dinner for us.  

Mom asked how he had gotten married, and that was a bit of a funny story.  He had known his future wife for a while, but didn’t think he loved her.  Then one day she helped an old homeless non-christian man, who announced to Pastor Samuel that this was the woman who would work best with him in ministry, so he repented and married her, once lobola was paid.  More on that later.

They have three daughters who have interesting names.  Perhaps the most interesting to me was Surrender, who seemed to be very determined.  I could see so many humorous applications that I was smiling through much of the meal.  Another was Marvelous Wonderful, and the third I think was Helen Charisma. 

One of the things that impressed me was the fact that he was not obscure; he had served as an official South African translator in Angola, and had been assigned to deal out large amounts of government funds.  Large amounts (millions).  But he was not obviously proud, the way some people are when they have access to that kind of cash or that level of civil power.  The other money related thing that impressed me was that he never asked for money from us, which is a rare thing.  He commented on how when black people see white people, they see them as potential money.  He repeatedly stated that God was his source and gave some of the examples mentioned above as proof.  He impressed me as someone who God has gifted to be able to handle money and not become trapped in the excitement of handling money. 
Pastor Samuel and family with us. 

We had a few other cultural discussions which were just interesting:  the South Korean missionaries that he knew, the Mozambican traditions, etc.  Perhaps the most interesting custom we discussed was lobola, bride price.  It is not strictly between the father-in-law and the son-in-law.  Think of it as a family to family level exchange.  R50 000 lobola is not unheard of, and keep in mind this is a country with the average yearly earning of about that much.  This, of course, in practice creates a cultural push for later marriages, which is ok, except people are people.  They do not always wait for marriage, especially in the city.   He and his younger, unmarried pastor friend of 38 were both against it.  He said that it led to the current state of many fatherless homes in South Africa.  

Vicki here again.  On one of triple scheduled days, Paul preached in the prison with the Bible College people at Back to the Bible in Barberton, so Tim and Josh took the other schools he had scheduled.  I dropped Tim first, then buzzed Josh over to a gold mine sponsored school. I helped him set up, then headed back for Tim.  As I was walking to the car, I startled a little boy coming to school. He looked shocked and completely disgusted at my alarmingly white self being in an unexpected place.  I started laughing at his horrified expression, and now, nearly a month later, I'm still laughing when I think about it.  

Shrunk from a note to Paul's sister Joy:  We should get home tomorrow!  Yesterday we got to Jo'burg after Paul and Josh spoke 4 times, one planned and three spur-of-the-moments schools.  We began to hunt accommodation, singing our song, "Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah."  First hotel we checked, right by the airport cost over 6000 rand!  Shocker.  So we moved a bit away from the airport and found one for 1/10th of that...more our style.  We got a nice apartment with the best shower of the whole trip!  It had a Roman's Pizza within walking distance which was perfect for the "something special" Paul wanted to do for Josh's last night in Africa for awhile.  Very thankful.   
 
 
And from a letter a few days earlier:


Gloria Luus who scheduled Paul 8 places in White River area!  Amazing lady. 


Tim and Josh just after they spoke at the mountain top school.  


Tim shaking hands at a mountain top school.  These kids were extra fun and friendly.

Paul really did the double scheduling thing today, with some help from Elreza.  Result was that he backed out of his own commitments, and passed them to Tim and Josh, and he did the Mission stuff which was a school and 2 prison meetings.  So I drove the boys, and our second school was so fun and cool.  I.E. NO one was afraid of me.  This was a group of cuties who all wanted to shake my hand, and one brazen lassie took a fearful swipe at touching my hair.  I shook a LOT of little hands.  After they went through, they'd circle back around and have another go at it.  So some days I'm a horror, and other days I'm just plain fascinating. 
 
It was a memorable school.  It went with a gold mine!  Unique, except in this area where all the schools seem to have a plaque saying, "Sponsored by Sheba Mine" or some such.  There are some nice buildings and science labs and computer rooms and stuff.  This one was on top of a mountain, and was quite a thing to drive up there for it.  Scary!   One lane road, and then you're at a little community at the top, where everyone is super friendly.  I enjoyed it. 
 
Right near our mission is a Sheba Mine branch that mines talc.  Or mined talc.  The workers went on strike, and so the mine closed as they were demanding double pay.  So the people totally looted the mine buildings, stealing the roofs, the window frames, everything.   Someone wrote "Sorry" in paint on one building, and I want to write "You killed the goose that laid the golden eggs."  Sad.  
 
 
 



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Glory Hill and Swaziland, parts 3 and 2 of our trip

How'd you like these brownies?  It is just some dry earth in Swaziland.  
 Swazi sunsets are hazy this time of year with dust and smoke from burning sugar cane.
 Roots!  White River at Glory Hill. 
                                              Muppim.  My favorite of the 10 cats. 
                                        Kind of not enjoying the idea of Joshua being gone. 
 "Mercy" enjoying the gorgeous scenery at Glory Hill.  This is getting ready to be an Instagram picture with a verse on it.  see vickiyoung1066 




Have you ever been to a meeting that you thought was just a dud?  People seemed unenthused, messing around on their cell phones, and unresponsive?  I don't know how anyone could respond to my dynamic, chalk-drawing husband that way, but I thought it was so. 

And then it was over.  A druggie wanted to be saved.  A man in the back wanted to schedule Paul in churches and schools.  Another man was crying.  His daughter was (maybe--don't give up faith!  Pray for Soleil!) dying of brain cancer.  He said he learned more in that one short talk about Psalm 90 than is maybe 15 years of teaching.  One lady who had been on her cell phone prayed for our whole family.  Who knows, maybe she was telling friends about the thrilling message she was hearing.  It's so easy to read people wrong.  It wasn't a dud!  God was working.
 
We are now in the White River section of our trip.  A sweet couple named Dave and Linda have taken us into their home, but what a home!  It is called Glory Hill Lodge, though not now functioning as a Lodge, it still welcomed our very tired selves last Friday.  We didn't really see the glory until we got up Saturday morning.  What a beautiful place!  Inside and out.  It seems a place where time has stood still, it is so peaceful.  The big excitement is when the monkeys invade...then it's "batten down the hatches!" lest they get inside and wreak havoc.  

From this haven, we've had at least 8 meetings to go to, scheduled by Gloria Luus, a resident of Macedonia Frail Care Center.  We met Gloria last year at Barberton's Back to the Bible Mission, and she invited Paul for this year.  She's a "Doer" of the Word, and not a hearer only.  I admire her!  She's bringing forth fruit in old age...one of my ambitions too. 

Yesterday she took us to visit Mercy Air, a Christian airline that does evangelistic, medical, and educational outreach transportation.  Paul and Josh particularly enjoyed that one. 

Of course, Paul wasn't content with just those 8 meetings and he has been filling in the blanks any way he can with more schools.  Yesterday got a little crazy.  I got to play Uber driver again.  I dropped Paul with Josh to assist at a very snazzy school with an equestrian center, then had to race a few kilometers away to Tim's school to drop him.  We would have made it on time, but the GPS thought a trail through a macadamia nut orchard was a regular road, and we lost a little time circling back from that.  Tim had to set up in front of an already-seated student body--I helped, but soon had to race back to Paul to get him to school #3!  We came skidding in on that one just as it was time to start, but they were mercifully a little late.  I left them and went back to where Tim was just walking out of his school, tired, but happy.  They had invited him back for Monday to do the older children!   Yippee!  That's the best kind of feedback. 

He and I went to a book store to wait an hour as Paul and Josh were speaking twice at their second school.  From there, we went to two more schools to schedule more speaking appointments.  Both of them accepted.  We thrive on this stuff!  Open doors, people hearing about Jesus, lives changed!  

Before White River, we had about 8 days in Swaziland/eSwatini staying with Leo and Jill Baan, and their 10 cats, up two from last year when we stayed with them.  Leo had Paul scheduled a bunch of places, and Paul supplemented.  Sometimes Leo and Tim would be a team while Josh and Paul were another team.   Just once Tim and I were a team, thankfully, or I wouldn't have snagged any pictures.   They went to a prison, schools, and a church. 

One thing we enjoyed about Swaziland and also White River, is it's much warmer.  Temperatures have ranged from -6 C (21 degrees F)  while we were in Queenstown to 34 C (93 degrees F) yesterday in White River. I'd just like to interrupt this trip to run home for some cooler clothes!  I only brought 2 and a half pairs of shoes, my sneakers, boots, and a half of pair of sandals, so I've been wearing boots and feeling weird sometimes.  I did invest in some flip flops now, so I'll make it, but I like the warmth.  Josh and Paul have made it into the gorgeous pool at Glory Hill and also back in Swaziland, but I'm not ready for that one.  The water is still remembering the cooler temperatures. 

 We are privileged to meet the nicest people in our travels!     "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love each other."  1 John 4:11  People have been so kind, sharing so much with us, furthering us along in the journeying.  We're grateful. 

I'm not  sure how much longer we'll be here, but Barberton is next on the schedule.  And we're counting down the days until Josh flies out for the USA.  

Monday, July 22, 2019

2019 Winter Trip, Queenstown Section

This trip is precious, as it is the last one where our Joshua is with us, at least for awhile.  He's 18 now, and off to college in America in August.  We plan to be in four places, the first being Queenstown, South Africa.  We're actually staying at Tylden, which I have fallen in love with.  It's about 6 kilometers off a tar road, and we're staying at Light of the World Mission. 
We slept in this building. 



Jock with Josh or Josh with Jock.  The beginning of a great tongue twister. 

 Tim preaching at Sunday School with a blue hand.  He doesn't like the feel of chalk.  Kind of ironic. 


Light of the World Mission is next to a river, which is significant.  The river floods a couple of times a year, so a hotel was built next to the river to house people stuck on this side of the flood, until the waters subsided.  I think it was in the 80's, that a man named Jack bought the hotel, and used it for missionary work such as camps, Bible schools, and a little church.  Late in the 90's, Frik and Sue Labuschagne came, and they are leading the mission still. 
Pastor Mike Watson in Queenstown invited us so he has filled some of the time, though not as he expected as he has had cancer since we were here last time.  Frik scheduled Paul some other places, and with the "leftover" time we prayed for open doors, and set out visiting schools in Queenstown.  The first day Paul scheduled 10 preaching appointments!  (though I must confess, one of those was online, in America).  After that he combined preaching and scheduling.  When his schedule got full, he started scheduling Timothy, who was now more free to help.
The first few days here, we had another project underway.  We had hoped that both our sons could have a try (Josh) or another try (Tim) at getting their driver's licenses.  We had noticed how the wait time for an appointment to take the test can be just days in these smaller towns, unlike Cape Town where the wait can be weeks or months.  So we made appointments for the following Monday, and went to work having some more driving lessons to perfect their "K-53" skills.  (K-53 is the South African skill set required uniquely for the test.)
Monday morning dawned.  Appetites were low, and tension was high.  We went into town early, still in the dark, to Pastor Michael's house so Paul could borrow the church van so that the boys could use our car.  We had a little panic as we discovered our rear brake light was out (again! what's with that light?!??)  The sun was up, but we didn't know if any place would be open where we could buy a bulb so we scrambled around to get that sorted out.  It wasn't too bad as we had needed a new tire as we had a VERY flat tire on Saturday and had learned a car repair place.  We got a new light bulb and still had a few minutes before Josh's test time at 8:40 AM.  We headed in to the municipality building. 
Then came the blow:  the municipality was on strike!  It is still on strike today, I think, a week later, so no driving tests have happened.  It looks like they will have to try in America. 
The low appetites had worn off, so disgruntled boys were soothed and comforted with a quick trip to KFC for a snack.  At least now they were free to be more helpful to Paul. 
I thought Thursday's schedule was remarkable.  We had an early morning school first, which Paul and Tim handled, then Paul parked us at the pastor's house so we could get some work done with Wi-Fi while he and Josh went to a 11-1 appointment.  They preached 6 times at that one school!  Taking them class by class.  That has some advantages, but it is very tiring for the chalk artist evangelist.  Top priority was to race home for a rest after that, as we were schedule to be interviewed (whole family!) on the radio from 6-8 PM that evening. 
I really enjoyed that interview.  I was a little worried about Paul overdoing, but he had slept for over an hour that afternoon, and he seems to have made it through without a sickness. 
Friday was remarkable in a different way.  We woke to find blood spattered right down the hallway of our current home.  Tim had a horrendous nose-bleed.  (This is cold, arid country right now, and our Capetonian skin is drying and cracking and even bleeding as we adjust.)  We mopped that up and kept moving.  Had to be out of the house by 6:30, to get to the first school and be ready by 7:30.  The plan was for Paul to preach there, with Josh to assist, but the nosebleed changed that plan.  Instead Josh now assisted Tim, just in case. 
I want a T-shirt that says, "Uber driver" cuz it was like that!  We dropped Paul at the first school about 7:15, then raced to Tim's school by 7:45 then back to Paul to pick him up to get him to his 8:30 school.  I stayed with him through that one, helping to hold the chalk board as it was WINDY!  Then together we zipped back to Tim's school to find him and Josh had preached twice and then walked a to a shopping center to wait for us.  Three schools accomplished, four time preaching, by 10:00!
Then Paul could rest, while the boys spoke at a youth group that evening. 
Also of note, some record breaking cold weather (at least the coldest this year) came through over the weekend.  Brrr!  It got down to -6 degrees Celcius.  Someone said I must be used to this, being brought up in New England with snow and all.  But I'm a wimp!  New England has heated, insulated houses.  This cold is colder.  But it's great sleeping weather.  We're in bed early to get warm, and at least one of us lingers til the last second before launching out each morning.  
This bucket got "skun over" with ice, as my Gram would have said, plus icicles.  Chilly! 
The only touristy thing we've done on this trip was as we were driving from Cape Town, we slept over in Graaf Reinet, a beautiful, historic town where Andrew Murray used to live and preach, and David Livingstone's family went to recuperate.  Josh and I did their parkrun, and then we went to the Valley of Desolation to see some more of God's creativity.  
They were more enthusiastic than this picture looks. 
On Wednesday, after some schools, we plan to head to Swaziland where it should be warmer.  We're grateful for our cheery, helpful boys, for open doors, and for open hearts.  We appreciate translators in Xhosa for some of the meetings, and new missionary friends.  I've also enjoyed their little granddaughter Skye who has helped and inspired me with my Instagram Bible pictures (see vickiyoung1066).  It is good to follow God, to obey Him, and to trust Him.  He blesses so much along the way. 



Frik and Sue and Skye.  

Monday, June 10, 2019

Lesotho, the grand finale

Today (May 31, '19) was our last dip into Lesotho, and Josh's first time.  His passport arrived Wednesday, but Thursday was a holiday in Lesotho so we didn't have any schools scheduled that side of the border.  Instead we had 2 in Ficksburg on the SA side.  Today we went back today for the last two schools.

The first school was super enthusiastic.  First they just started laughing when we arrived.  I think that was at the height of Paul and Josh.  Loud laughing.  But when they spoke to them, the kids responded positively to questions and were respectful.  

I dashed to another nearby school while they were speaking to drop off some books.  Then we had about an hour before we needed to be at the second school.  Josh had found some dinosaur fossils online, and I realized they were right near this school, so we set out (without much hope on my part) to find them.

Subeng Dinosaur Footprints was there.  I'll share photos and our funny guides.
 Things didn't look too promising at first.  Those yellow things under that hut are squished plastic chairs!  I hope no one was sitting there when the hut fell. 
 The brother of the guide had painted this rock and wanted an extra tip because now the frog needed repainting.  I suggested Paul's chalks but no one was excited about that little gem of an idea.  Paul gave them both tracts and the brother was studying his.  English is not his first language, but you never know where tracts go and what they can accomplish. 
 Do you see a footprint in there?  They were under water!  Our first guide swished the water and sediment away with a branch.  They said these had lasted for some millions of years, but they're not looking like they're going to last too much longer with the rain and the brushing and all.  Unbelievable. 
 So, I'm afraid this is our best shot of the footprints.  Googling Subeng Dinosaur footprints gets you dry season shots. 
In truth,
I loved this outing!  Our guides made me laugh as they had to hunt a bit to find these illusive "millions and millions of years old" prints. 


They kept dreaming up more reasons we should keep paying for things.  Near the end of their little tour, they said all the money so far was going to the council, so now we needed to give more for them.
The frog was our "surprise".  I took little videos, but I haven't managed to upload them.  Too bad.  They are funny.

We believe in dinosaurs.  Not sure about the Lesothosaurus, but it was fun looking.