Photo album

I’ve been going through my pictures, looking for photos to post that tell the story of South Africa, at least through the very very small lens that I have seen through.  And it’s so difficult to choose iconic images.  The picture is more complicated than I could have ever imagined.  Poverty.  Beauty, both natural and human.  Struggle.  Spirit.  Generosity and self-interest.  Caring.  Loving.  Turning towards and turning away.  Heaviness of heart and lightness of spirit.

I cannot begin to express all of this with some pictures, but I’ll try to show what I can and talk about what I can.

The stunning scenery.  The skies are so lovely, the weather so unpredictable.  At least to us, not knowing the geography of the region.  There are all these little microclimates all over the place, the places where it always rains and the places where it’s almost always sunny.  And because we don’t know, we are constantly surprised by the weather wherever we go.  We leave dressed for summer, and here come the clouds.  We leave dressed for rain, and the sun comes out.  I’ve just come to accept that I’m probably dressed wrong.  Thank God for layers.

Taken by Martin in Tokai Forest, a beautiful arboretum not far from here.  We actually ate mushrooms harvested from Tokai by our hostess, Martine, tonight for dinner.  They were delicious.  This photo was taken from the inside of a medicine wheel secreted away amongst the trees and shown to us by our friend Allan.  Native American symbology in the South African forest.  It truly is a small world.

Louise, one of the tireless women that works to feed kids in Blikkiesdorp.  I’m not sure whether the baby sleeping on her is her own, or some other woman’s.  That’s how these women are: they just take care of the kids, no matter whose they are.

 

Beautiful faces at the Riviersonderend community center.  Kids of all ages come there for food and for a safe place to play, do puzzles, beading, play games of dominoes and jumprope and pick-up rugby games.  Plus whatever games they might dream up.

Belinda and me (and Erika hiding behind there) dealing with the immense wads of baggage.  The vehicles here are tiny and we had five people and our bags in this tiny mini-van at one time.  That was exciting.  It was like one of those clown cars.  The LoveLight volunteers got very close, both metaphorically and physically.

The first in line waiting for food at Blikkiesdorp on Tuesday.  Don’t these eyes speak volumes?  She was so silent and so solemn.  Breaks my heart still.

 

I’m really exhausted, will do more of this tomorrow before we leave if I get the chance.  All around me is packed baggage, it’s eleven fifteen p.m. here and I’ve got to get some sleep.  Flight tomorrow; good thoughts for a safe and comfortable flight will be appreciated.

Good night, wherever you are.

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