Wednesday, August 27, 2008

South Africa

We returned to South Africa and rented a car because many people warned us that independent budget travel was not safe. The roads were wonderful and the rates were reasonable and this turned out to be a very comfortable mode of travel for a change. We did a bit of sight seeing, visiting old friends and meeting new ones.

We began in the Drakenburg Mountains and then journeyed down to the coast of South Africa to Cape Town. We had the mountains on our right and the coast on our left. It felt like Europe or the California coast until you drove through a black township/settlement area. The reality of the economic and racial divide was glaringly obvious.

We enjoyed a couple of days of hiking, visiting Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope, seeing whales, seals, a penguin colony, and a walk on the beach.

We connected with Rev. Tobie, the Superintendent and Administrative Assistant to the Bishop of The United Methodist Church South Africa Provisional Annual Conference. Rev. Tobie invited Kathy to preach at the Mfeluni UMC which is currently worshiping in the community center in Mfeluni townships. We experienced dynamic worship, a great click talker interpreter, and a fabulous lunch. We wish we had more time to spend with them.

Rev. Stewart Mgobongo and Kathy at Mfeluni UMC.
Future hopeful sight of Mfeluni UMC.

We then traveled to Kgmotso a rural village where Katie, a Peace Corp Volunteer we befriended earlier is posted. She asked us to visit and share our skills with the community. Danny spoke to teachers and parents about epilepsy, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Kathy spoke to the 6 & 7th grade after school girl's club about delaying sex and their goals for the future. It was a great day.

Danny with his interpreter.

The Kgmotso Girl's Club

Kathy and our host Katie.

Where in the world are Danny and Kathy Dickriede?

We will be working in West Africa. We plan to visit former contacts in Freetown, Sierra Leone before we join the staff of the Mercy Hospital and the Child Rescue Center (CRC) in Bo for the month of September. Both of these ministries are the work of Floris UMC in the Virginia Annual Conference. A great book to read about Sierra Leone is Along Way Gone by Ishmael Beah.

Websites for the work of Floris UMC are . . .

No comments: