How my Grandmother helped our mission

“Peanutbutter sandwiches or soup?”  I ask Matt Bilello on a Monday afternoon, thinking ahead to Thursdays hospital feeding visit.

“Peanutbutter, I ain’t making soup, too much hassle.”  This is the answer I get every week from Matt when our master chef Helen Morse (UK) isn’t in South Africa to help.

The health care system for the very poor in South Africa leaves much to desire.  Prescriptions are given to patients in either 1 week or 1 month doses, forcing patients to come back weekly or monthly for their next round of meds.  This is necessary in South Africa because HIV & TB drugs are often sold on the black market to make potent illicit drugs.  The downside is patients have to take days off work to get in line at the hospital to get a new prescription almost on a weekly basis.  In order to cope with the massive lines at the hospital, the rules are:

  1. Get into line early
  2. Don’t get out of line or you lose your spot
  3. Plan on being in line all day.

It’s a crazy system, but one we’ve grown accustomed to, and now after a few years we’ve come to accept it.  The volunteers that came before us had found a gap in the system that we’re happy to exploit.  Because the patients are required to stay in line all day, they are frequently hungry and bored.  Our feeding scheme offers a solution to both: food to eat and bible lessons to read.

Along with the food, we offer a free bible course.  This is where we pull the old “bait and switch” and offer not only physical bread but spiritual food as well.  On an average week we provide food to 120 patients and maybe sign up 8 for the free bible course.

Yvette

Sister Yvette vanRooyen handing out sandwiches at the clinic

The Peanutbutter vs. Soup debate has been going on for years…..what should we serve to the people in line?  Peanutbutter and Jelly sandwiches are easy to make and take only 30 minutes to prepare, where as soup is the healthier option but takes a whole afternoon to prepare.  If left up to the guys to cook, Matt and I will choose Peanutbutter and jelly every time.  But thank goodness a woman shows up once in a while to cook a healthier alternative.  Helen Morse from the UK has made it a point to cook up soup every time she’s in town which will be more often than not as she’s coming for a 6-month stay starting in January.

Tim Morse pouring the soup at the clinic

Tim Morse pouring the soup at the clinic

Grandma Vivian in the Mission Field

For the past 10 years my grandma Vivian Drabenstott has been giving me index cards with Bible verses written on them.  As part of her daily Bible reading routine, she’ll write down 1 verse per chapter from the readings onto these index cards.  She then collects the cards from throughout the year and gives them away to friends & family.  When we came over to Africa a two years ago I brought a box of maybe 5,000 of these index cards, not knowing what I’d do with them, but knew that they would come in handy.  About a year ago I had the idea to start handing them out at the hospital with the sandwiches (or soup).  I didn’t know how the Zulu speaking  Africans would react when I had them an index card with a bible verse written in very fancy (old school) cursive, but when we hand them to people they study them for a while and often look up and smile and thank us.  The bible verses were an instant hit and have become a weekly staple of our feeding scheme.  I got all emotional when I skyped Grandma Vivian and told her what we were doing with her cards.  Her reaction was priceless as she started to cry and told me that she always wanted to be in the Mission Field and now at the age of 89 she finally made it.  How precious!

Grandma Vivian's handwritten bible verses

Grandma Vivian’s handwritten bible verses

Reading the Bible Verses

Reading the Bible Verses

Charlotte handing out the Bible verses to those in line at the clinic

Charlotte handing out the Bible verses to those in line at the clinic

I wrote a book for Sunday School teachers

There is nothing quite like the uplifting moment when you open a door to a church and let a flood of eager children pour into it for Sunday School. Sunday School is an 1-hour opportunity to fill those children with the word of God and to allow them to come to know Him.

In African neighborhoods especially, Sunday School attendance can be astounding by our western standards, especially considering that many children do not come with parents. Children wake up on a Sunday and choose to not spend their mornings playing on the street like the other kids but rather to walk to church -sometimes very far- to learn about God.

I’ve taught 60 children at one time. It was something I probably never thought I could do before I tried. It was also something I found simple once I did it, probably because I have a teaching background. I can imagine if I didn’t have a teaching background I wouldn’t have known where to start.

IMG_9949

What I’ve discovered is that there are many, many eager Sunday School students but there are not so many eager Sunday School teachers. In my experience, often Sunday School will not happen even when there are plenty of qualified adults available to teach because they’ve never had experience teaching, don’t believe they can teach or were never asked to teach. It is sad for me to think about the many lost 1-hour opportunities.

