Happy Valentine’s Day!

So, on Valentine’s Day all of the international volunteers here at Beautiful Gate set out for Tempelhof to celebrate Faith’s birthday!  We took off in the white bakkie (truck), all nine of us, four in the back of the truck and 5 in the cab.  We had a pretty easy time at the border and got into South Africa pretty early.  As we were coming down a hill, the bakkie stalled.  Bryan safely got it stopped on the side of the road.

break down

So, we got out of the car to try to figure out the issue and to stretch our legs.  The four in the back were already enjoying themselves with the back open.

back of car

Jenny and Bryan tried to figure out the issue, thinking it might be a fuse.


So, we called Beautiful Gate for help, since this was a Beautiful Gate vehicle.  Ntate Moribe came to help!


He figured out it was a fuse and we were soon off to Tempelhof again.  But unfortunately this wasn’t the end of our issues.  On the way there we stopped three more times, having to replace the same fuse again each time.  The last time we were really stuck.  We were close to Tempelhof by this time, but every time we put in a new fuse it would blow right away.  We were making calls trying to figure out what to do next.

Then the owner of Tempelhof happened to be driving by.  He stopped, not even knowing who we were just out of the goodness of his heart.  It’s amazing how God works to provide what we need exactly when we need it.  He said he’d call his daughter to bring the other truck and we could ride in the back of the truck he had.  There was one issue, there were three dead pigs in the back he was bringing home for his family.  So, once his daughter arrived with the other bakkie, Bryan and the owner worked on hooking up our bakkie so it could be towed to a mechanic and the other 8 of us piled into the bakkie with the pigs.  Faith and I sat in front with his daughter driving.


And the other six sat in the back with the pigs, with Jenny sitting directly on the pigs.  Apparently they were nice and cold so it was air conditioning for those in the back.


For my American friends, yes it is legal here in Africa to travel this way.

Finally we were at Tempelhof.  And it is gorgeous there!

the view

We walked around to see the animals and caught some of the lions enjoying Valentine’s Day together.


lion love

I saw some of the other female lions.  One got up and followed me as I was walking away, good thing there was a fence between us!


The male lion eventually separated from the female, because I found him alone later.  Got some cool pictures including the one below.

male lion

Then the wife of the owner came back and got out the baby lion.  This is one of the three new babies that were 10 days old the last time I was there.  The other two unfortunately didn’t make it.  But this one is doing well and is such a cutie!

baby lion

The kids got to feed it!

baby lion2

We also got to hold the lions that were babies the first time I went there in October.  He’s getting so big now!  No where near as light anymore…

big kitty

We went to feed monkeys and ran into this little guy!


And we got to feed the monkeys…


All in all it was a lot of fun at Tempelhof.  I even got a great pic of my roommie (who has now left) and I.


After getting a drink at Tempelhof (it was a hot day), we headed down the road to The Cabin to have lunch.  It was yummy food and great company.  Oh and it turns out the issue with the bakkie was a loose wire.  Once that was fixed it was all good.  Then we headed back to campus after a quick stop in Ladybrand for mail, groceries, and ice cream.  We got back to campus around 6.  Faith got to open her birthday gifts and we all relaxed after a wonderful and tiring day.

I am so thankful for the opportunities the Lord has given me and the people He has put in my life.

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