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22 November 2008

I’ve been writing faithfully every day in my moleskine. An entire journal has been dedicated to this trip… and I may end up needing two. I’ve promised myself not to read over anything I write until the [ long ] plane ride home. There is so much to take in in such a small amount of time. There really will be no way to express how much I’ve learned and changed until I step foot on American soil again, the 7th of Dec. It’ll take quite a bit of reflection to take it all in account, and I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve really grown to love the family I have here. Yes, family. Sarah, the kids, the school — they’ve made such a beautiful community of people and really reflect what the meaning of Pfunanane means, “let’s help each other.” I’ve noticed they love here mostly by action, not word. I don’t hear, “I love you, I love you, I love you” coming even from the kids… and they are all very affectionate and don’t have a sense of personal space.  ; ) They all want your attention, they all want you to hold their hand, to smile at them, to take a moment and notice their many, many drawings. There definitely isn’t any blood relation to those living here at the house, but the true sense of family is stronger than I’ve seen in those that are actually blood related. It’s a beautiful, humbling and revered thing.

As my time is quickly closing here, it’s hard to know where to put my heart. It’s still so involved and will be so quickly uprooted next Saturday as we head in Kruger and onto Joburg to fly home. I’ll most definitely cherish the last week here in Duiswelskloof – waking up to kids faces peering and laughing me as I sit up, still half asleep… so many things I can’t seem to list right now, but will eventually.

I’ll be taking back with me this strong sense of community, and where my community lies – on all local, national and global levels. I still feel like a floater, without a definite community to call my own. It’ll take time to sink myself in somewhere locally, it’s been awhile since I have. I miss it, and it’s by far something that is needed to make oneself whole and healthy.

So many things are going through my head to write about. The way I’ve found myself not needing to compare myself to others – in what I wear, in what I say, in anything. When I was in Cape Town, the sense of that heightened and that’s when I noticed it.

Such contrast. The following day after flying back, we did hours of house visits to the sponsored families in the local township of Kgpane. I felt more comfortable, I felt more human. It’s a contrast that I was thankful and blessed to have felt.

Highlights of Cape Town:
– Robben Island. Our tour guide experienced it all firsthand; he was quite the storyteller. If you don’t know about Robben Island, look it up. Now.
– Surfing in False Bay (most shark infested waters) in the Indian Ocean
A huge, huge thanks to the beautiful Lauren Masser for letting us stay with her and her housemates 🙂

Highlights to Come:
– An African Thanksgiving. We found a frozen turkey today at the store, and we are buying a chicken at a local farm, slaughtering it and having the locals teach us how to properly dress it. Needless to say, looking forward to documenting that.

Today, we picked up two AIDS orphans from the local township of Dan to come and live with Sarah – Cini (around 9) and Lawerence (around 11; we don’t know their exact ages). They lived in a one room shack alone, with their Uncle coming maybe once a month to check on them. Hopefully, they’ll be living here permanently in January to start the school year at Pfunanane. They’ll both need sponsors. There are actually quite a few kids who need sponsored to continue here at Pfunanane — and I’ll be explaining that further when I get home at the art exhibits I’ll be having and how you can easily get involved. It’s been quite a day.

Tomorrow begins my last week. Bittersweet.

Categories: "south africa"
  1. November 26, 2008 at 9:52 PM

    even though i cant see you, you seem the most beautiful i have ever “seen” you.

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