To solve the problem, I wrote a book. I wanted to empower, enable and encourage anyone, and I mean ANYONE to be able to teach Sunday School. No excuses. No worries. No Saturdays filled with stressful planning. No Sunday mornings filled with running around gathering up expensive supplies. I designed and wrote an every-person, every-church, every-child Sunday School program.

I call it “Welcome to Sunday School. A 2-year Bible lesson plan with easy-to-follow instructions”

cover for blog

The goal of the book is to have no church go one Sunday without Sunday School. If there are children there, they will learn about God. They are the soil, ready to hear about God. If there is one baptized adult there, they will teach. They need to sow in order to get a harvest to reap.

The idea I want to get across from the book is that teaching children is simple. Don’t let those super Sunday School teachers with their rolling suitcases full of glitter glue, sugar snacks and colorful plastic prizes fool you. The Bible has everything you need to bring a child to know about God. It’s simple. Anyone can teach, just add Bible and, if you need some help, some structure and ideas from the “Welcome to Sunday School” book.

I designed the book by taking how I teach any given Sunday School lesson and breaking it down into components. I created a formula for any lesson: an introduction + review from last week + an exciting bible story + a spiritual application + some fun activities + a memory verse + a farewell. Then I chose those components to make each unique lesson.

I made sure the language I used was clear and I wrote in very concise sentences, using simple language for people who don’t use english as their first language.  To make it easy to follow I designed the pages to be highly visual, rather than a book with scrolls of text that one could get lost in.

sample for blog

I used 100 kid-friendly bible stories from Genesis to Revelation and added 4 special “Fun Reviews.” If a church uses the lessons every week they would teach the whole Bible in 2 years. (104 lessons/52 weeks in a year=2 years)

This book has been a culmination of my experiences living in South Africa for 4 years and by being funded by WCF to serve for 2 of those years so our family was able to dedicate our time to preaching.

IMG_0338

Our family took a road trip around Africa and we were able to give the books to churches and give an in-person tutorial on how to use the book. We are hopeful that this small contribution will, by the grace of God, introduce many more children to know God and His promises to them and give confidence to brothers and sisters in their roles as teachers.

We’re offering the PDF version of the book to all Christadelphians who wish to use it in their church. If you would like the file to print yourself, send me an email: sunnyliszy at gmail dot com

Sonya’s Notes: Week 8

Wednesday, November 19

Woke up to: Zane crawling into bed with us. Poor guy’s toe is still sore. Farm tractor coming to do work at camp and quad bikers setting up camp and going off to bike.

Breakfast: One pot English Breakfast -sausage, bacon, peppers mushrooms and 10 scrambled eggs

We had a lazy morning and didn’t leave until noon. We swam in the hot-springs, slowly took down camp, sampled the wifi to no avail, Zane and Charlotte fixed a puzzle upstairs in the lodge and walked in the beautiful gardens collecting leaves.

Lunch: we bought muffins from a lady selling them from a large plastic container outside the campsite. We cut them in half and ate them with Nutella and peanut butter.

The roads were exceptionally bad today. Narrow, potholes and fast moving trucks barreling towards us.

Drive time: 3.5 hours

Dinner: Honey Coke Chicken and mashed potatoes. It was supposed to be honey beer chicken but we didn’t have any beer. We thought maybe there would be a shop at the campsite but it was run by a Christian missionary group. We were a little embarrassed by the owner’s reaction when we asked if they sold beer. I felt urged to explain it was for a chicken recipe. They had one and but directed us to a local bar. Thus the coke. It was very good substitute!

I made popcorn and then we played monopoly deal under the boma while it rained and poured out until bedtime.

4 giant black shiny scorpions came into the boma to get out of the rain. They all met the fate of our shovel.

Slept: King’s Highway Campsite- we were the only ones there. They had a boma with filtered water, sink and tables. We spread out and really enjoyed the peaceful and tidy place.

