Day Eight

Photo Feb 25, 2 22 34 PMOn our road trip to Malungeni, 1,000 miles from Cape Town, we stay in Port Elizabeth, a large city on the Indian Ocean. Along the way we see majestic mountains, rolling hills, farmland, coastal beaches and aqua blue ocean vistas. Since we have a lot of time on the bus to gather our thoughts, we have invited the delegation to share a few of their memories from our week in Cape Town and the Townships: The joyful presentations of the Zones at the Sunday service at JL Zwane. -Maureen Cannon My favorite place was the day center for seniors where we gave hand massages while talking  with them.  Several women commented it was the first time a white person had touched them.  Powerful... -Nancy Lynch Our time with Fr. Michael Lapsley ...listening to him and the work he is doing with all South Africans suffering with PTSD through the Institute For Healing Of Memories.  Fr. Lapsley is such a wonderful listener. -Dick Pistulka Along with the beautiful sense of hope in the eyes of the children, Mitchell's Plain Clinic and its incredibly dedicated staff enlightened and inspired me. -Jill Pistulka I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Robert and Nonki, a twenty-something couple living and working in Johannesburg. It is very hopeful to hear their story of success, their hopes and dreams for their future, and how they plan to give back. Robert is offering to be a mentor of township students coming to Johannesburg for the first time to attend college away from home. -Julie Andberg One of my favorite experiences was to meet with the Fun Learning for Youth (FLY)  program leaders who tutor high school students weekly to prepare them for college. All of the tutors grew up in extreme poverty, completed college and have very successful careers.  The tutor's choice to make a difference in the lives of these young people will change lives. Education is the key to change the cycle of poverty. I am excited and honored that AIAIA is partnering to assist with this valuable program. -Julie Vogl No trip is the same-this one especially. These are people/friends with exceptionally big hearts and love for our South African family.  Every trip is heartfelt. Thank you to all our SJA family and blessings to all here and there. -Pat Murphy Kneeling on the floor and holding kids who had just received the Mother Bears.  Their smiles and hugs left me breathless and happy and sad and wishing I could take all of them home. -Marcia Kurtz Being in Cape Town was amazing. One of my favorite adventures was hiking on top of Table Mountain with Father - telling ghost stories as we walked through the fog. One of the most touching events was going to Luthando, the child care center, and passing out bears. I loved the smiles on the children's faces and receiving hugs and high fives. -Tate Staloch Cape Town was great. It was fun to help everybody. My favorite thing we did was when we went to the Sisters of Charity in Khayelitsha and passed out stickers and friendship bracelets to the people staying there. It was fun to see them so happy. -Teigen Staloch I am inspired and hopeful as we leave Cape Town - because of the amazing individuals that we met...Julius at the Barcelona orphanage, Spiwo at the JL Zwane Center, and the members of FLY. All of these individuals have the drive and the means to leave the townships behind but they have chosen to stay and work to make a significant difference in the lives of people struggling in the townships. Their commitment to service and social justice feels familiar as I travel with our SJA delegation. There is much work to be done - someone referred to South Africa as the scarred country - it is scarred and the conditions are brutal but the love, compassion and determination of its people to create a better South Africa is beautiful. -Trish Harvey Our entire time in Cape Town was nothing short of amazing. I have never experienced such a range of emotion in such a short amount of time and I know that even as we drive away, the spirit of so many people will come home with me. I pray that I will remain touched and moved to action not only for the people in South Africa-but for those experiencing a similar lack of voice and lack of power at home. Although I have attended church services my entire life, never have I felt so much love, never have I seen such a sense of community and never have I witnessed such pure joy in giving praise to God as I experienced Sunday at the service at JL Zwane (except at SJA). Regardless of the oppression, the injustice, the hardship, and the living conditions people in the townships experience daily, this faith community taught me what it means to be rich-to sing, to dance, to give, to provide, to trust, to work, and mostly to love and to accept! "When the student is ready the teacher will come"-I am filled with gratitude to the many teachers in South Africa I have met this week. -Teri Staloch