Moving Reflections

26 08 2010

As I make the move to Jo’burg today, some shorter thoughts I wanted to share:

  • I have decided that I truly know a city when I have found a coffee shop that I love and an order that everyone at the counter expects. In Cape Town, it was a filter coffee, no room for milk at Milk, Bread, and Honey. In Maritzburg, it is the most-delicious-chocolate-croissant-ever and a bottomless filter coffee at the Bread Ahead. Jo’burg is to-be-discovered!
  • A month seems like a really long time when you are just starting. A month seems like no time at all when you are looking back on it…
  • When you can’t find a souvenir shop for postcards, the tourism office is a good place to try. (It only took me four weeks to think of that!) Nevertheless, if you were expecting mail from me, it’s about to be on the way…
  • My experience with my friends at Emaphethelweni has raised some new questions that will stick with me…possibly forever: When is Palesa going to tell Lefa she might be pregnant? And what is the deal with Lefa’s mother? When is everyone in the office going to realize that Donna is using Wayne to spy on them? When will Paul figure out that Kenneth set him up for murder? And is Paul going to lose Dineo in the process? When are Ajax and Ozzie’s sister going to become an official item? And, most importantly, what is going to happen with poor Sara’s marriage?
  • Yes, watching soap operas every night for a month can actually become (sadly) addictive
  • I’ve been reading Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog, which charts a narrative of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (Krog was a radio reporter who covered the entirety of the TRC.) It’s an extremely moving and difficult read, but it has certainly given me a better understanding of South Africa. I’ve been particularly struck by the comments made by Desmond Tutu that Krog reports. This one brought a smile to my face yesterday:

“After the first political submission in August 1996, I interviewed Archbishop Tutu. ‘Weren’t you irritated that you had to listen to four versions of South Africa’s past?”

He spreads his four skinny fingers under my nose. “Four versions…four…exist of the life of Christ. Which one would you have liked to chuck out?” (Krog 172)


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3 responses

26 08 2010
Annette

Haha…I definitely know what you mean about soap operas!! My host mom and I totally bonded over “Tormenta en el Paraiso”

27 08 2010
Catherine Hoke

Hi Jimmy, I enjoyed both of your messages. What a nice sense of humor and such deep thoughts and wise too. I hope you will find Jburg safe and a proper ending to your visit. Your Mother told me you had been sick. I hope it was brief and will not happen again. We are in the hurricane season and it is active, so far nothing has come close to us. We had some welcome rain and a slight relief from the 90ies. Our minister is on vacation and we have a retired Marine chaplin for sermons. He is excellent I wish you could hear both of them. Luke has been the object of his sermons. I am playing a lot of bridge. Going to a tournament the 1st of Sept for a few days. Will be back here on the 4th. Michael left for Russia, excited. I missed you when everyone else was here. There was a big hole for oldest brother. with my love and prayers for you, Gran

1 09 2010
J. Hoke

Annette- I am SOO glad to know that I’m not the only one who watched soap operas on a International trip! I was feeling ever so slightly guilty! But it is such an addictive way to bond with new friends…

Gran, thanks for your comments. I think about you often and can’t wait to come and visit once I get settled back into life in the States. I was sick a couple of weeks ago–fortunately it was a 24-hour bug–not fun for that day, but I was able to rest, take some medicine, and I was back on my feet in no time at all.

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