Weather: pouring buckets rain at night. 75f
Thursday, November 20

Woke up to: rain and more rain

Breakfast: instant oatmeal, leftover sausage breakfast from yesterday and Rice Krispies by the handful when both of those were finished

We crossed the border at Tunduma into Tanzania. What a racket. Hoards of people trying to help us. Customs officers looking to make their own profit. Thousands of pedestrians with the wares on their head weaving around our car and around the trucks. It was pouring rain. Rick did a lot of the paperwork business on his own while the kids and I sat in the car and watched a movie. 2 1/2

We stopped at a “supermarket” in Mbeya to find food. All they had was junk food. We ate hard, thick potato chips, popcorn, fried bananas and fried lentil snacks. Later, we stopped at a roadside stand selling grilled murkier in the con and bought 5 for $1

Drive time:12 hours

Dinner:brownies, cool drinks, beer.

I also cut up some apples, cheese and ham before we went to bed.

Slept:The Old Farm House campsite, Mafinga Tanzania. Guarded by Maasai Warriors.

Weather:rained and poured on and off all day, especially as we were driving in the dark.
Friday, November 21

Woke up to:over landers packing up. Lots of gorgeous and unique sounding birds in trees. We got a better look at our campsite. Very neat with beautiful trees all around.

Breakfast: Iringa. Hasty, Tasty too. Pancakes, omelettes , sausage and egg breakfast, coffees, juice

We used the next door Internet cafe and the kids shopped for souvenirs.

When we woke up this morning we planned to continue the drive east to Dar Es Saalam. In Iringa we saw the road that leads north to the Serengeti and it made us question our plans. We decided to go north instead.

Lunch:lunchbox toasted BLT sandwiches from Hasty Tasty.

Great road. Interesting villages. Baobabs EVERYWHERE! we watched the Lion King as we drove. So excited for the Serengeti.

Drive time:3 1/2 hours

We opened our tents to let everything dry out in the parking lot of the hotel. The price to stay was nearly the same as camping.

Dinner:hotel food in served in our room. Chicken and chips, steak, fried bananas. Safari Beer.

Slept:Dodoma Tanzania, Nam Hotel.  Kids in the triple room with a couch and 2 tv’s. Us in the the room next to them. Mosquito nets and very strange to us bathroom where toilet and shower were combined with one big drain and they left flip flops for us to use in it.

Weather:  hot and sunny and muggy

Saturday, November 22

Woke up to: peaceful hotel noises.  There was a mozzie in our mosquito net that tortured me us all night though

we drove around Dodoma looking for water to fill our tank.

Breakfast: cakes and juice from a shop along the road

The worst road in the history of roads!  The Chinese are doing construction on this strip of road and it it bumpy, gravelly, rocky and sandy.  Everything shook. I had such a headache from all the noise in the car.

Snacks in car: tuna, crackers, cookies, juice

We stopped at the the Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings and got a tour.  Unfortunatly, Jude was feeling dehydrated and it was very hot so we only saw 2 paintings. The paintings were of people, animals, and hunting scenes dating back maybe 1500 years ago. A school field trip group before us had vandalized one. And also were taking lots of photos of us!

Drive time: 8 hours

Dinner: campsite dinner

Slept: Royal Beach Hotel, Babati, Tanzania campsite. Hippos and locals.

Weather:  Hot and overcast and rained for a few seconds when we were setting up the camp.

Sunday, 23 November

Woke up to:very quiet morning. We discovered that a man slept in our little but wrapped in a blanket. Must have been security after all!

Breakfast: polenta with milk, honey and butter.

Our guide, Eric, met us at 9:00 to take us on a hippo tour boat ride. He had an assistant, Israel. Jude stayed back because he was suffering from dehydration. The hippo tour was fun. His boat was carved from a ficus tree and took 2 weeks, 5 friends and a chainsaw to make. Charlotte and Zane were enthralled. The highlight for them was catching a fish caught in a fisherman’s net and later one that a kumarant dropped.

Lunch:Israel cleaned then grilled the fish on our stove. We all shared it. I also made 2-minute noodles to-go for our drive.

The road was considerably better from Babati to Kondru.

I bought sweet potatoes from a lady selling them by the roadside for &.30 each

We saw a sign for pizza and milkshakes and we just had to stop. Snack: chicken pizza, no milkshakes because the power was out, cool drinks and beer. We shopped around the town and watched some men play a game like checkers.

When we got to our destination, Kurdu at 4 we’d realized that there was time to still drive into Ngorongoro so we did. Stopped for groceries at a mini supermarket.

Got to the gate at 5:15 and watched the sunset over the rim the crater at our campsite around 7.

Drive time: 7 hours including a hour snack break.

Dinner:Campsite- cottage pie with sweet potato topping. Charlotte had a tin of baked beans and went to sleep early.

