16 Mar Journey to the Land of Ubuntu -- Day 1 and 2

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South Africa is the Land of Ubuntu. When challenged to build a new nation following the end of Apartheid, Nelson Mandela challenged the nation to embrace the spirit of Ubuntu. This challenged all people Black and White to work together to craft a better future for everyone. The result is that the people of South Africa ask all visitors with a warm smile, "How do you like our new South Africa?"

Our community at iZania is inspired by the spirit of Ubuntu - an African concept of unity and sharing with other people that celebrates the success of others because I can only become the person I am because of who you are. This concept is important in a highly connected world built on the kindness of strangers. Ubuntu refers to the spirit of our community.

For the next ten days I will be traveling with a group of people from the USA representing the South Africa Outreach Program, a missionary outreach group formed by my wife and me in 1996, during the three years that we lived in South Africa. We have been helping disadvantaged people in South Africa and assisting with cultural exchange visits and church growth for over 12 years. This is the 4th group that we have hosted on a trip to the motherland of Africa. I will be sharing our experiences in my blog post. Please check daily, or subscribe to this blog to receive my daily updates .

Friday, March 14 

                                        Saop Travelers 2008 

We gathered from places far and near at our rendezvous at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. The group is comprised of two teenagers, two married couples, a minister, and twelve others - all women - ranging up to our oldest traveler in her late seventies. We are all excited with many questions about this very long journey facing us - a flight of more than 16 hours. After a prayer for a safe journey, we departed.

I might add that there were several groups on this flight. There was a group of 28 Ohio State University alumni led by the President of the OSU Alumni Association - Archie Griffin, the 2-time Heisman trophy winner. There was a 28 member soccer team on break from Franklin and Marshall University in Lancaster, PA. They were going to Cape Town to work on building a Soccer Training complex for underprivileged children in one of the Townships of Cape Town. There were several church groups, and lots of tourists visiting South Africa for the first time.

Saturday, March 15

We have arrived in the motherland! After more than 24 hours of travel (including all connections), we have landed in beautiful Cape Town. Known to the natives as God's Country, this is a most beautiful spectacle as we approach this beautiful sea port surrounded by towering mountain ranges. The centerpiece of beauty is Table Mountain. Just off the shore is Robbin Island, the prison island that held Nelson Mandela for 27years. We will visit both of these key landmarks in the next few days. Sunday, we will visit Robbin Island, and I will report on the view from the top of Table Mountain when we go there on Monday. It is evening, and most are tired from such a long journey. Some of us gather in the hotel restaurant for dinner, and others just retire to get some sleep. Tomorrow begins the exciting part of our journey.

 

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