Monday, June 14, 2010

it thrills me right down to the marrow

I can't count the number of times I've sat down to post an entry here and share my crazy life over the past few weeks.  One appendix surgery, water and electricity outages, a midyear retreat, and a World Cup later, it's almost mid-June and sometimes the speed with which time passes is scary (especially when I mark my time according to blog posts!)

So, I'm going to cheat now and write a list of things that are important to mention, and write a real entry soon, hopefully with photos!

  • We had two visiting groups, one from Villanova University and one from Malvern Prep, at the end of May... and they got the real African experience when we didn't have water and then didn't have electricity in the space of five days!
  • My roommate Mary-Kate had to get her appendix out a few weeks ago, very suddenly, but with a couple of days in the hospital, lots of rest, and some good old-fashioned TLC, she's on the mend and is back to work for the most part.
  • We had our midyear site visit from Pat, our supervisor back in the US, and though we had to rearrange plans because of MK's surgery, we had a really nice retreat and took some time to reflect about reaching the midyear point in our year of service... thank goodness we live next-door to a retreat house and got to get out of our house for a weekend!
  • School closed last Wednesday for winter break, meaning a four-week break for the World Cup holidays which is a bit longer than usual.  We've organized a holiday program for some of our learners, which starts next Monday-- and I've been taking the time without the kids to organize the library!  It needs lots of work, but I'm happy to have some time to do it before our two-week camp starts.  I miss the kids a lot already.
  • I got to go and see Johnny Clegg with some of my roommates and our South African friends last week, which was a really cool experience-- he had a band called Juluka during apartheid with a Zulu man named Sipho Mchunu, and was banned from playing in public spaces and things... now he tours mostly as a solo act, but seeing him the night before the World Cup kickoff was a big thrill.  How can you not love an artist who has a song with lyrics like I'm sitting on the top of Kilimanjaro; it thrills me right down to the marrow?!
  • Last but not least................. the World Cup has arrived!  Everything is in full swing here, and while I had and still do have some reservations about South Africa hosting the event, we spent a lot of time at the fan parks down in Durban this weekend, standing on the beach overlooking the Indian Ocean, deafened by vuvuzelas and sharing the excitement with people from all over the world-- and the significance of such a momentous event being held in this country is overwhelming.  I just hope it continues without a hitch, and that I can find some time to enjoy it and still keep working hard.  Some good family friends, the Fitzpatricks, are flying to South Africa today for some of the games, and I'm really looking forward to meeting up with them and seeing some friendly faces later this week.  I also ran into a guy who went to my university while at the fan park on Friday night; sometimes the world is a very small place!

Hopefully I'll find time to concentrate on some more reflective writing soon, but for now, I'll go on feeling very lucky to be in South Africa this year.

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