Slept: Ngorongoro crater rim campsite. Jackals ran past our tent at dinner time. Masai guards ran patrol around the camp and twice stopped by to greet us and show of their semiautomatic weapons. We asked them what animals come into the campsite they said “all the animals”.

Weather: fluffy clouds, clear, a sprinkle of rain but nothing major.

Monday, November 24

Woke up to: 5:40 alarm. We were so excited. Our guide met us at the campsite as we were taking down the tents. Souspeter

Breakfast: cornflakes and milk and juice and coffee in car

We drove into the Ngorongoro crater. Saw more animals than we could believe. Saw a pride of lions eating a wildebeest with jackals waiting in the back.

We stopped at a hippo pool to have a break and a snack. A yellow billed kite swooped down and stole popcorn right out of Zane’s hand. He got scratched too.

Lunch: we stopped somewhere else to make sandwiches. There were monkeys around so we were warned to be careful because they weren’t afraid. A yellow billed kite swooped down and stole half my sandwich. Later moneys got Charlotte’s sandwich when I dropped it.

We drove to the Serengeti and got on the gate by 5:00.

Drive time: 13 hours

Dinner: Serengeti-Rhino Hotel. Chicken and beef with rice and cabbage salad. $3 a plate

Slept: Tumbibi Campsite. A hyena walked by as the kids were getting ready for bed.

Weather: foggy in the morning, slightly overcast then it ranged while we were driving in the Serengeti
Tuesday, November 25

Woke up to: 5:45 alarm. Birds all around the campsite. Other tours leaving for safari.

Breakfast: coffee, reheated cottage pie.

We took our time getting out of camp and started our drive at 7:30. We found a guide at the visitors center named Abu who got in our car and promised to show us many wildebeest. We saw 3 sets of lions eating kills, one with vultures. Enjoyed the hippo pools. Saw wildebeest by the thousand. We dropped Abu off and drove out of park by 3:00. Saw more lions and then a huge wildebeest migration crossing the road! The kids played bingo in car. Winners hot chocolate bars.

Snacks in car: chocolate, bourbon creams, wafer cookies, lots of water

Lunch: precooked 2-minute noodles, peanutbutter sandwich

We stopped back in the town that we at pizza at to see if Zane could get a Masai blanket for the same price offered. 8$ he did!

We drove close to Arusha and got to our destination at dark.

Drive time: 12 hours in car

Dinner: grilled Boerewors and lamb chops and mush veg

Slept:Arusha- Meserani Snake Park. Hedgehogs and scorpions and bush babies. Masai security guard.

We had showers.

Weather: clear day, cotton ball clouds.

Sonya’s notes: week 7

Wednesday, November 12

Woke up to:perfect quietness. No birds but also no elephants

Breakfast: rice crispies , milk and banana eaten on hood of car, bad water coffee from lodge.

Snack along the way: Marie biscuits, corn cakes and pouch tuna

Lunch:Kasane, Israel’s fish hut- would never have found it, would never had picked if we’d found it, would never had trusted it if we’d picked it. But Christo recommended it and it was tasty. We bought one, devoured it, ordered another, devoured it, ordered another. Also bought 4 cool drinks- Fanta and coke.

We walked down the Jetty to find “Charles”, a guy with a small boat who could give us a cruise.

We went to Spar to buy meat that we couldn’t find in Maun.

We found our campsite and jumped in the pool, much to the other lodgers dismay. How do you empty a pool in a moment? Send in three hot kids who’ve been in a car for two months.

We met Charles back at the jetty. I bought fabric from a little market hut. We took our tour on the Chobe National Park river. Saw lots of birds, hippos, crocs, lechwes. Then it rained. We were cold and soaked. Charles heard there were lions ahead so he raced the rain to show us but we missed them by moments.

Drive time:2 1/2 hours

Dinner: campsite- chicken and baked beans.

Slept:Kasane Botswana, Thembe river lodge campsite number 1. People at the bar nearby were up till 2:30. So loud. Then there were 2 mozzies in our tent that we wagged war against.

Weather: hot hot hot, then it rained and we were so cold.

Thursday, November 13

Woke up to: hippos in river and mozzies in tent

Breakfast: campsite- fried sliced potatoe and onions, leftover beans and scrambled eggs. Filter coffees and hot chocolates.

