Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Winter in summer?

Less than a month before I leave for South Africa. Maps and web searches are helping me plan what to pack.
South Africa has a different ocean on each side. The west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Cape Town being the largest city. In the interior north are Johannesburg and the national capital, Pretoria. On the Indian Ocean side the cities are less developed, but the weather is lovely all year round. This is where I will be, landing in Durban in the province KwaZulu-Natal. It is very near Mozambique and Swaziland.
It’s winter there. The hot, humid coast offer fantastic winter weather with sunny, warmish days and virtually no wind or rain. The average temperatures are from the mid 40’s to low 60’s. The risk for malaria is relatively low in this area.
I have had several long conversations with Brian Konkol, the area coordinator for ELCA-M.U.D. (It is an amazing experience to speak live to someone in South Africa!) He describes our days as full of stories and real assimilation into the South African way of life. I can’t wait!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

back stories

Part of the fun of a trip is reading about the country before I go. But I have been wondering on this particular trip where to find the “truth” - in the F or NF section?
I’ve read the short histories in the travel books, plus biographies on Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela from the children’s room at the library. (Because I LIKE short sentences!) I am listening to some lectures on the beginnings of humans from an archeological perspective. Facts, dates, conflicts.
Some South African fiction includes an amazing number of Suspense and romance books with a South African locale, not much more than an exotic backdrop. (I skipped those.) I’ve also read Cry the Beloved Country, listened to A Beautiful Place to Die, a murder mystery set at the beginning of apartheid, and am now determined to get through James Michener’s The Covenant. Thos are beginning to give me some insight into how the humans interact and interrelate. They seem “true” if not factual.
I’m still looking for post-apartheid fiction and anything in the YA or children’s area. Suggestions?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just the facts

I leave on June 22, via WDC and then straight to Johannesburg. A short hop flight to Durban (on the east coast) and a late night ride to Pietermaritzburg . There I will be staying with local families and working with Brian and Kristen Konkol, the coordinators of ELCA-M.U.D. (What is MUD? Check out, for a few days. Then I'll be a week with Kelly Schumacher ffrom Grace at her year long site in Mapumulo. New names are becoming familiar!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

6 weeks to go!

Welcome to the adventure of 2009 - South Africa. Plans are taking shape and setting up the blog was on my check here we are.

Details, maplinks and more in a few days!