Just back from a week of Zambia with my dear friend, housie and fellow mission hearted medical person: Mari. If I don’t use this moment to write some impressions down, life is going to carry on quickly and the writing will not happen. There is something about going somewhere for the very first time, you can only experience the first time once… I love it so much. This trip was a bid of a surprise that has come my way and I did not have any chance to ponder too much upon it and do some research about the country. So it was a true empty canvas for me. The first impression was from the air, the beautiful Zambezi finding it’s way through the african planes. Then Livingstone, a clean beautiful settlement where the people have the biggest smiles. Even though I came with little expectations, I was quite surprised to see the beautiful houses, the tarred roads and way too many South African franchises, they seem to import everything…! Yet the shocking realization that the Kwacha is stronger than our Rand…! And so does my first impressions carry on. The purpose of the visit determines what kind of impressions one gets and I could not have asked for better exposure to this beautiful place.
We were blessed to be hosted by a beautiful Zambian family. I met this couple when they were expecting their third child in our clinic in J-Bay, about two years ago. That pregnancy and birth birthed a vision in their heart to see a Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic become a reality in Zambia. After a couple of emails and meetings in J-bay, I seemed it fit to go visit. This couple are leaders of an organization called Elijah Mission International. Their Mission is ‘to confront injustice and empower individuals to be agent of change in their communities’ and their vision ‘see communities where God’s dream is realized for every individual’. They are involved in different projects to empower youth through arts and music and run different programs, to be honest I am not too sure what they all do as I was connected to Anne, who heads up the clinic’s work.
Anna, a beautiful woman that has learned to allow God to be the centre of her life and tapped into His big heart for the world. A nurse by trade, a wife of a Zambian doctor, a daughter of an American family. She caught on to Elijah’s Ministries vision and stepped in to make it a reality. We met the team, did some home visits, school visits and prayed. But more than everything, we could be there to walk alongside another woman for a week, to cheer her on, to look with her and see where it is going. What a privilege.
Saturday tourist day, yes I can do the tourist thing too. We couldn’t have asked for a better touring guide than Bruce himself, an intelligent, well travelled Zambian that could tell us so many ins and outs we would never get from the Lonely Planet guides. Victoria Falls were magnificent and seeing the sun go down over the mighty Zambezi just made the day complete.
The Sunday we visited Overland Missions, a dream come true for me. I have been following this organization for a while. Walking on their base, seeing some salty sold out people that live out the great commission, travel the roads no one else would and reaching people groups of which governments say they don’t exist… I was moved to the core.
I was on my way back from a road trip to one of my favorite places on the planet ‘Transkei’ when I received a call: “Would you be keen and available to go to the world longboarding championships?” And a month later I was on my way to China, Hainan to be part of the SWATCH GIRLS PRO world long boarding champs.
Surfing has been a passion of mine for many years. I love the ocean and everything that goes with it. I never surfed for anything else than the pure the love of it. Competition surfing was not in my plan and competing with the top surfers of the world didn’t even cross my imagination. I did however get involved with competition surfing in 2005; they were looking for women longboarders for our province team and that was the first time I had touched a longboard. I never looked back, fell in love with it, and carried on doing the annual South African champs. In 2013 I had my personal best as I made the finals in the SA Longboarding Champs. The ladies that came second and third couldn’t make it to worlds and I was next in the row. Of course I would go! Give me an adventure and a travel opportunity, doing what I love doing most, and I’m there! It felt like I received a gift straight from heaven.