Monday, July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008 - last RR team update

We had a fantastic weekend. We left Manzini at 8:00 am on Friday morning – right on schedule! We drove through Swaziland and entered the Matsamo border gate which is right new the Malelane Gate of Kruger Park. It is 170 km from Manzini. From there we drove straight up through the middle of the park to a camp called Skukuza where we spent the night. Saturday we drove through the park, down by the Sabie river and then over to the west side of the park to Pretoriuskop where we spent both Saturday and Sunday nights. We got up early Sunday morning and went on a morning walk with two of the park rangers (who of course were both armed with shotguns). On the hike we got very close to a heard of rhinoceros. It was awesome. Sunday evening we took an evening ride. It was COLD when the vehicle was moving. We were very lucky Sunday evening and saw two lioness’ walking right down the street, we followed a rhino and her baby up the road a bit until it got irritated and then we backed off and it ran away, we saw a couple of hyenas and hyena cubs, a couple of rare wild cats, elephants, cape buffalo, giraffe, hares (not rabbits!), impalas, kudos, and the tiniest antelope at Kruger. During the day drives we also saw lots of hippos, baboons, monkeys, zebras, giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros and we saw a cheetah walking down the road and a lioness. There are only 200 cheetahs in the park so they are a rare find. Kruger is one of the most beautiful, peaceful places on earth. It is hard to believe so many big and rare animals live there in the wild and it was even harder to believe we were so close to so many. After a fun weekend, it was finally time to say goodbye to the team. It was bittersweet, but they were very anxious to get home to their loved ones. Richard took them out the gate nearest where we stayed which is the shortest route back to Johannesburg and Sphiwe and I went back the way we came. I received a SMS from Richard that they were near the airport so I’m sure they all got on the plane okay.

It was great to have them here. They touched the hearts of so many people who will never forget them, including me. I wish them God speed and a safe journey back home. I pray they will find the words and the opportunity to share their stories and pictures with many so that more people will understand more about what Africa is really like, instead of many of the myths that seem to float around among many who don’t know. It’s the same here about Americans. Their visit helped Swazi’s see that black or white, African or American we are all the same and that we are connected by the blood of Christ.

Below, find some pictures from Kruger. My pictures don’t do the animals or weekend justice. Wait to you see the 800 pictures and countless videos Steve took, or the countless rolls of film Kelly took and who knows how many pictures and video Anthony took. With their big zoom lens, you will see a slide show of your life. Don’t miss it!

No comments: