Thursday, April 27, 2006

HEART TO HEART INTERVIEW WITH MY IN-LAWS. . . After almost two weeks traveling through four countries (South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) on a ministry trip with Scott, my in-laws are ready to share their experience. Four-wheel driving, dirt roads, sand, corn meal mush, high tea, open fires, a wedding, and a charging elephant are just a few the things they experienced.

LISA: Let’s start at the top. What impressed you most with the people?

FARREL: I was impressed with the friendliness of the people we met. Martin and Grace, leaders of the church in Mongu, were so hospitable. They fed us dinner for three nights and insured we felt at home. When anyone new came into the room, they always stopped and greeted us.

SANDY: I agree. Their humility and courtesy really stood out. Especially the women who greeted us in their traditional way of lowering themselves when shaking our hands show honor. It was also interesting to me how each tribe had a different hand shake.

LISA: What about the highlights?

FARREL: The boat cruise was incredible. We saw an elephant up close and it was amazing to watch him eat and use his trunk to slap the grass against his sides. The game drive and animals were also a highlight as well as high tea at Victoria Falls Hotel. It was a very special way to celebrate my birthday.

SANDY: I enjoyed the beauty of Victoria Falls. The water was at flood stage and the mist and vapor clouds surrounded the whole area causing it to rain. We were soaking wet despite the clear day.

LISA: And the most difficult part of the trip?

FARREL: The scariest part of the trip was when we had to drive at night.

SANDY: Definitely. Most of the cars were missing a headlight, so they would flash their turn signals indicator so we could see the edge of the car.

FARREL: I also didn’t like feeling dirty all the time. Especially in Mongu where everything is sand.

LISA: What touched you the most about the people in regards to ministry?

FARREL: How they praised God. They were full of movement when they sang. Their clapping and dancing expressed such an excitement for God. You could see their love for God in their eyes even when I couldn’t understand the words.

SANDY: They had a sincere and simple faith that was obvious to us.

LISA: Anything else that made an impression on you?

FARREL: We went to a traditional, village wedding and it was very unique. When I first walked in and saw the bride and groom’s depressed demeanor, I thought they’d had a fight. They looked so unhappy. Then I learned that it was tradition to not smile. Instead, the bride and groom had to bow their heads and appear sad. In the past the girls would be taken away from their family by the groom on the day of the wedding not knowing anything about it. The sad demeanor was a part of the tradition. It was a very strange thing to view.

SANDY: I have to mention the roads. The way that they denoted a problem or a wreck ahead was by breaking off a couple tree limbs and placing them in the road. Then you know there was a problem ahead. The roads are full of huge pot holes, and I was amazed by the hundreds of people walking or sitting along the road and the few cars that we saw. And then there was the price of fuel. It’s over $6 a gallon--when you can find it. Regular is even higher. In Zimbabwe you can’t buy gas, so the trip must be planned out very carefully.

LISA: What was most surprising to you on the trip?

FARREL: The night in the village, when we camped out, wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Still, we had no running water, no electricity, and no toilet facilities. They had rigged a shower and hung up blankets around it in a circle where we could stand on rocks and wash. The stars that night, though, were unbelievable.

SANDY: Without a doubt. I was so impressed with the stars and to see the southern hemisphere and with its brilliance was incredible.

LISA: Thank you so much for sharing. I know that a number of people have told me how much they’ve enjoyed following your journey.



Camping out in Zimbabwe. Issac, the man standing in the background, sleeps in the fields at night to protect his crops from elephants.

1 comment:

  1. FASCINATING!!! The pictures are beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your in-law's journey with us.