Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I've needed encouragement to persevere lately. As I've been in the middle of sustaining hurts and working at addressing the conflict that often comes when living in community, I've grown weary of the hard work it takes. During the recent women's trip, I was looking at some necklaces in a small shop. One in particular caught my eye, a rectangle with a small symmetrical cross symbol on it. The card it was attached to said it was an African symbol for endurance. I've been at a place of wanting to give up on several community issues lately, and found it significant that this particular necklace caught my eye.

Home from the women's trip, I've changed my desktop picture to the following image, taken in Florence a few years ago. These instructions appear on the plexiglass around the gallery inside the Duomo, about halfway through a climb to the top of the dome. I found the instructions amusing at the time. Right now, I need the reminder.

Beach trip

Some pictures from the women's trip to Ballito (near Durban) this past weekend. This wasn't a good "people" trip for me, just to explain the lack of smiling beach photos...

Walking and exploring the beach on a drizzly day

Shell, seaweed, sand, sea
The beach, a rainbow, and some amazing clouds. I took this from the balcony of the flat where we stayed.
I couldn't stop taking pictures of the rainbow, apparently. This is a different one later on in the day, a double rainbow this time.
And here's Sarah setting off to explore in the shadow of the rainbow.

More election photos

The "Fight crime" poster I mentioned earlier

Signs on the fence surrounding the park where voting took place--these didn't go up until election day.

And a few more links with thoughts on the election:
Thoughts from Chris and Joe
From a newsletter I receive: "The voting experience of five ordinary South Africans"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Election 2009

Today is the national election in South Africa. Over the past couple months, election posters for the many, many parties here have been plastered all over signposts, freeway overpasses, and billboards. Here's just a selection:

This one falls under the category of "would probably be prohibited in America." Loosely translated: "Too white to work?" Another poster from this same party features the simple slogan "Fight crime" under a picture of a white woman's face, fear in her eyes, with a black man's hand over her mouth.
The middle poster here is one of my favorites... because I find the horrible photo choice absolutely hilarious. I can't decide whether the man is angry, constipated, or just extremely uncomfortable. Perhaps all three.
A faded ANC poster of Jacob Zuma... these posters of Zuma are ALL over the place. The ANC victory is pretty much a foregone conclusion, whatever you might think of Zuma!

One of the local apprentices, Curtis, has posted some great thoughts leading up to the election if you're interested in learning more... check out this post especially, with links to info on the major political parties here. And I will conclude with this political cartoon that I totally stole from Curtis' blog:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Around Pangani

On more than one occasion, the numbers from the "106" in front of Pangani have been stolen. Tired of replacing them, Bryan took them down and one of the gardeners painted a crooked number 106 in their place. That simply would not do. Daleen made this awesome mosaic to cover over the painted numbers, and give us a far-less-stealable number.

One of the community cars has been in the shop for... weeks now? Not sure. Sharing two cars among 7 apprentices is a challenge, even more so when one of the two is out of commission. This afternoon, I discovered the following small plea attached to the Corsa's mileage book, complete with flower and candles...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunset in Sosh

New shoes on Solomon's bakkie

Emily's yard, Wholesome Bakery, Solomon's bakkie

Sunset through the fence
Sunset from the stoep

Holy Saturday

Prayer walk at Pangani

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, Sarah and Colletta and I visited our friend Doris' church in Soshanguve. Church in Sosh is usually an all-morning (and into the afternoon) occasion, and this past Sunday was fairly usual. We arrived at 8:30 for prayers before the service, service started at 9:30, and we got home to Pretoria a little before 2:00pm. =)

Woman walking and praying before the service started (Sarah took this one on my camera)

Sarah sharing a little about herself & NieuCommunities

Giant bags of vegetables placed at the front of the church at the end of the service. The church encourages its members to bring food and other staple items each week. Anyone in need is free to take from what is brought, for themselves as well as others in their community.


Just a few pictures from my birthday last week...

Birthday cake with friends in Soshanguve on Monday

Balloons at community breakfast on Tuesday
(I ate the chocolate pancakes before I thought to take a picture)

One of two free passes from Tony, my next door neighbor, who sees all women's activities (and most card games) as conspiracies against him.

Care package from Heather, which arrived ON the birthday (not sure if this has ever happened before in South African history)

Flowers from my parents

Dinner with the staff women at Cafe 41 (31 at 41 on the 31st...)