My Recent Trip

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    My wife and I (and 28 other Canucks) spent the better part of the last two weeks in South Africa and Lesotho building washing facilities and painting rooms for orphans. I took a lot of pics and here are a few of them.

    (long version)

    The team spent 6 days building, welding and painting an orphanage just outside Maputsoe, Lesotho (,+Leribe,+Lesotho&hl=en&sll=-28.884769,27.89911&sspn=0.192692,0.338516&oq=maput&hnear=Maputsoe,+Leribe,+Lesotho&t=m&z=12). The team was made up of 28 volunteers from a church in Cambridge, ON, plus the two organizers (15 were returnees from the 2009 mission). Our task was to build a 4m x 6m washing facility with 6 shower stalls and 2 bath tub rooms, half for the boys half for girls and some other minor things. What we ended up doing was much more: the washing facility ended up being 7m x 6m with 8 stalls, 2 bath rooms and a laundry area. all of the boys and girls rooms were painted, not just with a coat of paint, but with murals. Additionally, my wife and her assistant fabricated and welded security doors and windows for several of the buildings, made scaffolding for the build team and, in one day, built a 6m long gate out of scrap metal.

    By the fourth day I had dubbed it `Mission Impossible 2` (the 2009 mission was Mission Impossible 1).

    My role on the team was head builder so I don`t have a lot of pictures of me building (concrete blocks and cameras are not a good mix). Considering that my only construction experience was the last build, I think we did very well with only minimal local help (I`ve never installed a tin roof before, so we got help for that).

    After we completed our tasks we were blessed with a one day trip to a game farm north of Pretoria. We got to see a 2 hour old giraffe and a lot of other wildlife up close. The view from the lodge was spectacular (see some of the photos). We also spent part of our last day in a mall, the younger members of the team wanted this. So, being the good Canadian I am, I went ice skating at the rink in the mall (seriously how often will I get to skate in South Africa?)

    All in all it was a great trip, even though I am still bruised and have a few scrapes that haven’t healed yet.

    I’ll be posting more photos in the next week or so.

    You can reed my wife’s blog here:


    Looks like you had an awesome trip.


    Wow, how awesome for, and of, you to do that! So, two things I learned here:

    1) Between aspidites’ snow tigers and eagles and now your SA trip, never suggest another wild animal theme.
    2) Since I OBO’d for you, I can now say in a wild-stretch-of-the-truth kinda way that I helped build an orphanage in SA. At least, that’s the story I’ll be telling. 😉

    My church did something similar in Uganda last year. This year it’s in Thailand for a girls’ shelter. One of these years my wife and I are going to make one of those trips (likely after the youngest is off to college).


    All in all it was a great trip, even though I am still bruised and have a few scrapes that haven’t healed yet.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a good vacation that didn’t involve that, or sunburn, or blisters from hiking/getting the jeep unstuck/etc. From the description, it sounds like a great time was had, and it’s hard to beat the Karma Kudos.

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