Sunday, August 30, 2009

On the way to Jo'burg (started 8/30/2009 finished now)

Hi All. Barb here. We are in Piet Retief at the Welgekozen Country Lodge en route to Jo'burg. It's been an amazing couple of days. Earlier bloggers wrote about our great school visits with Group 2. We wrapped our school visits with a trip to Matamzana Dube, the high school we visited in Nov 2007. It seems their school has grown alot since we were there. They added three temp classrooms and some of their other structures have collapsed due to poor construction. It was startlingly clear that ECAG's classroom design is really stellar as we noted a significant temperature difference between the room we constructed and the other classrooms. It was sad to see so many kids in just shirts in the freezing weather and the cold classrooms. Again, I am reminded how fortunate we are here.

We traveled on to St. Lucia for hippo-rama on the water safari then up to Hilltop for the jeep safari. It is truly amazing to see these incredible animals, as Lori described. We had an extra treat on the trip. There is a young man named Fred Wynne working for Mark Chennels at his game reserve near Hluhluwe park. Fred will be working on a Books for Africa project for Mark and it turned out that Henry could brief Fred if Fred joined us at Hilltop -- so he did. It was a pleasure to have such a bright and light spirit with us. He is in his early twenties and having an amazing time working for Mark on the reserve. Lots of rhino photo taking and nyala wrestling. He was a great conversationalist and very enjoyable travel mate.

It's now 9/1, we're in Jo'burg. Lori has done a great job posting our details. Most of the gang are out at the Apartheid Museum today. I am taking a hiatus to rest up for Zambia. Gracious thanks to our friend Titus who has handled all our arrangements there. We will be able to visit some Books for Africa contacts.

I am feeling so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to share this work with our good travelers. Our service is simple but has amazing long lasting impact - 40+ kids per classroom for years on years. It's a very good reminder of our good fortune in the United States and how simple action on our part can make a big difference a world away. thanks to to all of you who support our work in the many ways you do. Thanks to our happy travelers for being awesome travel mates and great voices for our work. Blessings. B

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