Andrews speaks to CSC about trip to Africa
Special to the Advance
Diverse peoples and cultures make up South Africa, according to Evelyn Andrews, who has visited among several groups in that country at the bottom of the African continent.
Evelyn, who with her husband, the Rev. Pat Andrews, wrote about the couple's trip in last May's edition of “atmore” magazine, expanded on the story to the Canoe Study Club.
In a meeting in the home of member Pat Bonner on Tuesday, Jan. 19, Andrews, who is president of the club, said the seed for her and her husband's trip was planted 17 years ago.
That was when Craig Rutherfoord, a 17-year-old South African, lived for a time with the Andrews family, whose home then was in Missouri. Craig was a Rotary Club foreign exchange student.
Aaron Andrews, Evelyn and Pat's older son, also was 17 at the time. Aaron now is on the staff of Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Ark.
Craig's parents, Peter and Susan Rutherfoord, and their two younger sons, Scott and Ross, also paid a visit in the Andrews family's home.
The Andrews couple's trip was a delayed response to an invitation from the Rutherfoords to visit their country.
When the Andrewses, whose home is in Wawbeek, arrived in South Africa, they discovered the Rutherfoords had prepared a full schedule of activities for their guests, and the hosts were bearing the cost of the outings.
Evelyn said Peter Rutherfoord's ancestors moved to South Africa from England in the early 1800s and were farmers who owned much land.
Today Peter is a landowner, and he owns businesses including a chain of Spar supermarkets. His family has owned a luxury hotel called Ghost Mountain Inn since the mid-1900s.
Evelyn, whose husband is director of missions for the Escambia Baptist Association, which includes the county's Southern Baptist churches, laughed as she said, "We probably were pretty much out of our element, since we don't deal with a lot of really rich people."
The Rutherfoords were gracious hosts, entertaining the Wawbeek guests in their home on the Indian Ocean in the city of Durban and in their home in Ubombo atop a mountain near their hotel. The Rutherfoords also entertained the Alabamians in the city of Cape Town.
Perhaps the Andrews couple's most royal treatment was at the Ghost Mountain Inn, where the two stayed in the inn's nicest suite, which also is where the king of the Zulu people stays when he is in the inn. The king is Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
The Rutherfoords live in northeastern South Africa in what is known as Zululand. The Zulu people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the country.
At the Ghost Mountain Inn, the Andrewses were reunited with their former exchange student, Craig Rutherfoord, who is about 34 and single. He manages the inn. "We were real excited about seeing him. He's a real nice young man," Evelyn said.
The hotel sent the Andrews couple on guided tours of game preserves, and a hotel tour allowed the Alabamians to interact with a Zulu family. A Zulu man who was a hotel guide and who spoke Zulu and English, took the couple to a Zulu homestead.
Living in the homestead was an extended family, Evelyn said. The grandparents lived in a brick home. Other family members lived in small huts.
The Andrews couple went inside the family members' ancestral home, where they worship both their ancestors and Jesus Christ. Evelyn expressed dismay that the Zulu people describe themselves as Christians while clinging to ancestral worship.
Later the Andrewses spent a night with Southern Baptist missionaries David and Julie Yngsdal near Empangeni, a town north of Durban, where Pat led a Bible study that about 40 Zulu people attended.
The Andrewses joined the American missionaries and some others in eating a meal in a Zulu woman's home after the Bible study.
Another person Evelyn and Pat met represented still another ethnic group. The woman was a refugee from Zimbabwe, an African country north of South Africa. "There are a lot of people in South Africa like that, refugees from other countries," Evelyn said.
The woman from Zimbabwe was working as a maid in the Rutherfoords' Durban home even though she had been an accountant in her home country. She had escaped Zimbabwe's economic meltdown and repressive political measures to work and send money back home to her family.