JessicaAn update from Jessica, a Perkins School of Theology student and assistant to Dr. Evelyn Parker, studying in South Africa:

Our group at Johannesburg airport

Our group at Johannesburg airport

We made it alive to Johannesburg after a long flight and then took a plane to Durban with a total travel time of 28 hours! As we left the airport it was as picturesque as I had always imagined Africa would be, with birds of paradise welcoming us into the country. Our homestead at Tre Fontane is clean and safe but has all of the African charm I had hoped it would. We have even fed monkeys from our windows and often see them in packs!

The first day we were in Durban, we visited a botanical garden, saw the stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup (Moses Mabhita Soccer stadium), and went to the Indian Ocean! There was nothing like putting our feet in an ocean we never dreamed we would feel!

At the Indian Ocean

At the Indian Ocean

On our first Sunday at Pinetown Methodist Church, the people at Pinetown welcomed us joyfully into their church home and soon made us feel right at home as well. They do not shake hands. They hug. They had us introduce ourselves to the whole church, and after church spoke to us during “tea time”. The South Africans drink a lot of tea! They have a special herbal tea, called Rooibos, which is delicious.

Everyone was so kind and generous and expressive.

Pinetown Methodist Church

Pinetown Methodist Church