We went to Coffee Buzz in Kasane for wifi. Had to order a meal. Ate omelets and muffins with cream and coffees. Kids played in trees. Spent two hours enjoying the shade and lousy wifi.

Went to Kasane post office to mail postcards. Also stopped by pharmacy to restock on band aids and malaria test kits.

Spent 2 1/2 hours crossing the border from Botwana and Zambia. Has to take a ferry. Got finished at 3:45. Kids and I watched Croods in car while Rick payed all fees and got proper paperwork.

Lunch: uncooked s’mores in car.

Drive time: 4 hours.

Found campsite and kids ran to the pool. Vervet monkeys approached them aggressively. Zane and Chuck ran into water but it didn’t seem to stop them. They screamed. We came and it didn’t stop the monkeys from approaching. Nothing we did helped so we all ran away. They chased us for a while then gave up. Ended up swimming in the pool by the bar.

Dinner: watermelon, leftover mac n cheese with ham, pad Thai rice noodles.

Rick and I went to the Internet station in the lodge to figure out his work visa. The bar was hopping with young over landers.

Slept: living stone, Zambia, Waterfront Campsite with lodge over the Zambezi river

Weather: hot, humid and buggy.

Friday, November 14

Woke up to:noisy over landers swimming in monkey pool like wild monkeys at 2 at night. Avoided waking up to helicopter tours overhead.

Breakfast: Livingstone, Zig Zag Coffee cafe – french toast, scones and back, inlet, zig zag breakfast. Coffees. We longed under mango and banana trees while kids played on the playground and we downloaded a movie and used the wifi. Kids swam in pool and I read on the hammock. Food was very good, fresh bread.

We visited Victoria Falls, Zambia side. Low water but the scope was still noticeable. Zane got heat stroke. His face was turned eggplant purple and he vomited on the way out.

The kids rocked the pushy salesmen at the market with their negotiating skills. No flies on them even with all the exchange rates ( Kwatcga, Dollars, Rand).

Rick asked a guy if he had any number plates. We waited 20 minutes on the clock and the guy ran and deliver one just as we were pulling away.

Lunch:in car- crackers, salami, laughing cow cheese, almonds

We stopped at a roadside “coffee shop” with a very nice espresso machine under a thatch hit. Rick got a double cappuccino and we snacked on popcorn and juice b

Drive time: 5 hours

Dinner:curry masala rice and mashed butternut

Slept:The Moorings Campsite- recommended by someone as a Dutch Farm nice quiet place could hear people and trucks nearby. During the night it was quiet.

Weather: white clouds but bright nonetheless. Lightening in distance. No real rain.

Saturday, November 15

Woke up to: birds and farm trucks

Breakfast: leftover rice and butternut, coffees, hot chocolate and rusks

Snack in car: tennis biscuits, Marie biscuits and marshmallows

We tried to find the church in Mazabuka but the city was too big.

We picked to some water and few other food supplies at the Spar in Mazabuka.

Lunch:munanganyas by the Kafue river- tone steaks, beef sausages, 1/3 chicken, chips, cool drinks- Pepsi in glass bottles. It took at least an hour for the food to be served. We met a nice family with a baby who are Zambian and mother on maternity leave from the uk. Food served in styrofoam wrapped with Saran Wrap with handwashing service and salt stuffed in paper napkins

Drive time: 3hours

Dinner:Jude made vet koeks and mince at the campsite

Slept:Eureka campsite with and excited youth group nearby and a bar with a loud soccer game. Zebras and dogs came to visit the campsite too.

Weather:

Sunday, November 16

Woke up to:Xharlotte: Daddy, I woke up and the dog was sleeping by our car and he looked cold so I wrapped your towel around him.

Breakfast: leftover vet koeks and mince

We walked the 20 minutes across the highway to Sandy’s Creation Mintbtestaurant for the “unlimited free wifi”. It was limited- 45minutes and they’d only give us 3 codes and it you could not download anything. We enjoyed smoothies and coffee. Lots of families and kids playing at playground.

Lunch: FYO. (fix your own) Crackers etc.

Kids swam in the pool and played.

Dinner: braaied fish and peas and couscous and moose droppings for dessert

Rick and I played scrabble. He won by 3. There will be a rematch.

Slept:Eureka campsite. Mosquitos in our tent and we swatted them hunted them all night b

Weather: rained in the afternoon and evening.

Monday, November 17

Woke up to: Highway noises in distance. Saw zebra and giraffe at breakfast by campsite.

