An open letter to South Africa


Dear South Africa,

It was a little bit hard to love you today. I’m having a hard time getting in touch with one tour guide that I feel like would be a brilliant person to speak with about the research I would like to do around Township tourism. I think it is a busy time of year for her, but I am hoping that she isn’t politely trying to shake me because she wants to have nothing to do with me. I was really looking forward to meeting with another guide in Cape Town, but after a series of failed communications on both our parts (and nearly 4 hours of travel on mine) we failed to meet up. And the train was creepy. My roommate has taken to trying to shake my resolve to move to a guesthouse in the Township by telling me on a daily basis how ‘they’ are constantly shooting and/or raping one another. I think it’s also partly due to the fact that I’m engaged in non-violent warfare with both Audible and Hotwire over my ongoing inability to log into my accounts. *sigh*

Then, I heard a really, really horrible rendition of Sexy Sax Man being played in a square, and it instantly made me think of my three brothers and wish that they were there with me to witness it. For those of you uninitiated….

You’re welcome/I’m terribly sorry.

Then, I remembered that the man at my coffee shop (yes, it’s mine now) made this drink for me this morning:IMG_20160316_094738354[1]

And the other guys who work there gave me a hug when they came in and gave me some more Xhosa lessons. And my awesome brother B-Rad wants more pictures, so here ya go…IMG_2848


Don’t be a sad puppy…


…it’s so beautiful here!


And everyone loves photos of food 😉

Especially when this is what it sounds like while you’re eating.


And penguins!!

Racial reclassification

And this…while not totally fixed, is NOT a thing anymore.

So on that note, I had some pizza, drank a beer, went for a very sweaty run and decided that I needed to, once again, delve into The Greatest Gift of All Time (dun dun duuuunnnnnn!). For those of you just catching up, my sister Kimberly gave me The Greatest Gift when she made me a stack of letters to help me contend with all that I might be faced with in this journey. So today it is…


(and I am post-run sweaty. I swear I’m not always that shiny)

And a big thank you to my brothers and my sisters for keeping in touch, and for all of you who have given me such great feedback so far on the blog, and for my dear friend in California who sent me an audio letter (can you imagine?!? What a guy!), and my Aunt Jo for sharing my blog with her millions of adoring readers (!!), and all the people I miss all over!IMG_3358

Bahaha!! Oh Kimberly, you are a wonder. Thanks for ending my day on such a great note xox

14 thoughts on “An open letter to South Africa

  1. Frustrating and maybe a little homesick, but oh, boy those photos must surely cheer you up (they do me) and what a lovely present from your sister – how clever is she! As we Yorkshire folk say “keep your pecker up!”

    (But as for staying in a township, I know I wouldn’t go that far in my pursuit to see what it is like. )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jude, I hear you, and there are some very real security issues that need to be considered, and that I hope I am aware of. I can’t believe that you lived here in the 1970s – that must have been really, really intense! The townships are still not places that it is safe to wander around in, but there have been a lot of middle and even upper class developments within them since the end of apartheid,and the mama that I will be staying with has been hosting foreign volunteer teachers in the community for many years, all without incident. I’ll keep my wits about me for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hahaha .. millions of readers …. HAHAHAHA!!
    … but I am SOOOO grateful to my wonderful friends on WP who rallied to your site. They are nothing short of amazing!

    GORGEOUS photos!! … and well, penquins!
    It’s always nice to remind yourself of the beauty around you when *stuff* starts to get you down. I’m having one of those weeks too, so we can commiserate together.

    btw – you run?!


    • Thanks!! Your readers appear to be the best kinds of people :D. And yes, there are penguins just chillin on the beach! My nephews were not nearly impressed enough that I saw penguins. And no – I stink at and despise running. But I have no gym access. I also can’t leave the compound after dark, so I just run around in circles in the parking lot. It’s very classy :-/


      • Well, Gilles will be very jealous when I tell him about the penquins!! I’ve seen penquins, but I had to go to the zoo to do it.
        You might be ‘just’ running circles around the parking lot, but I’m impressed 🙂


  3. It really is such a different world you find yourself in and you’re bound to be homesick in some ways…but so glad you are clearly appreciating all the amazing things you’re experiencing too…like that meal with a view!

    Liked by 1 person

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