Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Foreign and Exotic in Africa

Ever come home from camp and one of the greatest things is a familiar face waiting for you? While we may never have met Ashley and Craig face to face, their warm smiles and left-handshakes made us feel welcome and at home immediately. Both are active in local Scouting and served not only as our welcoming committee but continued to be our guides for the first few days in Africa. With their help, we easily gathered ourselves (including taking overloaded airport carts on a wild escalator ride) and piled into our three rented vans…standard transmission vans…on the left side of the road…at midnight…. Like the Venturer motto says: Challenge.

Staying at the Girl Guide Centre in Johannesburg, we retreated to the luxury of bunk beds with mattresses- and PILLOWS! The next morning there wasn’t much time for touring as we set off for Welkom- which has become our home for the next three weeks.

Once in Welkom, we were greeted by various Scouting members and they helped us set up tents and prepared a delicious traditional meal.
Once everyone was moved in, we suddenly heard shouting and singing coming from the main room. Running in to see the excitement, we saw an impromptu campfire (sans fire) happening before our eyes. Jumping in with both feet we amazed them with our Penguin Song. Have YOU ever seen a penguin drinking tea? If you haven’t, ask Bruce. We, in turn, were also amazed with their songs and high energy levels. Singing along, we quite often couldn’t understand the words, but gave it our all anyways. It goes to show, that even though we live of opposite sides of the world, Scouting and songs can bring us all together.

We look forward to more songs, more stories, and more adventures in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned for stories of our incredible night hike adventure from various members as they each give their own interpretation of the night. (Note to parents: all survived with smiles, although extremely sleep deprived.)

Yours in Scouting,
Creighton, Gillian and Dawn

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