Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 66

Today marks my 66th day in Cape Town. As I reflect on the past 65 days, I realize how much I have had to adjust and adapt my own behaviors to the fit into the culture around me, oftentimes without even realizing it. Here the things that stand out the most:

1. I never deliberately make eye contact with strangers here. At home I have no problem doing this occasionally just to challenge the social norms and see how people react—it’s a fun little social experiment.

2. For the most part, I don’t talk to anyone that I don’t know. There are only a few exceptions: I say “thank you” to someone who holds a door open, to the cashier at the grocery store, and occasionally to the bus driver. Students are generally much friendlier and more open to conversation than the rest of the public sector. I have become more judicious in expressing my gratitude not because I am becoming rude, but because “please” and “thank you” simply aren’t used as frequently in Cape Town as they are in the United States.

3. Public transportation isn’t as bad as I expected. I can take a taxi into town for R5 (less than $1 US). Most recently the taxi driver was going 150 km/h. I don’t know exactly how fast that is in miles, but I think it best not to do the conversion. On that note, all of the taxi drivers were on strike yesterday and none of them were driving. So, while it is a very efficient and economical means of travel, this is only true if the taxis are operating. The taxi strikes also provoke violence; there’s been ongoing tension between the taxi drivers and the bus companies that are taking business away from the taxi drivers, especially now that it’s nearing World Cup time.

4. I actually like being on a big university campus. Granted, there are at most 16 people in any of my classes since the classes are geared toward service-learning, but it is a nice change from my small campus at home. The University of Cape Town is literally at the base of Table Mountain, so walking to Upper Campus from where I live, on Lower Campus, requires 30 minutes of climbing stairs and inclines the whole way. Fortunately the University has shuttles (called “Jammies”) that run from Lower to Upper Campus most of the day. I thought that waiting for the shuttle would be an inconvenience, but I am actually becoming quite fond of it, and I’ve done a lot of reading-for-pleasure while waiting for and riding on the shuttles. That is one nice thing about public transportation, though it’s certainly nice to know that I will have my car when I get home.

5. In many public places, you have to purchase toilet paper for R1. Then, the store clerk, bartender, or whomever, will tear off a certain number of squares for you to use. There’s no hiding the fact that you have to use the toilet when you have to purchase your toilet paper in front of everyone. (If you have Runny Tummy, you’re probably better off carrying your own roll with you!) Oh, and it’s probably a good idea to carry hand sanitizer with you everywhere. Not even the University restrooms are stocked with soap. Maybe the soap dispensers are just for decoration?

6. Just say no. When people ask you for money, you just have to say no. Avoiding eye contact makes this a little easier, but being American certainly makes you a prime target for those wanting money. So far I’ve only been suckered into buying somebody one Coke. Then he told me loved me. I assured him that he didn't. I learned my lesson fast!

7. I’m learning what it means to be American: Americans carry water bottles everywhere they go, especially Nalgenes. It must be an American thing (or maybe just an Ursinus thing) to read a book at the gym (e.g. on the treadmill) because everyone I’ve run into has been perplexed as to why I was taking a book to the gym, and how reading while exercising is physically impossible. We also wear those wispy binders (thin head bands) and Adidas shorts when we’re exercising or playing sports. If you are wearing a T-shirt, Adidas shorts, sneakers, a wispy binder, and carrying a Nalgene, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind – you’re American.

8. Apparently UCT students have a more balanced academic and social life than American students. During the week, the library closes at 10 PM which means that if you want to continue studying, they don’t support it. (If I’m correct, Ursinus’s Myrin Library is open till 1 AM during the week, and 4 AM during finals.) You’re free to keep studying, but you must do so somewhere else.

9. I’ve become much more aware of my surroundings and take much more care for my personal safety than I do at home, for several reasons. First, anyone traveling to another country would be more attentive to their surroundings when they are outside of the comfort of their home environment. Second, it is a well-known fact that Cape Town has a very high crime rate, and it would be foolish not to take precautions. For example, I never leave my room – not even to use the bathroom or shower – without locking my windows. With that said, being safe in Cape Town depends mostly on common sense (knock on wood). I try to fit in by following the social norms, acting as others act, going to public places in daylight, and carrying little money or valuables on my person. If I must go on campus somewhere past 6:00, the security guard knows where I’m going, and when to expect me back. So even though I’m much more aware of taking safety precautions, I do feel safe.

