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Sunday, August 24, 2008


How to report on such a gracious people? The day left us both laughing and crying. We began at a township where we were ever so warmly welcomed—first by a dance performance by children 5 to 9 years of age. Then in a church service full of joy, worship and warm hugs where the young gave their seats up to the elders, and all to the visitors. 

Then we were followed through the sand covered streets like pied pipers from Vermont. Young children clung to us two or three to a person—eating marbles, kicking soccer balls, playing with our hair. Children were all over the place—like bees in a garden. Mothers were as young as 14 by the looks of it. The women were bent over basins doing laundry by hand in the street while others, mainly men sat drinking beer and inviting us to join them early in the morning.

This was followed by a tour of Robben's Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in a single cell, doing hard labor, for 17 years. Our tour guide was a former prisoner of 7 years who referred to us all as "comrades". He told us of his worse moments in detention for 6 months with only his captors, his torturers, to speak to. His female comrades, he said, faired far worse,  tortured in ways he called unspeakable. Many of them never healing from their imprisonment.
All our guides explained the current attitude of "reconciliation" basically an "all is forgiven" attitude that they attribute to Mandela himself. We were left wondering about the magnanimity of such a people.
But enough of words, I leave you pictures.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting, we know you must be tired but we are so anxious to hear about each of your great adventures. What an opportunity! Thank you for all you do.

J Maurice said...

Big hugs to everyone and big kisses to CaseyBear Hopkins from Mommy. Thanks for posting!!!! Technology certainly is a powerful thing...and it means so much that you take the time to let us experience your journey along with you.

Ashley Bessette said...

WOW!!!! Exactly what I wanted to hear! Wish I was there with you all but am feeling your experience through the blogs!

Keep up the good work and learn learn learn!!!!!

Elaine said...

Amazing! I can only imagine how you are all processing on this. The pictures and the expressions on everyone's faces tell the whole story. Thank you for posting.


Tommy Olmstead said...

Such a different view of the world. Keep up the great blog. We are all watching, reading and waiting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks all, your comments feel like a golden thread reaching back to us. We will have thousands of images, sounds, videoas and thoughts to share upon our return.