Every day is an adventure for me in Africa. I never quite know what might be in store for my day when I wake up . There is, seemingly, never a dull day....and, I must say, I enjoy it a lot.
FIRES - Recently, we've had a terrible fire blazing in our part of Cape Town. It was huge and continued burning for two days. We are house sitting for a friend in a home on the side of a mountain overlooking a valley. It has been both incredible and sad to watch the powerful destructive force of this fire. Sadly, there are also many fires in the townships that are destroying hundreds of homes of the poorest people in the city.
SNAKES IN THE SHOWER - On a more mundane, but certainly not boring level of life, my next door neighbor found a snake in her shower. It came up the drain. Needless to say, I look more carefully when I walk into the bathroom these days! I had seen a much larger snake just outside the door of a house we were looking at a few weeks ago. It was at one of the houses we were considering to buy. After seeing the snake, I wasn't very interested in that house!
SAD SOUNDS - While I was doing emails this morning, I heard some rather horrible sounds. I listened and realized a wild animal was killing a cat! The wild animal was probably a lynx, a smallish wild cat about the size of an American bob cat.
AND THEN THERE IS THE WIND. Cape Town is known for its winds. They are powerful! We had heard about them, and now we're experiencing them. They have now been blowing for 6 days straight. I've expected the house to blow down a few times.
SUMMER DURING WINTER - December, January, and February are the hottest summer months in South Africa, when I'm used to it being winter. It's full-blown summer in the southern hemisphere, and it's been hot! I've had a few days when I've longed for nice, cool, air conditioning. A friend has lent us her car for a couple months. It has air conditioning. I've even been tempted to just go sit in the car to cool off!!
STRANGE BIRD SOUNDS - I am awakened most mornings by the sound of very unusual bird calls. They are unlike any I've ever heard before. I don't even know what the birds look like, but I enjoy their morning concert.
WILD AFRICAN ANIMALS - Many days we can see beautiful, wild African game in a small game reserve on the mountain behind us - springbok (playful), blesbuck (handsome), eland (majestic), and cape buffalo (ugly/beautiful). I love grabbing the binoculars and looking at them.
DRIVING ON THE LEFT - I'm still getting used to driving on the left - quite a switch after 42 years of driving on the right (I started driving when I was 16, for those of you who are counting!). There are lots of pedestrians along the roadside, and the mini-van taxis are notorious for their speed and daring. I pray a lot when I drive.....and constantly remind myself to "think left"!
TRAGEDY IN THE TOWNSHIP - The past few days we have had some sad and tragic events take place. A pastor in the township near us was shot and killed by a distraught man he had been counseling. The pastor had served his community for 18 years, and had been a real servant to those in need. The loss of this dear man is being widely felt. We grieve with and for his family, his congregation, and the community. A day later, in the same township, there was a terrible, massive fire. Many homes were destroyed, and many people lost all their belongings. Some of these were people from the same church as the pastor who was killed. They lost their dear pastor and their home in two days.
LEARNING TO LOVE AFRICA - I can't say I understand life here, and my heart is heavy because of some of these recent events. But, yes, this is life in Africa - a wonderful place, and a place filled with need, sadness, and sometimes tragedy. I am learning to love Africa because God loves Africa. It's a new and different life from the one I've lived before. My heart is touched with its beauty, and broken with its need. It's my new homeland.
"The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land....." Deut. 8:7