We are complete – our team of 30 has come from London, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Massachusetts, and DRCongo (Fred and I join the team in South Africa) and we all make it to Zimbabwe without any issues, other than a couple bags lost and found again.
The coolest, oldest, longest bus awaits us at the airport and everyone fits comfortably along with the 90 pieces of luggage we have, plus purses and the odd smaller carryon bag. It is a massive bus! I am told that I’ll be visiting the District Representative to let him know that we are in town and what exactly we’ll be doing. I ask Erica to come along with me, as she is training to become a team leader and it would be smart for her to know all these important people. So, while the bus bumps along to Matopos (where we will stay for the next two weeks), Erica and I find ourselves driving in the opposite direction to talk to the representative about our work here.
We arrive at camp late and everyone has settled in to the various dorms – some couples have private huts while the girl’s and boy’s dorms are full of the rest of us. We gather around the large fire pit where we warm up and eat a delicious meal, complete with a slice of honey cake and a cup of tea, before getting ready for sleep, as everyone is tired. The glow of flashlights and headlamps bob up and down in the darkness as people make their way to their dorms.
As the camp settles down, the silence of the Zimbabwean bush surrounds me as I sit in a small corner by my hut and I breathe deeply. It’s been a busy past two weeks and it is good to sit, breathe and listen to a silence which is really not silent at all. If you give yourself the time to feel and to be alone, it is amazing all the little sounds you pick up – the wind as it blows through tall grass, the night bird sending out a final goodnight to her mate, the bugs rustling under dry leaves. I hear myself sigh and feel my neck and shoulders relax. This is good.
When I am ready, I look up.
I lose count of the stars, getting dizzy as they slowly, ever so slowly, move. The Southern Cross is right before my eyes and other constellations found in the southern hemisphere start making their presence known. It is surreal to see so many stars again and the effect they have on me is a feeling of being grounded. I am so tiny in this large world, yet I am a member of the human race and therefore, have value, just like everything else around me. The rocks and trees, grass and bugs, animals of all kinds, children and adults – we all have our place in this world we call home. Yet, we are just a miniscule part of that world with the planets, constellations, stars, moons, and seas all playing a part in the ebb and flow of life. God is big and it is at these times that I feel His greatness even more closely because I am reminded of just how small I really am.