Giving Bern from Blikkiesdorp a big hug!  Seems so long since we’ve seen her and Ashley (he’s standing behind us in the doorway).




Me, Bern, Martin and Anne-Lise from Novalis.



Thanks to a donation from Ellen Fannin and her daughter in Austin, we had two large plastic bags full of warm baby clothes for the babies of Blikkiesdorp.  Bern and Ashley will see that they get to the people who need them most.










This shot includes the foster kids eating.  The young one in the baby seat is two years old and has fetal alcohol syndrome, so he is developmentally delayed.  When we saw him before, nine months ago, he was unable to hold up his head–and he was over a year old at the time.  He is making progress, he can stand now, and Bern and Ashley think he will walk, possibly soon.






When we first met Ashley and Bern, about nine months ago, they were partnering with organizations to feed about 200 children a small amount of soup and some bread once a week.  They’ve been working hard, and have expanded their operation.  They now feed about 300 children, and are able to give larger servings to the children, and a little butter on the bread.  It’s good to see that things are going well and that they are making their corner of the world better.



We’re so lucky that we get to be a witness and a small part of this kind of thing.  Bern and Ashley and so many other people are doing their bit to make the world a better place.  It feels so good to participate in these endeavors with them!


Security.  It’s something we all need, right?  

photo courtesy of wikipedia

photo courtesy of wikipedia

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory states that besides food and water and basic needs of the body, security is one of our most important needs.

I’ve been thinking a lot about security as we travel around Cape Town.  There are constant reminders that security is not a given.  We see things like a truck with words painted on the side indicating that there is 24-hour satellite surveillance on the vehicle.  A way to deter thieves or car-jackers.

Apartment houses which have fingerprint detectors (first one I’ve ever seen, outside a movie), and gates across each individual apartment door.

Homes (so many of them!) with walls and barbed wire around.

It’s an environment that can easily engender feelings of fear.  These feelings are also communicated to me from the people that we know, who tell us we must not venture into certain areas after dark, or alone.

There’s a certain feel of lawlessness, and I wonder: who are all these “lawless” people?  Because everyone I meet is certainly not lawless.  But then again, I am not meeting just anyone on the street.  I wonder what would happen if I did.  Probably nothing.  But then the feelings of fear show up and I find myself not wanting to.  Perhaps it’s for the best.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this train of thought.  Perhaps I’m just mulling it over because it is one of the differences in experience between here and home.  I feel sad that so much energy and resources must be expended here to satisfy that need for security, but I completely, and viscerally, understand the impulses that drive it.  Even though I have experienced nothing that directly would feed the fear, the fear is communicated and felt.

And as a student of metaphysics, I know that fear is an illusion and that while we’re feeling fear we cannot access those higher vibrations of emotion such as love and peace and grace.  And the knowing and the doing are two different things–this is why I’m a student and not a master.  Because I can know something and still do the opposite, especially in the face of fear.



Busy, busy, busy

We’ve been working with Novalis on several things that they’re working on.  Helping out with tea and coffee service at a concert…simple tasks like dish washing make me feel useful.  Service in action.  Some of the things we’re doing feel somewhat amorphous.  I often feel as if I don’t know what I’m doing or why.  But concrete things like washing dishes, that’s easy.

We’re helping out with some things, lots of tasks that we can help with.  Usually the big help is Martin, he’s so skilled in so many facets…networking computers and printers, making videos, working with databases (databi? hee hee) Me?  I can wash dishes.

Actually, that’s not all I can do.  I can hold space, I can vision, I can offer support, suggestions, engaged attention to names and faces and details of others’ lives and passions.  I can see you and listen to you and I am doing my best to always hear you.  I have the gift of perception, being able to see things from many points of view.

They’re not the superhero powers that Martin wields, and I am too conscious of that, maybe.  I allow myself to feel inferior and less than, when in reality, I must remind myself, I have gifts to offer.  They may not be flashy, they may not be obvious, but they are there and they do matter.  I hope.


Space in Cape Town

photo (5)


We’re in Cape Town!  The flights went well–we had a seat angel next to us on the long flight, so a little more room to stretch out–I was able to elevate my feet for a while and help keep my ankles from swelling.  Yay.  Then, on the flight out of Johannesburg, we got bumped up to first class, inexplicably.  Very very nice.

We arrived at the airport last night around eleven pm, fairly brain-dead.  By the time we cleaned up and were ready for bed it was nearly 1:30.  But we slept well.  Martin, true to form, was up early, where I was a little (okay, a lot) slower about rising.

Feeling so much at home here.  The sights, the vibe, the people–I remember so well and feel glad to be back here again at last.  I’ve missed all this!

We’re at Novalis, re-connecting with old friends and making new ones.  We had a lovely lunch with six others, and arrangements are underway to acquire a rental car and a local cell phone.  We’ll see what manifests and on what time schedule.  I feel peaceful and centered, not at all worried about how we will get around, I know it will work out perfectly in the end.

It’s funny: Marissa, upon first laying eyes on us this morning, said that we looked less stressed and years younger.  I do feel less stress–so much less stress than when we were here last year.  Not sure why–but I’m not looking this particular gift horse in the mouth.  There’s a space.

And as for looking years younger, I’m always up for that.  Hee hee.

We’ll see what the rest of the day brings.  So odd to be at such loose ends and so unconcerned about it at the same time.  Odd, but very nice.  We are blessed.

On our way, part2

In Washington Dulles now. This plane is considerably bigger than the last one!


Unlike what the United people tried to tell us, we will not be changing planes in Dakar. Whew.

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