After 17 hours of being catered to by Etihad Airlines with direct tv, 50 movie options (watched Slumdog Millionaire, very good) beverages, delicious halal food, ear plugs, eye covers, and socks we arrived into Johannesburg to be greeted by Molly, Rebecca and Abigail (Rebecca’s 8 month old daughter). It was wonderful to see friends from home again. We were exhausted but managed to stay awake for a few hours exchanging stories and catching up. Molly left for South Africa the day after we left for Fiji and has been spending most of her time volunteering her nursing skills at the Olievenhautbosch township clinic in preparation for a 4 month stint in Malawi at a village clinic. This is her second time living in South Africa, the first came 4 years ago when she and Rebecca volunteered at a home for abandoned babies, most of which have been affected by HIV in one way or another. Molly has also been doing some shifts at the home during this stay as well. Rebecca on the other hand, to make a long story short, ended up marrying a South African man, Marc, 2 years ago and now lives here. Marc and Rebecca are very active in their church. which is responsible for the babies home, and is indirectly connected to the clinic where Molly worked. When we started our trip we didn’t expect to see Molly while in Africa but when she told us she was extending her time in South Africa we didn’t hesitate to move our tickets up a week in order to spend some time with her.
Right away we got settled into our new digs, which so happened to be the nicest place we have stayed at on our trip, and then we hit the ground running with Molly leading the way. We really hadn’t made any plans for our time with Molly and left the decision making up to her and Rebecca. In the 5 days we had with Molly we got to meet all of her friends, visit the clinic and the township where she worked, see the Apartheid Museum, go to Soweto (the largest township in South Africa) and the Hector Pieterson museum, spend lots of time talking and laughing, share many meals together, hang out where she has lived, and help send her off with an American themed party complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, brownies, line dancing, country music, and the American flag up on the wall. It was great to see the impact that she has made with the people that she has worked with and how she has grown professionally and spiritually over the past 6 months. We were so glad to have this time with Molly and it was refreshing to be with a friend who knows us well.