Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last Night in Malawi

Sunday September 13th

I’ll back up a day and tell you about Saturday. We left ABC campus at 6:30am and started our 4 hour bus ride to Hippo Lodge. We met our guide, Jimmy and he took us on a 45 minute boat ride down the Shire River to Mvuu camp. Along the way we saw elephants on the shore with their babies, herds of hippos in the water and came uncomfortably close to a large nile crocodile.

When we arrived at Mvuu (mmmm-voooo) camp we had lunch and were taken to our rooms. Jennifer and I stayed in a chalet that was 15 feet from the waters edge. It was fantastic. All this time we could hear the hippos calling to each other. The best way I can describe it is that they sound just like Jabba the Hut in Star Wars.

After lunch we went on a jeep tour and got up close and personal with many animals. We saw wart hogs, water buck, mongoose, ring-tailed janet, impala, velvet monkeys, golden baboons (nasty mean critters) , kudo, and tons of birds. Our favorite part was when Jimmy was able to get a lone teenage elephant worked up enough that it postured and threatened to charge the jeep. Just to let you know this vehicle is open and it has four rows of tiered seats. Like a movie theater. He was no more that 6-8 feet away from us and was about 15 feet tall. Jimmy had a small cap gun in his hand to protect us….are you kidding me!! Anyways we are obviously fine but what an incredible experience. We were in the bush till well after dark and used a spotlight to find more animals. We went back to camp and had dinner.

After dinner an attendant insisted on walking us all back to our chalets. This was for our safety.
I laid in bed and listened to the night sounds and it made me appreciate how wonderful and gracious God is for giving us all these amazing animals and beautiful sights.

Today we started our day with a discussion about how this mission has affected our lives and our personal walk with God. This was very emotional for our team members as we all had different stories to share.

After breakfast we went on a boat tour and saw several herds of elephants. We got up close and personal with hippos and crocodiles. After the boat tour we were able to go on a jeep tour of the rhino sanctuary and actually did see a young male black rhino, which is very rare even for Africa.
We then headed home on our long 5 hour bus ride back to the ABC campus.

The Chinchen family had us all over for waffle night. This a family tradition and it was nice to see everyone. It was comforting coming back to campus as they have made this wonderful place feel like a home away from home. We said our goodbyes and went back to our rooms to pack.

Please keep us in your prayers for travel mercies as we start our long journey home. Please pray for the people of Malawi and all of those at ABC who work so hard to empower the people of this country.

God bless

Kim Franken

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