South Africa

South Africa
The Rainbow Nation

Wednesday, October 24, 2007



Victory at last! We successfully caught the flight out of Johannesburg on Sunday and arrived at the Atlanta Airport on time Monday, October 8th. Who would have ever guessed that we would have a 3 ½ hour delay in Atlanta prior to departing for Columbia. At least we were on American soil and almost home. We kept communicating with Ellison and he conveyed our delays to our families. Victory was so close that we could taste it.

At between 2-3 p.m. our plane touched down in Columbia. There were hugs and kisses and more hugs and kisses from our families. Ellison greeted us with t-shirts that had our team picture and other information on them. What a pleasant surprise!

So now, it is two weeks since our arrival back home; we all have gotten over jet lag and our body clocks have adjusted to this time zone. Each team member is busy with his or her own business of carrying on with life. I have had major surgery and am now recuperating nicely. (God has been faithful to His promises to be with me!) So please accept my apology for not getting the final blog on prior to now.

In retrospect of our Group Study Exchange, we are grateful to all of you who helped make this experience so special; you are too numerous to even begin to thank you individually. Thank you for your prayers and support of the team prior to, during and after the Exchange. God began a good work in the team in the beginning and will complete that work according to His plan. He placed before us numerous opportunities to serve our fellowman in S. Africa – so many aids orphans who have such little hope without someone else getting involved.

District Governor Mary Martin has disseminated to all Rotary Club Presidents a summary of a few of the needs presented to us, and I pray that some of you will respond and let us know that you want to work with us. Rotary International’s motto – “Service Above Self” becomes reality when we get involved with those less fortunate than we are. That’s what Rotary International is all about.

Team members are very willing to give presentations to Rotary Clubs; so please invite one of us to share one of the greatest experiences of our lives. You will laugh and some of you might even cry over the devastation that HIV/AIDS has created on precious children in S. Africa. Whatever your reaction is, you will not be able to forget the faces of those suffering from this horrible disease.

We left as ambassadors for America; we returned as ambassadors for S. Africa!

Elizabeth Smith
Team Leader
Group Study Exchange to S. Africa


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