Thank you Cape Town. We are in our final hours. So much for which to be grateful. Hard to believe it’s over. So grateful for the incredible community of friends – both South Africans and other expats – we found here. As someone anticipated – you have gotten under our skin and we are leaving a piece of our hearts here.
Top things I have loved:
1) Nightime. The Moon cascading light all over our backyard, the Southern Cross which has been our (ironically) north star; the vast inky black blanket with millions of diamond-like stars twinkling throughout the night;
2) Trail running – anywhere, anytime, esp. with headlamps and, in the case of Groot Constantia, rewarded with lots of vino;
3) The notion that any proper south African child is born in a wetsuit (nod to Muizenberg and Llandudno) with a headlamp on his head;
4) The whole attitude of “get on with it.” You South Africans have an unfailing sense that one can do anything. Just stop complaining and do it. I LOVE this!
5) Complete and utter laissez-faire attitude: no liability, no indemnification. Sure, of course you should try to climb through that crevice in that million year old cave that you might or might not fit through;
6) Unfettered access to every outdoor pursuit we could imagine – running, biking, surfing, swimming, hiking – all in breathtakingly gorgeous settings about 10 minutes from our house.
7) The fact that every conversation, every meeting, has been an opportunity to learn about other cultures, perspectives, customs, ways of living
8) The feeling that we can truly make a difference in people’s lives. Yours is a small enough country that we have felt that we can really have an impact. I have learned so much from so many about the reality for young children in this country. We have so much to learn from you.
9) Yours is a melting pot of cultures, languages, nationalities – both the south African population itself (stemming from British, Dutch, Malaysian, Indian, Indonesian, Chinese influences) and other more recent immigrants – Zimbabwean, Malawian. It has been a fascinating thing to observe.
10) Thank you for exposing us and forcing us to deal with such inequity that tends to be more hidden in our (sheltered) life at home.
11) We are humbled by your connection to the earth, and the ancientness of your ancestors/heritage. We have so much to learn from you in “the developing world.”
12)Thank you for exposing us to scarcity – both in terms of water and electricity. It is really important to feel need – esp for those of us from a land of plenty
13) Wine. Wine. Wine. Wine.
14) Sunshine. Sunshine. Sunshine.
15) Mountains! Sea! Mountains! Sea! Everywhere you turn, it gets more beautiful!
Thank you Cape Town, and all of our friends (you know who you are) for welcoming us during our sabbatical year. Thank you for showing us a different perspective on a sense of place within a broader global community. We will miss you and cannot wait to come back.