Friday, March 16, 2007

Pictures worth a ba-zillion words

I've been away from internet connection the past few days and this one's not so hot. So I'll forego the writing and just zap up a few pictures for now. On to Dar es Salaam tomorrow morning!

Flying from Jo'burg to Umtata. Well, we didn't make it. Umtata was fogged in, so they diverted us to East London, where were were loaded onto a van and driven (at break-neck speed) through fog and winding roads to Umtata. I'm glad I couldn't see what was going on. It was a harrowing 2-hour adventure, though it makes for a good story now!

Jenny McConnechie in the bread kitchen in one of the poor areas of Umtata (there are so many). Jenny, a nurse, runs a clinic at the project. My co-hort David and I spent the morning making "pill packets" with vitamins and other needed medications at the clinic. Jenny and her husband Chris (an orthopedic surgeon) have been missionaries in Umtata for over 30 years. In November, both Chris and Jenny were awarded OBEs by Prince Charles. They are British citizens but Episcopal missionaries.

See these happy little faces? These are all AIDs orphans at an after-school project in Ilingi, about 150 miles from Umtata.

And here is the AIDS cemetery in Ilingi (lest you believe that AIDS has been cured). New graves were being prepared when we were there.

A beautiful, peaceful place. An Anglican retreat center where we spent last night. Stunning!


Tamar said...

Dear Mary,
These pictures and the story that accompanies them are mind and heart blasting. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sister,
I'm keeping up with your adventures and want to say I'm so proud of you! Take care and I know we'll be hearing marvelous stories for years to come!
Love, lil sis
P.S. Today, I am volunteering in a community service day at our church. Not quiet Africa, but I'm trying to do my part!

Joy Des Jardins said...

This is the first time I've been able to comment on your site least I hope I can at the end of this. Your word verification has worked for me.

Anyway, I've been reading about your time in Africa.....amazing...exciting and what great memories you're going to have. You just knock me out with your laid-back way of adapting to situations...I mean are incredible.

Anxious to hear more...see more. You've posted some great pics Mary...thank you for them.

Stay safe....see you soon...take care... -Hugs, Joy

Liz said...

Great pictures telling their own stories.

Wonderful people - you included, Mary!

Garth Johnson said...

Thank you for posting all of your pictures and musings on ShortyPJs. It helps the rest of the world miss you a little bit less.

Liz said...

By the way, Mary, have you finished Saturday yet?

chux said...

Typical! I can't turn my back for a moment and you are off again conquoring another continent!

This beautiful and wonderful work you are involved with here and I wish you many blessings in all you do! You are a lady without hypocracy and i'm proud to be able to watch your endeavours.

Big european hug from me
(european hug is very hearty and genuine but whiffs a bit of garlic and onions)

Winston said...

It's has been a week since this post. Hoping you are OK...

Elsie said...

Hope it's all going well, Mary.

Elsie said...

Hope it's all going well, Mary.

MaryB said...

Thanks for your comments and good wishes, everyone. Wish I could have done a daily journal-type blog, but the technology (or lack thereof) wouldn't let me. But Africa - what an experience!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mary,

I was searching the web for some 'old Umtata African experiences and feeling'. I was happily surprised to read that Jenny & Chris are still going strong. They have been an enormous fountain of inspiration and believe in the good of people which I still tranch from, especially now I am working in the developement sector on Afghanistan and Pakistan. I had the honour to meet them back in 1989 and still regret that I did not come back when I had the chance. If you still are in contact with them please say hello to them from me and that I bare them in my heart and mind. Good luck in Africa and experience as it comes to you. Warm regards, Raymond Bernardus, one of the many McConnechie by passers

MaryB said...

Raymond - I am sorry to tell you that dear Chris died last November of cancer he'd been battling for a couple of years. Jenny will remain in Umtata working at the Itipini Project clinic. Of course, she and Chris have lived in South Africa for a long time, so it is home to her. To find out about the current work Jenny's doing, check out Jesse Zink's blog: .