Most of this day was spent traveling to Nelspruit. We did have a pleasant hour at lunch at a small lake where trout are raised. As would be expected, fish figured prominently on the menu. Once we arrived at Nelspruit, we were able to spend an hour wandering around a beautiful botanic garden.

At Trout Lake

Flowers from the Botanical Garden

Dr. S keeps well-hydrated!

After a quick dinner at a local shopping mall, the choir headed to the Nespruit Branch for a fireside. (The woman who fixed our meals at a fast food restaurant actually came out to make sure our sandwiches and salads were acceptable—unheard of behavior in the USA! This same courtesy has been evident throughout our time here.) There is no actual chapel in Nelspruit; rather, the small branch is housed in several adjoining rented rooms in a kind of strip mall. Though the number attending the fireside was about 75, that number represented most of the branch and was very impressive considering the evening start time and transportation challenges. The fireside speakers moved the podium directly in front of the congregation and spoke without amplification as the loudspeakers had recently been stolen. That close proximity gave a wonderful intimacy to the evening, and the spirit was strong. Dr. Staheli worked several concert pieces into the fireside since there was only a fireside and no concert in this town. After a quick reception with the very kind and appreciative members, we were off on our hour drive to Pestana Kruger Lodge just outside Kruger Park. This lodge and its grounds remind Dr. Staheli and me very much of the resort the choir was housed in when we were in Cape Coast, Ghana in 2001…only much nicer and with far fewer insects.

Pestana Kruger Lodge