Saturday, 31 March 2012

Pietermaritzburg service & Drachensberg Hike

The time at Pietermaritzburg was fantastic!  We met some amazing people who were doing God's work at Project Gateway Prison.  We felt very blessed to be a little part of what they were doing while we were there doing service work.  Whether it was scraping off old paint or painting interior/exterior walls, we enjoyed helping out Project Gateway one group at a time. Both groups worked on preparing and painting some accomodation rooms, painting the hallway and other exterior painting jobs.  It was good to be put to work and I know the people at Project Gateway appreciated everything we did.

We also got to experience some of the Zulu culture one night.  The kitchen ladies prepared a Zulu feast for us, including chicken feet, tripe (cow intestine), chicken gizzard and sour milk,  Let's just say it was an entertaining meal as people tried all the new food.  After dinner we got to play games with some of the local children and that was very fun!  The whole evening was a great taste of Zulu culture.

Our group was split in half that week.  While one group stayed to do service, the other group left to hike Rhino's Peak in the Drachensberg Mountains.  The hike was both challenging and rewarding.  The hike, so beautiful!  It was such an amazing experience to sleep in a cave for two nights and cook our food in a little pot over a single flame.  At night we were surrounded by stars and bats, and in the morning we were greeted by the sunrise rising up through the mountains.  It was such a wonderful experience to be completely surrounded by God's creation.  The hike was challenging and took about 3 hours to get to the top where we met some BaSotho herdsmen.  Along the way we got to drink water right from the river which was a very cool experience (literally, the water was freezing!).  Everyone encouraged one another and I know everyone loved getting to the summit.  We could see for miles - it was such an incredible view!  We also had a lot of fun with our guides, Paul and Josh, who talked with us and even played cards with us.  Overall the hike was one of the most amazing experiences we got to do this year and I'm sure it was a highlight for many members of the group.

Written by: Layla

Carol & Alisha in our home cave
Sandy, Kaitly, Tobi, Carol & Alisha nearing the top

group shot with the BaSotho herdsmen in the country of LeSotho

Chloe taking in the view over SA

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Layla, that sounds and looks great. Did they tell you that the Zulu name for the Drakensberg ("dragons' mountain") is Quathlamba? That means "barrier of spears". The BaSotho people - a passive nation, as opposed to the Zulu warrior tribe - fled up the mountains to stay out of the way of the other warring tribes. With only a few passes to the top and dangerous cliff walls, towering into the sky, the Zulus described it as a barrier of spears. As you know, LeSotho is still the "mountain kingdom" of the BaSotho people...where they speak SeSotho...