Breakfast: banana bread and ice cream. I had leftover rice.

We drove into Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. We stopped at the Mall to get groceries at Pick ‘n’ Pay. Then carried in to another mall- Manda Hill to purchase rabies vaccines. Then got poked at The Pearl Health Hospital.

Our adventure of the day was trying to fit under the mall’s 2.4 meter overhead allowance.

Lunch:in the car- salami and cheese sandwiches on french bread, Pepsis. The discussion over Pepsi points lasted 1/2 an hour. I had rice crackers and leftover fish.

We got pulled over for speeding, which we weren’t- there was thick traffic and we were only going as fast as the truck in front of us. Rick payed the fine but says no one else who got pulled over for fined.

Drive time: 4 hours

Kids played on old train engine while Ruck I I investigated the whistling noise in the brakes. It was a loose pad. We took it out and now the brakes squeal.

Dinner: curried sausage pepper stir fry (using leftover sausage from the other days lunch) with rice and moose droppings for dessert

Slept: 63kms north of Kapiri Mposhi The Forest Inn. Campsite. It poured down rain all night.

Weather: rain at night, overcast, cloudy.

Tuesday, November 18

Woke up to: the last of the rain dripping off the trees. Woke up early to leave early for a long days drive. Got out of camp by 6:45am

Breakfast: precooked cheeseburgers and juice and coffee.

We stopped at Konona to try to find a brother there. Left a Sunday school book with his sister in law.

Drove down a dirt road for 14 kms to Kindilia Falls, a national monument. A guide, Teddy, who lives in a village nearby and listens out for cars traveling on the road met us. He led us down a rocky path to the bottom of the falls. It was more of a drip on this dry season. But the pool at the bottom was still and refreshing. We swam in our underwear.

Lunch: crackers, tuna, Nutella, peanut butter in the car

We gave two young ladies a ride back to the highway to sell their ground meilie in town

We got stopped at a road block. The officer asked if we could give him KWA 20 ($4) because he was very hungry. Rick offered him some of his crackers. “No, no, no! No crackers!” He pointed to some ladies sitting on the side of the road and said he wanted to buy Shiwia from them. Rick told him that he has a very good job and doesn’t need us to buy him food. He said, “ok, have a safe journey” and lifted the gate. It’s all about the shiea, the shiea, no crackers.

Drive time:6:45 – 5:00 10 hours 15 minutes- including the 1 hour hike

Dinner: what a disaster! The table collapsed as I was cooking dinners. The boiling water spilled in Zane and we lost all the spaghetti and half the bolognese sauce. I quickly heated leftover rice from yesterday and dumped in 2 cans of dices tomatoes to bulk up the sauce while Rick played doctor with Zane and washed all the dirt-covered dishes. It was a delicious meal but Zane went to bed wailing because of his burns. Wrist, knee, big toe.

Rick, Jude and I went to the lodge and visited with Marc the owner who is the grandson of sir Stewart Gore-Brown.

Slept: Kapishya Hoy Spings Campsite. No power. Very dark and quiet. We were the only ones there. Sounds of the nearby hot springs was all we heard.

Weather: cool and rainy in the morning. Did not rain at night.

Tagged , , , , ,

Sonya’s notes: week 6

Wednesday, November 5

Woke up to: donkeys hawing, our guide, Chris preparing the fire

Breakfast: leftover potjie and toast

Our bush guide told us the bush camp that we were supposed to sleep at was just a 2 hour drive. (40ks)

Snack in car: popcorn, bread and corn chips

Snack at stop under the tree 2:00pm no knacks, popcorn, beers

Lunch: none! We always thought we’d get there any minute

We drove and drove and drove with the promise of the concession being just ahead. We never found it and were forced to sleep in the middle of a game reserve (illegally)

Drive time:8:30-5:00

Tinned muscles, tuna salad, crackers for snack while waiting for dinner to set up

Dinner: braaied chicken, apple crisp

Slept: in the bush about 5 kms from Vombura Lodge (a fly-in) safari. Saw a hyena near the campsite as kids were heading to bed. Hear a nearby lion roar. 4 elephants were by the water hole when we went to bed.

Weather: 41c/105f

Thursday, November 6th

Woke up to:birds and our guide making coffee on fire

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with canned meat, rusks, coffee, braaied toast

Our plan was to get out of the game reserve by taking the truckers road that is used to supply the fly-in resorts. We asked a few surprised guides with safari people in the back of their land cruisers for directions and got sent in our way to a sand road.

