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Journals: Travel | First Impressions | AIDS Orphanage | Leaving Kenya | Zimbabwe | Leaving


8/11- 15
Eve Aeschlimanr writes:

How can one summarize a week of an incredible range of experiences? It seems that there is really no way possible, so maybe I shouldn't even try. No, I will attempt, but just know that there is no way that I can cover everything and express everything I would like to.

This week has been full of kids! We volunteer for the children's program here at MWC and it seems to have taken over our days. Our group came into it thinking that we wouldn't have to work all day every day, but that soon changed. Some of us enjoy the nursery of 0-2 year olds, while a majority of others work with children ranging in age from 3-15. Our hours are 9:30ish-5ish. Often times it is later, though.

We have set up a nice system where we get at least one afternoon off to attend workshops, the global village, and just enjoy the shops, music, and african atmosphere.

I have been working in the nursery. It's been quite different having some of the Zim babies look at me and start crying because I am white. It's such a helpless feeling because there's nothing I can do about it. Yet, I have been very blessed by some of the other babies and how easily they trust me. The same goes for the other Zim volunteers. They trust us and look after us. It's been such a blessing to experience the african hospitality and openness.

I'm not quite ready for our experience to end, but God has shown and taught us so much these past weeks, and I know we will all have a lot to share and process once we get home. Hopefully we will all remember what we want to take back from here and be able to put it into practice. It will be a bittersweet departure for all of us today.

Lisa Bergey writes:

Sunday was the ending worship session of Mennonite World Conference. The four hour service was filled with lots of singing, a sermon by the new president, Nancy Heisey, thankyou's and appreciation to our Zimbabwean hosts, and a communion service.

The communion service was especially moving for me. 7,000 plus fellow Mennonite and Brethren in Christ believers from around the world, all partaking in the holy time together was awesome.

Our group said goodbye to eve that afternoon as she headed to Botswana. We left on a motorcoach bus around 6 PM, and rode it through the night, arriving in Johannesburg the next morning. Monday was spent in the Joburg airport sleeping, catching up on journals, playing cards, and just relaxing. Our flight for london left about 10 pm that night.

We arrived in Washington DC on Tues. afternoon. We had one last circle prayer time as a group before we left the baggage area. Our group really bonded and became very close, so it was hard to split up and say goodbye to everyone. Parents and friends then greeted us outside and took us safely back to Harrisonburg and Pennsylvania.

Photo galleries:
(most to least recent)

Victoria Falls
and GYS

AIDS orphanage

Gallery 2
First impressions

Gallery 1
Travel and arrival