Monday, January 14, 2008

Photos

Loading up the bus and heading to the Winnipeg Airport Parents waving goodbye at CMU Waiting for our bus at the Jo'burg Airport South Africa prep at Heronbridge Retreat Centre Hanging out in the sun Team building exercises...it was a long 5 weeks apart Rachel and Lauren looking cute...like always Our first braai (South African bbq) after church at the Soweto Vineyard Krystal and Meagan looking excited to try the braai Jacob just couldn't resist this cute little girl Simon, Stephan, Michelle and Gabe making a new friend
video

Beautiful Moments

I had a beautiful moment today as I stood outside of the small, vibrant Soweto Vineyard Church. The service had just ended and we were given the opportunity to mingle with members of the congregation. After a few minutes I found myself looking at a handful of teenage girls who had created a semi-circle around me. We had an interesting time trying to pronounce each other’s names…okay, it was more like I had a interesting time trying to pronounce their names. Their smiles were huge and their giggles were adorable as I, time after time, continued to ask if they could say it again. Once I got those down they were eager to teach me how different greetings in both Zulu and Sutu, two of the eleven official languages of South Africa. Once again, I was a gong show. But these are the moments I have come to cherish; moments when I learn something new and my comfort zone expands and I am able to connect with new people. I have a feeling that my time here is going to be filled with an incredible amount of beautiful moments! South Africa has been amazing so far!

And on one last note: know that we are good and we love you and we miss you and we are praying for you! God bless.

Written by: Mei-Lin Ing

The First Sun Burn

South Africa is hot and I am loving the heat. On our second day here I got my first burn of the semester and hopefully it will be my last because it is really painful. On a positive note I’m almost over the pain and the sun lover in me is back. The landscape is breath-taking and it is so awesome to be here.

Written by: Dave Toews

South Africa!!!

Over 29 hours
2 hours of sleep
And half way across the world
…We finally made it to
SOUTH AFRICA!!!

I still can’t believe I’m really saying that. Our first South African home, at Heronbridge Retreat Centre in Jo’burg was surreal. So beautiful. I was not expecting to see a place like this here, but was so happy to be staying at it to adjust to the time change. I soon cam to the realization of where we were really located when I looked across the murky river waters to see men fishing, women carrying baskets on their heads and the sun setting over those familiar rolling hills I’ve seen in magazines.

The trees are different. The birds are foreign. Even the smell is unique, not to mention the remarkable heat we left the Canadian weather behind for. This journey has only just begun, but as time passes by, we are all proud to announce that YES, we are in AFRICA!

Written by: Ben Pavey

Exceeding Expectaions

It’s been over a year since I initially signed up for Outtatown and ever since I licked the envelope and sent it off with a kiss, I’ve been creating expectations of Africa in my mind.

While I sat on our 11 hour flight from London to Jo’burg I became terrified that maybe these expectations had set the bar too high. I began to worry that I would be disappointed in the end. But once we got on our bus and began driving through South Africa’s gorgeous countryside I knew that it had far passed my expectations already.

I know that these three months are going to change me in more ways that I can ever imagine. I know that I am going to come home changed and appreciate everything I have taken for granted.

p.s. Lynele, you have so much to look forward to!!!

Written by: Lauren Sonnenberg

First Time Flyer

Being a small town, northern Manitoba boy, flying has never been a major source of transportation for me. In fact, I had never flown before, so when I signed up for Outtatown the flight was something that I was really looking forward to. It was quite the rush indeed, but a little intimidating as well since my entire group kept looking back at me to watch my reactions and expressions.

Looking back at the three flights we took (Winnipeg to Toronto, Toronto to London, London to Jo’burg), I have to say that the first flight was a bit of a disappointment to me. I’m not entirely sure what I had been expecting, but with my new found love of roller coasters and the crazy plane rides that I’ve seen in the movies, I thought this flight was definitely lacking in the thrill department since it was so smooth. Luckily I had a window seat so the lack of thrills was made up for by the incredible views of both Winnipeg and Toronto glowing in the night.

The flight to London on the other was a bit more like the movies. We hit turbulence throughout our entire twenty minute descent and landing; the plane jerked up down, our seats fell out on us, and the landing was rough. Finally a flight worthy of the hype!

The rest of the way to South Africa was long. I was able to sleep on both the flight to London and the flight to Jo’burg, which I’m told is pretty rare for a first time flyer, so jet-lag hasn’t been too terrible for me, but just last night I woke up at 1:00am, after just two hours of sleep, wide awake, thinking that morning had come. That was a weird feeling.

But yeah, we’re all adjusting to the climate, sun and food. I think some people are glad to have three months before our next plane ride, but I’m up for another asap!

Written by: Stephen Foord

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hello from South Africa!!!

Hello family, friends and anyone else who is reading this. We have made it to South Africa safe and sound. It was a long two days of traveling, but here we are. I only have a few minutes of internet time right now, but I'll hopefully be back with more time tomorrow to posting some first responses to South Africa that some students are writing for you. Thanks for all your prayers and know that I'll be doing my best to keep you up to date on what and how we're doing.

Written by: Sabrina Wiens