Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Touching Africa

“An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.” 
~ Ancient Chinese proverb.
So.
After a FOUR hour flight to Melbourne with a ONE hour stopover, 
a THIRTEEN hour flight to Dubai with a FIVE hour stopover and an EIGHT hour flight to Durban I am finally on AFRICAN soil! 
Stunning day in Africa!
Yes.  African soil.
South Africa to be precise.
No matter where in the world I choose to live, this place
 ... this Africa ... is written into my soul.
I love living in New Zealand.  I love the country of my birth 
but there’s something about Africa that captures my soul.
Sitting in bed in the wee hours of the morning because my body clock is so out of synch
 allows time for thought.
I haven’t been back for 4 years.
I saw change last time I was back and I see more change now.
The resident cat at the Oyster Box Hotel
People continue to live their lives behind high walls and security fencing,
just as they did when I last lived here.
Those that have the were-withal continue to live comfortable lives. 
The have-nots continue to strive for what they don’t have.  
Lunch with Mom and Debs ... so awesome catching up!
There are still the same cheerful smiling faces who’re content 
with their lot in life and the roles they fulfill.
So what has changed?
The butter stealing Starling ... look at all that butter on his chin!
The security industry has.
I see umpteen security personnel on a myriad of street corners 
in the more affluent residential areas.  
They were there last time I visited but are even more numerous and visible now.
Calamari for lunch
Fear of crime has led to a boom in South Africa's private security industry.  
It’s now deemed to be the largest private security industry in the world.  
It’s quick expansion is supposedly a result of the continued social and economic inequality,
 coupled with an inept police force. 
 In my eyes though, and it’s purely a personal opinion
social inequality has increased since the abolition of apartheid, not decreased.
It’s a sad indictment on the current government.

Crime IS real though.  
Very real.
It was a problem when I lived in SA and is still a problem now.  
South Africa has the dubious honour of having one of the highest crime rates in the world.  
This ensures that many South Africans remain gripped by this fear of crime.
 How much of this fear though is fueled by the very industry purporting to eradicate it?
My tuppence ha'penny opinion,
for what it's worth.
Despite the crime and security issues, I'm loving being here.
Sharing in my dear old Mom's special day is more than magical.
Catching up with friends IN PERSON is sublime.
I'm MISSING this hound!
Watch this space.  More adventures to come.

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