Sunday, February 28, 2010

Entabeni Safari

Went went on an overnight safari to the Entabeni Safari Conservancy about an hour and a half away from Polokwane. We stayed at the Wildside Safari Lodge ... which is a "luxury" tented camp. They were so nice. When we arrived we were greeted by our ranger, James. Then they served us a nice cold sprite and checked us in. James walked us to our tents and told us about the plans for the day. Here are the pictures from this weekend.

Luke was so excited to go. On Friday night I told him to pack for the trip and later when I checked on him I found that he had packed more than enough! Funny he had a little of everything in that bag.

James, our ranger is showing us to our tents. He explained to us that during the day it is OK to go back and forth by ourselves but we needed to be careful. At night we were told we must be escorted to our tents by a ranger (who has a rifle). We are in the bush and there are animals who roam freely - there are no fences. We were told to stay in our tents during the night and if for any reason we needed to leave we must call for an escort.

This is the tent Mark and I stayed in. It had 2 twin beds and a nice bathroom. Although I must admit Grams and the kids had the better bathroom ...

This is the tent that Grams, Brit and Luke stayed in. It had a double bed plus 2 twin beds and the bathroom had a tub and an outdoor shower. Very nice.

This was the view from their porch.

This is the pool for that lodge. Luke is busy making plans to swim after lunch.

We had a very nice buffet lunch. Several salads and cheeses as well as rice, potatoes, veggies, fish and steak kabobs, fruit and pudding for dessert.

Luke swimming after lunch.

Mark is taking a much deserved nap after a long 2 weeks of school!

We are getting ready to head out on our safari Saturday evening. James asked if anyone wanted to ride up front and Luke quickly jumped at the chance!

James is our ranger for the weekend.

James heard on the radio that another ranger just found some lions. He said that we actually just drove right past them. They were laying down in the bush and we couldn't see them. He turned around and went back to that area and drove off the road into the grass. We spotted them and we were able to park the vehicle right next to where they were. We were about 5 - 6 yards away from the male and the female and her 2 cubs were on the other side of the vehicle. We couldn't get any good pictures of them because they were laying down the whole time and you could see their tales every now and then.

We drove across a small dam and we came across 3 white rhino's. We were between 5 to 10 yards from them at any given time.

African Sunset

Full Moon

Here we are taking a break for "sun downers" to watch the sunset. Everyone had chips and a drink of their choice.

Luke was busy learning about animal tracks during our "sun downers"

Man there is nothing like a full moon in the bush of Africa.

As we were heading to dinner it got dark and James used his spot light to see if we could see anything. We ended up behind a lioness and 2 cubs walking down the road. We could see the lion ahead of them about 50 yards. We ended up being about an hour late for dinner as they stayed on the road for about 45 minutes and we could not pass them.

We had dinner under a HUGE fig tree. They set up tables and had a buffet with lots of food. It was an incredible experience. James told us on Sunday morning that the lion tracks were spotted as people were leaving the area just on the other side of where we were parked. Crazy to think they were that close.

We woke up at 5 am on Sunday for our 6 am morning safari.

Sunrise on Sunday morning

This group of zebras had several babies.


After we checked out and loaded up to head home we decided to stop at the Conservation area to look at the white lions. It was so neat to see them and to hear the history behind the white lion. The white lions are very rare. Here is the short story ... This conservation area has several of these white lions that they have raised and they are now in the process of breeding them with brown lions and then they will allow those cubs to be raised "in the wild" although they are on an island in the conservatory. These new cubs will most likely be brown but will carry the white gene and then they can breed those cubs and they should be white. In time they will be able to introduce several white lions into the game park. There is a movie that just came out here in South Africa called "The White Lion" we are headed to see this on Tuesday. They are beautiful!

We came home this afternoon and Grams spotted this bird in our yard. We have lots of these each day that "hang out" in our yard.

We are so thankful for the blessing of having Grams here with us and the gift we were given this weekend with her in the game park. Great Memories for sure!!!

*If you want to see pictures of the bore hole check out the previous post - keep in mind they were posted late Friday night and blogspot was causing me problems or I guess it could have been just user error. Anyway they are on there and that is all that matters :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Where did the time go???

February Training

Game Park in Polokwane

Debengeni Falls

These were taken at the Snake and Bird Park

Gena's 50th Birthday Party was moved to our house due to the possibility of rain. We had so much fun celebrating with her.

Sheep they fixed for Gena's party. It was really yummy!

We had some of the palm tree branches cut (they were touching the roof) one went through the bathroom window!

February 4th Mark's mom arrived from the States for a visit for a whole month. What a blessing we were given. She has just lived life with us here and we have loved having her here to experience our life here. We have been busy with all kinds of things, SOME of them included ... shopping for Mark and William to go into Mozambique for the leader's training and she also helped me make the road food for them. We sorted medical supplies for the mission, we have gone to the grocery store many times. She has gone to all the shops that we shop at. She has discovered how good the pancakes are when we go shopping a Game (our local Wal-mart). We have driven through the game reserve in Polokwane and we saw so many animals. We even walked on a trail very close to the giraffes! We went to Debengeni Falls, Cheerio Farms, the bird and snake park, Burger Bash, Luke's school, watched Luke swim, went to the mission farm, to the Mullins, watched as we waited for the drill to hit water when digging for our borehole, went to the movies, had a fun time at Gena's 50th, enjoyed time with the mission wives, loved on Tikfah, at lunch at the Farmyard and dinner at the Deck, she even got to eat at the Spur and Mug n Bean. She found out that Roman's Pizza is really good and cheap! We have done so much and are really excited about the next few days with her!!! We are so thankful for the gift we were given to have her here with us.

I can't believe I haven't updated our blog since New Year's Eve! Well here is a quick look at January and February.... (Side note ... it is late here and I am trying to get the pictures on in a certain order and it keeps deleting and even published my post before I was ready for it to be published. So with that said I am just putting the pictures on and they are not in any order. Even this paragraph will not move to where I want it. Oh well, I figure at least I got it updated!!! Thanks for sharing in our journey.

Align Center
Our freezer quit working for the 2nd time in a month so they came to pick it up and "fix" it and then they brought it back today. Hopefully it is fixed this time.

We were given money to dig a borehole (well). They pulled up around 9 on Feb. 18th and began drilling. We are so thankful that they hit water. We were told that we have sufficient water. Praise the Lord.

This is the new stadium that was built in Polokwane for the World Cup taking place this June. We were able to go see a Rugby game and it was fun!

This is Heidi - we got her in January. It took a few hours for Tex to "like" her but after a good "fight" on the lapa they soon became friends and now enjoy a good play time and then of course a good nap time.

January 19th - 6:10 am (yes that is right) Mark' s first day of Seminary - classes begin at 6:30 am. He has one session a month that lasts for 8 days - starts on a Tuesday and ends on the following Thursday. It is tough work but he is enjoying studying and learning more. In his words - he is doing this for Kingdom Purposes. It will benefit him, the mission and the pastors and leaders in Mozambique as he learns more about God's word and how to better equip the Pastor's in Mozambique. Please pray for him as he continues to juggle family, the mission and school.