Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Africa Part 2: The Camp!

Camp! Camp! Camp! What we've all been waiting for. Sadly, I didn't find time to take a bunch of pictures so I'll just have to tell you all about it.

We arrived Monday around lunch time to the facility where we were hosting it. We were so blessed to have all day Monday to spend with the African counselors who were volunteering their week to help us. My African coco's (co-counselor) name was Corretta. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Like Andrew and I, her and her husband, Lucky, just got married over the summer. So we had a lot of fun bonding over our new marriages! I also was blessed to have another American coco whose name was Tia.

We spent that whole Monday bonding, getting to know each other, and teaching one another about each others cultural differences and similarities. We all had so much to learn!

One of the biggest cultural differences that I kind of touched on before was the language.  Certain words of ours that aren't bad in anyway to us mean very offensive things to the Africans.  And similarly, certain words of theirs our cuss words in America. HA that was interesting when I kept hearing my girls say them throughout the week. We especially made sure what we said was offensive in no way.

That Monday night, the African counselors introduced us to potjies! And did we feast! Andrew and I are totally going to do this here in the states for a college football game day!

you fill cast iron cauldrans with all sorts of veggies
and meats and let it cook for two hours over hot coals

Kevin and Mlu keeping the fire going

Tuesday the kids arrived. So in America, I already have a heard time getting people's names right. I'm terrible with names. Here are the names of mine and Andrew's campers. Enjoy!



No, that is not a typo. He had two campers with the name Siyabonga. I thought it was going to challenging to pronounce their names, but it suprisingly came a lot easier than I thought. Whenever I'd asked someone what their name was, they'd ask me in return, "Do you want my African name or the name I go by?" HAHA. 

We spent the week with our cabins playing games, doing crafts, eating meals, and challenging other cabins to activities. I spent hours teaching my girls how to make all sorts of friendship bracelets. They LOVED them! But most importantly, we introduced them to the love of God. We shared our lives with them to show what God can do for their lives. One of my favorite moments was two nights in a row we sang around a huge bonfire worshiping God singing in African. It was so cool to worship Him under the African stars in a different language. So moving.

We made so many friendships that week. I may never see most of those people again but we will forever remember them. My girls even gave me an African name. Mine is Kamohelo. It means "acceptance" in African. We feel so apart of the Joburg church and the African families because of this camp. 

me with my girls

andrew with all the guy counselors

Thank you God for making life worth living. We love and miss all of our African brothers and sisters!

...even more to come tomorrow :) You seriously thought I was going to do this in 2 posts!?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Africa Part 1: We have arrived!

You know, just because a country speaks English doesn't mean you'll understand anything their saying. South Africa....one of those places. I absolutely loved their lingo, though. Please don't hold me on the spellings, but you'll get the idea:

robots = traffic lights
cheers = good bye
costume or cozi (for short) = swim suit
bucky = truck
slip slops = flip flops
braai (pronounced br-i) = cookout

All of these said in accents to die for. We asked them what we sounded like. "Just like the people from the TV!" Haha! AND I was told my accent was one of the "thickest" American accents of the group. I didn't even know that was possible. 

We had so much fun learning the lingo from the most wonderful South African family, the Stockdales.  Ian and Bronwyn hosted us along with their daughters Phoebe and Paige. 

hanging out with Pheobe (right) and Paige (middle)

We sadly forgot to get a group shot of all 6 of us, but I'm confident we'll be seeing them again so don't worry your little hearts. You'll get to meet them, too, through our future photo.  

We didn't start the camp right away. And thank goodness! We were all walking zombies with swollen ankles. We arrived Friday morning, met up with our families, and recuperated from our traveling. The Stockdale's took us to a traditional African restaurant to get the full experience.

they came to the table to wash your hands

and painted your face :)

2 hours of sleep people...2 hours!

Saturday was a day of exploring. We went to a lion park where Andrew and I made some memories for life.

the lion den

it was nap time when we arrived

but Zara got playful when we came in with her "mom"
(the woman who has taken care of her since birth)

she just liked laying on top of Andrew and licking his head

Later that night we rang in the new year with the Joburg Church with an epic dance party and had a midnight communion service. The African's taught us some cool dance moves while we returned the favor. We ended the night praying in African, English, and Zulu.  It was such a powerful experience.

Sunday was a designated day to relax. But we don't know what relaxing means when it's our first time in Africa! The Stockdale's invited my brother's host family over and we had a braai. Lots of meat, swimming, and RUGBY!

it started off a small backyard game

but then we got serious and went to the park down the street

and I couldn't come all the way to Africa and not play for a little bit

So to recap, in 48 hours, Andrew and I discovered Africa, made friends with lions and tigers, ate tons of African meats, learned how to play rugby, prayed in different languages, learned how to dance Africa style, and made life long African friends. Living a dream.

