Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Trips and trips

It has been a long time, but I am happy and healthy here in Cape Town. I honestly wouldn't have been able to remember my last post without looking it up, and it has been a long time (that was November, oops!) I'm sorry I have been so terrible at the updates! Now there has just been too much since the last one and I need to keep it up or I'll be writing forever!

Quick recap. I really wanted to post about the multi faith activities at the National Cathedral on November 14, 2014. I even wrote about it, but I just couldn't find the right words to publish. However, it did not flee my mind. I have been thinking about it, a lot, because that is inherently something that is able to happen on a year like this. I have never had so much time to foster my thoughts, which has continued to be a wonderful thing, even through some of the hardest days. I know that I have been growing and am slowly wading through what I can think and what direction I want to follow. Even if that may be circles most of the time. I think that the multi faith activities in the Cathedral are wonderful and are really the most Christ-like demonstration possible. One thing that I really have found to be true in my own journey is that what matters is the way we treat one another, and that really is the most important way to build relationships and be with one another. Isn't it much easier and more helpful to build each other up, welcome them into our spaces, care for them, and be hospitable than to point out our differences, and be standoffish simply because the person uses different words, may look a little different or simply is a stranger? If you did not read it as it came out, here is the article from the Episcopal News Service.

In a similar note, I also have been able to vaguely follow the happenings in Rapid City that have come to a head after the police shooting of Allen Locke and the hate towards those 57 kids at the Rapid City Rush hockey game, be it mostly is from Facebook and online articles. Why not raise each other up, with a welcome smile and a warm heart than shun and tear one another down because we have a couple differences? We are all brothers and sisters, and I think the most important thing is to look and treat each other in that way. I think that is why it is so marvelous that we were able to offer space and be a companion as our friends were able to lead their prayers in the Cathedral.

The Free State Youth
In December the Green Anglican office was able to go to the Free State in South Africa and Lesotho to offer our services to lead a workshop and presentation. It truly was a transformative experience. There is so much excitement that surrounds the Church and what it can do to make a difference in our environment. Even though we were surprised with about 300 kids at the Lesotho presentation and not an executive board of about 15, quite the practice of flexibility! Here are some pictures of that week. 

So many people showed up for our presentation in Lesotho

This beautiful girl warmly thanked us for our presentation and insisted on our picture together!

However, I got some very saddening news on that trip as well, which completely shifted the itinerary and goals for me. And that was that my beloved gramma died in her sleep. When I found out, it was more of a race to get home than being present at the workshops. After a 14 hr drive (I had to drive all the way back, no cruise, totally exhausting!) and four planes I was able to spend about two weeks back in MN. It really meant the world to me to be there. I grew up at the side of my grandma, she taught me so much about this world and I could always count on her being in her chair at the house, reading her newspaper or just resting her eyes. I am so thankful for her presence in my life and the care she always showed me and everyone else. Anybody up for some lefse or apple pie? My brother blogs, much more regularly and better than I do, you can find a great tribute he wrote on his blog. You also might want to follow his blog, he's always got good stuff to say, and is probably much more creditable than me!

On that trip home, I was able to be with friends and family, and had a wonderful time seeing everyone. I slept on a lot of couches and air mattresses and was able to share many meals and drinks with some great people. Thank you to those people for keeping me as I was there.

As I returned to South Africa, it was on to a great trip with some amazing people! Fellow YASCers Ryan Zvacky and Carolyn Hockey came to Cape Town. It was so much fun to get away and explore with them, we did as much tourist stuff as possible. From New Years at the Waterfront to relaxing on the beach, taking the cable car up table mountain, hiking Lions Head (I've only done it like a million times now), seeing the penguins again, wine tasting, heading to the Eastern Cape to see the life at Addo, me bungee jumping off the highest natural bungee in the world from the Bloukran's Bridge (sorry Mom), and great white shark cage diving (sorry Mom, again), there was never a dull moment. Here are just a few pictures of our shenanigans.
We may have gotten a little carried away with selfies, but there's a lion there!
YASC Team Africa in Cape Town!
New Years at the V&A Waterfront, so many people!!
You know, just watching some wildlife at Addo

Never had so much fun being shark bait!

This big guy surprised us on the side of the road!
On another trip to the 'guins with my friends Ian, they always look like they're having so much fun!
I was able to be in Grahamstown for our first friendsversary and to welcome Carolyn to South Africa for her new work at the monastery! 

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