Snacks in between: crackers, chips, apples.

Lunch: chicken salad sandwiches

Drive time:8-5 we only got 20kms because the roads were made for giant trucks and certainly not 2x4s so we had to dig the car accompanying us multiple times.

Dinner:curried mince on toast

Slept: bush camp only 20 kms away from Vombura lodge off the Savy road. Now we’re worried and must conserve water. We will wake up early the next day to try to get out of there

Weather: hot and sweaty all day

Friday, November 7th

Woke up to:3am alarm clock

Breakfast: rusks and coffee

Snacks along the way: apples, crackers, lots and lots of water, juice

Lunch:egg salad, crackers, tuna

Snack: cheese and crackers, tuna and crackers

The worst driving day in the history of driving! Our Landy towed the 2×4 almost all day over thick sand roads. It still got stuck more than a dozen times. The land cruiser accompanying us had a broken fuse wire, a flat tire and a broken trailer that we had to abandon along the way. It was so sandy and bumpy and unnerving that the kids couldn’t play iPads. They did very well with all the drama and lack of entertainment.

Drive time:3:00-10:00 19 hours!

The best part of the day was getting off the sand road.  The scariest part of the day was crossing a watering hole in the dark that was just visited by elephants after seeing two hyenas on the road.

Dinner: we all had showers and had some wine and beer and ate some sort of dinner

Slept: Khwai Campsite, north gate to Morembi Reserve – heard hyenas nearby as we went to sleep

Weather: terribly hot all day. It rained for a spurt just while we were changing a flat tire

Saturday, November 8th

Woke up to: safari vehicles driving by taking pictures of us. A huge baboon stole the whole box of rusks Christi had set out for breakfast

Breakfast: cereal, milk

Lunch:Maun Wimpy- burgers, chicken crumble, milkshakes, cokes

Drive time: 3 hours

Dinner: Okavango River Lodge campsite6- vet koeks by Jude and Christo, curried mince, brownies baked over hot coals served with custard and tennis biscuit pudding

Slept: Maun, Okavango River lodge campsite 6

Weather:

Sunday, November 9th

Woke up to: goats running through the campsite and noisy villagers

Breakfast: leftover vet koeks and cereal etc.

Lunch: spaghetti and cheese sauce and canned ham.

Rick and Chris drove to fetch the trailer. They left at 1pm.

We went to the nearby café (we called it the “mall” because it also had shopping. Enjoyed the company with the group (kids played hangman to the extreme) and wifi.

We swam in the green pool. The kids played with other local kids and learned how to make waterlily necklaces and catch mini frogs.

Drive time: (Rick and Chris) 9hours.

Rick came back with the trailer!

Dinner:potjie by Sonya! And rice

Slept:Okavango Lodge

Weather: nice warm day

Monday, November 10

Woke up to:slept in and woke to quiet.

Breakfast: leftover peach cobbler and potjie.

We took the car in to get a check up and went to spar for groceries.

It started pouring rain! We had to cover up all the stuff we left behind with the car in the shop.

Lunch: leftovers

We went on a scenic flight over the Okavango delta. Saw tons of hippos in the water and a rhino. Pilot’s name: Charlotte

We took the flight with an American couple we had met in Namibia. We invited them to dinner.

Dinner: steak and fried whole potatoes and grilled fish.

Slept:Okavango Lodge

Weather: pouring rain in the afternoon but cleared up in time for the flight

Tuesday, November 11

Woke up to:crew packing up getting ready for another journey. or will it be an adventure?

Breakfast: cereal and milk, coffee

We stopped at a cute little town to ask about the roads to the pan we wanted to go to. It was not recommended. Change of plans.

Lunch:Planet Baobab cafe ,Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana: curry, cheeseburger, toasted cheese, bacon and egg toastie kids swam.

We said goodbye to the crew that we spent our time in Botswana with. They went south to Francistown, we went north, headed for Zambia.

Elephant Sands! 20+ elephants just meters away from lodge. Drinking water like fiends. Coming to drink the puddles on the lodge ground after the rain.

Drive time: 8hours

Dinner:nachos: Doritos, sour cream, peppers

Slept:Elephant Sands, Botswana

Weather: rained in evening. Not good for salt pans. Would have gotten stuck. Happy we didn’t go.