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Family visits Christian school in Africa

Albany residents who visited South Africa on safari and visited Plumb Line Christian school include, from left, Ruth Whiting, Julian Whiting, Daylor Drawdy, Abi Drawdy, Stephanie Drawdy and Ken Drawdy. The group presented a variety of athletic equipment to students at the school.

Albany residents who visited South Africa on safari and visited Plumb Line Christian school include, from left, Ruth Whiting, Julian Whiting, Daylor Drawdy, Abi Drawdy, Stephanie Drawdy and Ken Drawdy. The group presented a variety of athletic equipment to students at the school.

ALBANY, Ga. -- It was a summer vacation more exotic than Disney World or Universal Studios, and something more than that. Ken and Stephanie Drawdy journeyed to South Africa in July for a big-game safari. They took along their kids, Daylor, 8, and Abi, 4, as well as Ken’s mother and stepfather, Julian and Ruth Whiting.

Ken had hunted in various parts of Africa three times before, he said, and this time he wanted to give Daylor a chance to make some new additions to their trophy room back home.

“We have quite a collection by now,” Ken Drawdy said. “Daylor took 14 of 21 animals on this trip.”

The trophies taken at the game preserves they visited included cape buffalo, eland, warthog and zebra, Drawdy said.

One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Plumb Line Christian School, Ken Drawdy said. The school with its 90 students, 38 from serious poverty, exists in Tarkastad, a small town on the remote Eastern Cape. Drawdy had become aware of Plumb Line on a trip more than six year earlier.

“They were just starting then, and now I wanted to show my kids the school and how people live other than just here in the United States so they could get an appreciation of what education really is,” Drawdy said.

The Americans arrived with gifts for the students — a variety of athletic equipment, including basketballs, soccer balls, hats and socks, which were greatly appreciated, Drawdy said. R&S Sports in Albany participated in the donation. Julian Whiting said word had gotten out it was Ruth’s birthday so the school had provided a cake.

According to the travelers and Plumb Line materials, the private school relies on student sponsorships to educate its children of poverty. The Drawdys and Whitings were particularly impacted by the story of two sisters, 4 and 6, who were found living under an abandoned donkey cart on the side of road. Their 14-year sister had been prostituting herself to truck drivers in order to provide food. According to school officials, social workers managed to rescue the two younger children, who have since been sponsored for openings at Plumb Line. The older sister is said to have run away.

“It’s a little bit different in Africa than it is here,” Ken Drawdy said. “Kids are living in huts and living on dirt — that sort of thing. The main thing was for us to visit and show our kids the difference. To me (the students here) have a lot more respect for what they’re doing and where they are. Kids (in the U.S) this day and time take that for granted.”

Those interested in sponsoring a student at Plumb Line School should call Ken Drawdy or Vince Dettore at Drawdy Roofing, (229) 432-0317 for information.