Friday, January 20, 2012


December 28th, 2011 at approximately 3:30 pm the journey we had been counting down for months was finally a reality. We arrived at the airport in Atlanta only to immediately jump into chaos. There were about 45 of us traveling together. Imagine you, your family, about to go out of the country, and the busiest airport in the world. Multiply everything you're imagining by...well...45.

This was mine and Andrew's first ever flight out of the country. And first ever flight that would be more than 5 hours long. (Our flights for our honeymoon were right at 5 hours and absolutely miserable!) I was only anticipating how little sleep I would get, how uncomfortable I would be, and how bad the airplane meals would be.

And well....

All were just as I anticipated! On our 8 hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany, I got a grand total of 1 hour of sleep. This view was so beautiful I almost forgot how tired and crabby I was...

Sun rising over Europe
However, I didn't forget. We landed in Frankfurt at 2:30 in the morning EST and 9:30 in the morning there. (Shortest night of my life!) Despite being so tired and uncomfortable, I was very eager to get to visit Germany. Never had I been in an area where English is no where to be found. (Which we felt a little on the plane considering it was a German airline.)

But luckily we had a wonderful lady to show us around the sights and translate for us. 

saw many beautiful old churches

inside one of the many we visited
I know this is going to sound really silly, but the one thing that finally hit me was how old and how much history Europe has. Old in America is 1800's. Old in Germany was 1200's. Crazy difference! This was my first time seeing buildings built before America was even around. (Okay so it's obvious I don't get out much.)

And by so much history, I mean we stood in the square where the Nazis are famous for marching. 

standing in the square

a shot looking down at the square

a picture of the Nazi soldiers in the same place

See the banners with the swastikas draped down the walls of that church? I took the picture (looking down at the square) from the roof of that church near the bell tower on the left side of the building and fixed in the middle of the picture. Crazy! My feet stood where amazing history took place. My next goal...to have my feet stand where Jesus once stood. One of these days. 

We couldn't come to Germany and not get some traditional German cuisine. 

where we ate lunch

we were given platters for everyone to share

the damage

the end result
The group was so exhausted. We just had the shortest night of sleep in our life, which most of us got no sleep, then walked around Germany all morning. We were zonked! 

So after a few more of the sites.....

visited the holocaust memorial for all those that lost their lives from frankfurt.
anne frank was one of them.

inspiration for the whomping willow in harry potter...
i think so!

the bridge where couples "lock their love" then through the key
into the river. if i had known we'd be there i would have
come prepared!

We all passed out at the airport as we waited for our 10 hour overnight flight to Africa. Sorry, I think our group gave another reason for the Europeans to hate Americans. We didn't move for anyone. 

Andrew and I would love to go back to Germany sometime. Both my mom and his mom's heritage is German. Supposedly the castle called the Linderhof Palace was once in my family. I'd love to go see it. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Long Time (literally) No See

I'm so sorry it's been such a long time! Trust me, every night I go to bed thinking about posting a blog to update all of you on our adventures, but I'm always too tired. Since coming back to the states, 9 pm has been a constant "I'm ready for bed (yawn!)" time. So my usually blogging time slot has been preoccupied by some zzzzz's. I hope you can forgive me.

I've been trying to figure out how I wanted to share about our month of adventures on here and I'm pretty stumped. If only I could tell of our journeys in one blog post. But that is physically impossible. I'd be here all night and into tomorrow typing to tell you about it. And well, to be so honest, I know neither of us have the time to type or read that long of a post in our busy days.

So to start somewhere....

My husband and I celebrated our first Christmas together! Throughout our entire relationship (2 years) before marriage we never spent a holiday together. 1. Because our families didn't live in the same city. 2. It was few and far between when we got just "family time" with our families so we didn't interrupt that. And 3. Because we wanted the little things like spending the holidays together to be special when we truly became our own family.

And I'm so grateful we did it that way. This Christmas was spent with my family in Cocoa Beach. We had a nice lay/nap by the pool, ate lots of yummy food, and went to the infamous Harry Potter World!

We of course broke our fast. AMEN! With some Ihop. 

Might I recommend the pumpkin pancakes. They were perfection. And don't judge me...but I ate every last bite. You would too if you hadn't touched sugar, bread, chocolate, and coffee in over a month! 


Next Christmas, we plan on spending it with the other side of the family. I can't wait! Of course kind of sad because I've never spent a Christmas without my parents but exciting because spending holidays with in-laws means I'm married, which means I have a husband, which means all my dreams have come true. :)

Til next time, I'll begin to share about the trip that gave us so much joy. And that took me away from here for a month! 

Side note, I saw this today on Pinterest and I want one. 

I want to have this up in our home and put a pin on all the places we travel to. Not in such a way that we are showing off to people, but in a way that always reminds us of where God has taken us. As a way to always remember. And be grateful. 

Next stop......Germany!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...