September 8, 2015
Feeling at home in a place so far away and so different from my home in Pennsylvania only comes with time and perspective. As I sat in a movie theater the other day I realized I am living like….well, like I live here. I’ve been to a couple of movies. I go to the grocery store. My gray roots were showing, so I colored my hair 😳. Just some of the things we do in everyday life. But of course, I am really just a visitor. Unless you have really lived here; had a child in the public schools; lived on South African wages; experienced 25% unemployment; had a beautiful mountain view opposite oceans and beaches…..you are still a visitor…..albeit a happy one.
I have checked off most of the sights and activities on my list. Tomorrow we will tour Kayalitsha, an informal township, in the morning.
The rest – Robben Island, hiking Table Mountain, safari in Kruger National Park – will wait until Matthew arrives this week.
On another note: Oh the people you meet! Ed and Heather from VIA Volunteers invited me to go with them to Broadlands Farm to visit Pat Cavendish O’Neill. What a life Pat has led! Winston Churchill, JFK, royalty from every country, stars from the Hollywood of the 20th century….Pat (and her mother before her) counted the rich and famous among their close friends. But the most important things to Pat are her animals – everything from lions to racehorses to peacocks and dogs. Pat’s fortunes were mostly lost to unscrupulous advisors and she lives a more cautious lifestyle now. Less lavish – yes, but certainly not dull. For more information about Pat, read her book – A Lion in the Bedroom. You will see what I mean about this incredible woman and her even more incredible mother.
My last day as a volunteer at St George’s Home for Girls is fast approaching….sigh. There is nothing ordinary or everyday about this experience. A few weeks ago I wrote that I hoped the girls have dreams, but it was too soon for me to ask. They have shared! More to come.