Friday, June 4, 2010

The Pooshbag met BB King and a Lion in the Fortress!

I apologize greatly for not posting, but in review of most of my posts they usually start out with some sort of ridiculous apology for my laziness. Whoops. I guess its only expected now. But i would love all you readers to know how Africa has been and what God has been doing. I am skipping over Kenya right now and moving straight to South Africa, but i will explain Kenya to all those interested another time. Lets begin as i tell you the long awaited story of how a Pooshbag met BB King and a Lion in a Fortress. Its pretty crazzzy.

Chad and I were in Joburg around 3:30, had just man hugged it for awhile after both of us had been waiting for the moment we could start chilling again. We gathered our stuff and started heading to our car. We rented the cheapest car you could possibly get at Avis (this could have been our first mistake). This thing came with some hard knocks. We quickly named it the Pooshbag, it was a Volkswagen Chico with a HUUUGE clutch problem. So not only were we driving on the opposite side of the road, on the right side of the car in a standard vehicle, but roughly gears 1-3 were not operating at full potential. “The car was a piece.”

Praise God we made it to Nelspruit. This is the town in South Africa where the June 20th World Cup Match we have reserved is being played. As we were climbing a hill in the Poosh heading to the “Funky Monkey Backpackers Lodge” the Poosher just decided to completely blow out the clutch and accelerating was no longer possible. HA we had a lovely encounter with a police officer who told us we were basically an annoyance in the road and we should probably fix it, so we just pushed the car into the nearest parking lot.

Avis responded quick, picked us up and drove us to the “Funky Monkey” quick. The lady even gave us a six pack of Amstel Lager for the trouble and we said our good nights! Chad and I were anxious at this point to get a new car and experience Kruger National Park for the first time.

Bright and Shiny the next morning the blue bullet (BB KING) had arrived. A Kia Picanto, kinda a chic car yet in our state we did not car at all. This car was so much better than the pooshbag and climbing hills became easy.

The first experience of Kruger was epic and unbelievable. Anyone who doubts these next few sentences i will show you the video. We moved into Skukuza restcamp around 11am and began to check out the camp site, within minutes we wondered over to the edge of camp and spotted around 10 elephant crossing a river. Chad and I were freaking out as full grown and baby elephant were everywhere. We decided we had to go for a drive that day and see more. We left around 2 and the next 3 1/2 hours was the craziest in my life.

In review we saw elephant, hippo, impala, buffalo, giraffe... everything.. but the next two episodes were bone chilling. We were on our way home, the gate closes at 5:30 at our restcamp and as usual both Chad and I were pushing our luck and had found ourselves about 30 K’s from camp at around 4:45. This was a drive from Lower Sabie to Skukuza that i will never forget.

As we were on the road, we spotted what we thought were about 20 monkeys on the road. We were very excited cause we hadn’t seen monkeys that day. As we got closer and closer the monkeys got bigger and bigger and bigger... until while we were right next to them we realized that they were not monkeys at all but it was actually a pride of 13 lions walking in the middle of the street. We freaked out and started going very slow trailing these lions footstep by footstep. Some of these lioness were staring me down, and seemed at the time as large as my car. We took tons of pictures and video and sped along our way shaking and trying to stop our hearts from beating so fast. We were now racing the clock, it was about 5:10 and we had still well over 15 to 20 K’s to drive to our gate. As we just took a corner and thought all was clear we looked straight ahead and a Rhino was using the road as a footpath creating yet again another road block... haha this Rhino was HUUGE, not like anything i have ever seen in a zoo or anything. and it was pacing side to side taking up the entire street. We couldn’t do anything but wait... right as the Rhino became distracted with its face in the grass we gassed it and sped past on the road racing the sun and the clock.

We arrived at the gate around 5:25 within minutes of missing the gate time of our first night spent in this crazy park. Ha we felt as if we were living out Jurassic Park for REAL. We had managed to see almost the entire big 5 in 3 hours of driving around the park.

Currently we are in Swaziland now. After driving and picking up our WC tickets we crossed the border into Swaziland. We are staying at an Orphanage/ Half way home called “The Fortress” hahah. Its unbelievably beautiful here and God has provided us with a safe and reliable place to stay. Thank you all for praying for us as we live here this summer. The next two months will be spent in Swaziland filming and helping with the AIDS crisis that has hit this nation so hard.

I miss you all very much, keep me in your prayers.

Contact number:+ 268 26225853

email is hard to reach, being as though we are at the FORTRESS haha.

Love you all


  1. Wow! Can't wait to see pictures Mark!
    Praying for you and that the Lord will protect you and direct you and reveal more and more of Himself to you and Chad.
    For His Renown


  2. aw hahaha Mark! I loved the blog! What an adventures.. i would have been so scared in that car.. LIONS looking at you. Then I would be out. ha! Well I know your great! :) I will be praying for you still.

    p.s New York is the bomb, its crazy here.. my work place is wild. So busy all the time. BUT going well. Maybe we can skype sometime when you find some internet outside of the fortress?! Who knows..


  3. wow mark! I will keep this post CLEAR from Dad!! hehehe. Be safe and I can't wait to hear all the details and see all the pics when you return!!! I have some crazy amazing things to tell you too!!! AHHHHHHH!!!

    God is good and he takes care of his children. He sure does.

    I read this verse, made me think of you: "whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two" Matt 5:41

    Your ministry has been spurring me on and getting me pumped for my own, thank you brother!!!

    Love you, be safe!

  4. Hey bud,
    Dang, why don't we ever do these adventures together?! This is ridiculous. I was at Kwazulu Natal by Durban. Also, spent some time in Capetown.

    Goodness, this was a great post! Praying for you dear friend. Goodness, I cant stop thinking about that night after my mom's wedding, when we talked for a while. Mark, I am so proud of you. I'm proud of you for this.

    Love you Mark,


  5. Glad your Safe and Enjoying your time,

    Your Friends @ Beijo de Chocolat


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