We’ve made it to South Africa! It was sad to leave our families on Christmas Day, but our destination was beautiful and I am SO glad to be here. We flew from Miami to Washington DC. We had a 5 hour layover in DC and luckily the airports decided to make the wireless internet free as a gift to people like us who had a long time to wait.
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Dulles Airport under the South African flag!


Mel and Stan’s flight from Ohio to DC got delayed, so we had to finish the trip just the two of us. We were both a little nervous, but we ended up sitting next to some cool people on the 14 hour flight from DC to Johannesburg. They were a group of three girls, one of which has a brother working in Jo-burg. They were going to meet him in Cape Town then take two weeks and drive up the coast back to Jo-burg. Another girl works for an organization that is mainly an after-school program. It’s for kids who have or know someone who has AIDS. There are counselors for the students if they need to talk. Once we get our production running, we may try to get our team to the States to perform and spend time with the kids at this after-school program. It would be exciting to have the team from SA interacting and connecting with people in the US who have similar problems and issues but who come from a different background, and completely different continent. We exchanged phone numbers and emails so we could keep in touch.

Johan and his wife Dayba picked us up at the Cape Town airport. It was so good to see them! We’ve spent time with them in Tallahassee, and it was fun to now let them take us around their hometown. It was 11 pm when we got in, so we couldn’t see the beautiful mountains that surrounded us until the next day.
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Dayba on the balcony of Johan’s parents house.
This area is called Strand. Several of Mel’s family members live in this area, and we will stay in a house here as well when we get back to Cape Town. Johan’s father is a pastor in a town about 15 minutes away called Macassar. Mel’s parents live there and go to Pastor Page’s church. The church is in the same building as Restoring the Sound, an awesome place where we will be working at the end of March. I’m looking forward to working there. There is a recording studio and practice rooms and a pottery room. Our Team Training does not begin until January 17th, so Michael and I have been able to do some tourist-y sightseeing and we’ve gotten into the culture which is one of the big reasons I wanted to come to South Africa.

My two favorite places Johan and Dayba took us were Gordon’s Bay and Green Point. I don’t have any photos of Gordon’s Bay yet. We didn’t know we were going sightseeing when they took us to the Pick N Pay. We had some pies, which are pastries filled with different mixtures. Some are steak, or chicken, or curry and there are many other choices! I like the Cornish pie, which is just veggies and the veggie curry pie. So delicious! It’s like a portable pot of curry. Once we got our food, we drove up the mountain a bit and parked at an overlook where we sat and stared at the ocean for about half an hour. We could see how the mountains surrounded the bay and the tall hotels make me think of South Florida.
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The other place Johan and Dayba took us was to Green Point. The waves here were HUGE!! They splashed up on the wall.

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This photo doesn’t show it, but you can see Robbin Island from Green Point. It’s the island with the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for thirty years. Since it’s summer, everyone is on holiday doing tourist stuff. We didn’t book tickets early enough for the ferry to Robbin Island so we’ll have to wait until we get back to Cape Town.

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Michael and me at Green Point
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A guy was surfing when the tide started coming in and he was stuck standing on this rock. He had to climb up at least 15 feet to get up to where we were standing! His wife threw her towel down like a rope to pull him up. It was pretty crazy.


Every night in Cape Town, we were invited to a braai (bbq) or a potjie (pronounced POI-key).  You cook a potjie by putting all your ingredients (veggies and meat) into a three legged black pot that sits on top of the coals in the braai. The first one we had was a seafood potjie at Erin and Garth’s house, friends of Johan and Dayba‘s. There was little tiny shrimp, mussels, calamari and I’m pretty sure I saw a little octopus arm as well. All that and the veggies were cooked in a white cream sauce then when it‘s ready to eat you scoop it onto a pile of rice. I’m not a fan of seafood but I didn’t want to be rude so I tasted a bite of each type except the octopus arm. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much seafood at once! Maybe it was just in my head, but I started feeling a little queasy so I stopped eating. We spent the rest of the night talking about Boyz II Men and listening to their Christmas album.

Dayba told us that a very South African meal is a lamb potjie. Funny enough, we had one a couple of nights later on New Year‘s Eve at Mel‘s mom‘s house. My favorite potjie though is the curry! After we spent the New Year’s celebration with Mel’s family, we went to Erin and Garth’s house where they had a curry potjie waiting for us! It was probably 2 am before we ate but it was delicious!
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After we ate, they taught me and Michael how to dance. A song called “Welcome to Cape Town” was on. Very appropriate. Needless to say, I was awesome :)
All of us had been busy getting ready for Youth Week and visiting family so we took it easy on New Year’s day. We relaxed and Michael and I took a dip in the pool at Johan’s parents house. We weren’t able to spend much time with Pastor Ivan and his wife Cecilia, but they were so welcoming. Their home is so lovely and peaceful. I was so grateful that they allowed us to stay there without even meeting us. South Africans definitely take care of their guests.