Sunday, February 3, 2008

Emails sent home from South Africa

First Masssive Email.....

Dear Friends and family,
South Africa is wonderful. The weather has been very warm. Today it was 95 and beautiful..
Last week we spent our time in Johannsburg and mostly do a lot of service work, which was by the far the best and most inspiring thing I have ever done.. We went on the streets and visited with families and children. The commercials on tv for sponoring children dont do enough justice to the shacks and trash that many of the kids live in. The hardest part for me is to see so many childern homeless. Jo-burg is the most violent and rape capital in the world, but I felt more safer there then USA. The people in Jo-burg all look out for one another.. In the event that I was to pick pocketed and I yelled help 20 men would go after whoever was trying to steal something. Today we witnessed a man steal a self phone from a woman here in Piietermaritzburg and a group of men went after him, got the phone back and then beat him.. Stealing here has a high punishment and some people are even stoned to death!!! I also spent some time last week working with AID orphans... The government here is South Africa is so corrupt and denies that HIV is the number one killer. It is very frustrating to see a government that does not care about its people.

Apartheid still exists here.. Although an Apartheid ended in 1991 you can see that racism still exists between whites and blacks. It is very much alive here in Pietermarizburg.. Many blacks don't like us here, but for once I see and feel racism.. It has been a very eye opening experience and one I often thing is still overlooked in the USA. Racism still exists, but being a white I am unaware of it, but here I am the minority...

We also visited a game park last week. We were able to see all kinds of animals out in the wild.. It was a neat experience to be on a safari and we saw 3 of the big 5... I have taken over 700 pictures.. Drew would be proud... and am not even done with one memory card yet.. All of have not gotten sick, so we have been very blessed... We are all doing great and we haven't killed one another yet... So, I guess that is good

I am missing the states.. I miss the food... I am not a big fan of the traditional African Food. I have eaten a bunch of weird stuff and I do not really enjoy it all that much.. I can't wait to get some starbucks too.. Here they dont have coffee.. Well, they have coffee, but only regular.. They don't have the good stuff like we do in the states.. Today we spent a lot of time in museums and in Art galleries... I am looking forward to the next leg of our trip. Prayers are necessary for safety and health.
I hope all of you are doing well and I look forward to seeing you in the states..
Take care
Love, Sarah

Second massive email....

Dear family and friends,
South Africa has been a wonderful experience. Yesterday, we went on top of table mountain, which is a huge tourism attraction here at Cape Town.. We were eye level with the clouds. We were supposed to go on Table mountain on Monday, but a girl in our group was very sick, so we ended up going on Tuesday. It was a good thing that we did go up on Tuesday because Monday night two people died and the power was also cut off, which stop the Gondola’s from going up, so about 500 people were stuck in mid air on a cable car from about 7:45 pm till midnight. It was very interesting to read the headlines on Tuesday morning and see that people were stuck up at Table Mountain. The Lord must have known and protected us from that situation because two people ended up having a heart attack due to the intense fear/ stress and the cold climate that is brought when your eye level with the clouds… Table Mountain was very beautiful and it was wonderful to see Cape Town as well as the Atlantic Ocean down below. Pictures don’t justify the beauty up there. Here is the website for ya’ll to take a look at..

Last night we went into a town ship (informal settlement) and passed out soup at Midnight to those who are homeless.. It was very interesting and sad at the same time to see the little kids in the pjs (at midnight) running out with a cup for soup as most of them have not eaten at all during the day. Most of them wont eat until Cecil ( the guide who took us) makes rounds again tonight.. My experiences in South Africa have made me realize how Blessed we are in America.
I will be back in the states Friday the 25th. Hope to talk to you all soon!
Take Care!!
Thanks for the prayers and support.
Love, Sarah

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