Swaziland - Day 1

The thought of writing one big post about my trip to Swaziland is completely overwhelming to me, so I decided to break it up and do a post for each day we were there. That seems much more reasonable, and I won't have to sit at the computer for 5 hours trying to relive what occurred in a 2-week time span. Don't worry, today's post is not going to be about traveling from the U.S. to Swaziland. There's only so much you can say about a 15+ hour flight and a 4-hour car ride from Johannesburg to Swaziland! The flight was L-O-N-G, the luggage all made it (yay!), and we safely made it from South Africa to Swaziland.

So our first full day in the country, we went to Mkhaya Game Preserve and enjoyed an open-air game drive in which we saw LOTS of animals! At one point, I remember commenting to my Florida friends, "try going to Disney's Animal Kingdom after experiencing this!" :)

Here's the open-air vehicle that 10 of us squeezed into. The shocks on this thing were amazing, which was good because the roads were rough! (foreshadowing for the rest of the trip!)
I had to drive our rental van from the main road to Mkhaya's office building (think rough roads and a small river to cross)...this was the view in front of me. I was glad to finally get out of the van and into the land rover.The outdoor bathroom...it was very nice and "airy" :)Skulls of animals that have died on their propertyHipposFirst sighting of giraffes...if you know me, you know this made me smile REAL big!
ElephantsWanted you to see how close we were to the elephants!
Well hello there!
Quite possibly my favorite shot of the day :)Zebra
Warthogs (or "Pumba" as our driver referred to them)A whole family of giraffes!
A pretty sad-looking rhino. It makes me laugh that his lower lip looks like it's pooching out.Halfway through the drive, we stopped for lunch at one of the camps on the property. Loved sitting outside and enjoying God's awesome creation while filling my belly with delicious food!
Our meal consisted of Impala (a deer-type African animal), fried fish of some sort, rice, cole slaw, beets (which I thought I'd try to see if I had acquired a taste for...nope, still haven't!), and bread.
Very LOUD guinea fowl who spent most of their time walking around our table
Our team (L to R: Aarika, Jill, Anne - team leader, Ashley, Brooklyn, Mindy, Rachel and myself)
Our wonderful driver whose name I don't remember :) (a lot has occurred in my brain since then)

What an awesome day it was! At first I was a little disappointed that we were doing the game drive at the very beginning of the trip, but we all realized very quickly that it was a wise choice on the missionaries parts. We were jet-lagging so badly that I'm not sure we could have held a Bible right side up, much less taught anything it said! :) It was a great day of relaxing and enjoying some of the amazing creatures God placed on this earth. The real work would begin the next day!

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