Monday, March 22, 2010

10,000 March for School Libraries in South Africa

Yesterday was the culmination of about a year of relentless organisation and mobilisation among Equal Education's staff and members, alongside numerous organisations with whom they joined forces. I have only had a brief peek at all the work that organising such a campaign entails, but to see everything come together at yesterday's march to Parliament was nothing less than impressive. Check out the press release here:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ubuntu (Togetherness)

This past weekend was our homestay weekend in Khayelitsha Township. On Friday evening we went to a community building in the township where we were greeted with a welcome suited for royalty. Black Xhosa women and children clapped and cheered for us as our transport pulled through the iron gate. The young girls’ dancing and singing stood in stark contrast to us Americans who were standing still and in awe of the welcome we were receiving. (And, over the course of the weekend, we would confirm the correct stereotype that white people can’t dance.)

Inside the community building we were introduced to all of the host mothers for the weekend. Each one told us her name, surname, and clan name. Then we introduced ourselves. After introductions we sampled three traditional Xhosa dishes: homemade bread, tripe, and mielie. I tried two of the three, but opted not to take the tripe (the lining of a cow’s stomach). Those who did try it said it was poorly cleaned and tasted like the grass the cow ate. Others described it as tasting like cow shit.

The real meal that followed was filling and delicious. Food is a huge part of Xhosa culture. At the end of the weekend, the host families would tell the homestay coordinator that we were a much more open group of students than they have had in the past—meaning, of course, that we ate a lot more than past students. They appreciated this; they become concerned when you do not accept what they are offering you because it makes them feel as if you are not comfortable, or that they are not providing adequately for you. So, even if you cannot fathom putting another piece of fruit or bread or sweet in your stomach, it is polite to do so anyway.

Two students stayed with each host family. It was nice to be paired with Christina, to whom I hadn’t really spoken much before this weekend. Our host mother for the weekend was Ngawethu, a 67-year old, gray-haired, spunky, Black, Xhosa woman who introduced herself to the entire group by telling a story, complete with acting and hip-swinging, about how she came to live in Khayelitsha.

Mama, as we would call Ngawethu the remainder of the weekend, has two daughters. But the two daughters were not the two girls we met at the community center; one of these girls was in fact a daughter (in the American sense of the word). However, most non-European countries do not use the same words (e.g. aunt, uncle, cousin, brother, sister) to describe kinship as we do. And many, like the families in Khayelitsha, live with their extended families. After asking several family members many questions, we came to find out that Mama and her husband, Isaiah, have one biological daughter. The other “daughter” actually lives in another house with her mother, and I’m still not sure if she is of any blood relation or not. The other biological daughter married someone from, and now lives in, the United States. The two daughters still living with Mama were 21 and 23 years old. Eddy, who also lived with Mama, was 16. I came to find out that he is actually the biological son of Mama’s sister, who died of TB within the last five years. Eddy also has a biological sister who has a young child, but I don’t think she lives with Mama as I only saw her once.

From my conversation with Eddy, I gathered that Mama is a very authoritative parent, and he respects her tremendously. The other night Eddy received a phone call from a female friend. Mama inquired if this was a girlfriend and, if not, why was she calling him? “No,” Eddy assured her, “she was just a friend.” Eddy told me that he was not interested in having a girlfriend right now, and he is not going to have sex until he is married. He does not want to have a girlfriend right now, he does not go out on the weekends; all he wants to focus on right now is his studies, passing his matric exams (Grade 12 graduation exams), and get into varsity (college/university). Still, he knows that Mama does not question him because she does not trust him, but because she cares for him. Her authoritativeness is a manifestation of her love.

In another story, after Eddy’s sister found out that she was pregnant, they found her at the garage drinking petrol (translation: she was at the gas station drinking gasoline to try to kill herself and her baby). Mama took her to the hospital, had her stomach pumped, and the baby supposedly went unharmed. Afterward Mama asked, “Did I ever tell you to have many boyfriends and get pregnant? No. You did this. I did not tell you to do this.” Her message was that she did something of her own volition, and now she had to take responsibility for her actions. Both of these stories (and I’m sure there were many more that we didn’t hear) suggested that Mama abided by the letter that hung on the back of the bathroom door:

Dear Child
As long as you live in this house, you will follow the rules, when you have your own house, you can make your own rules.
In this house we do not have democracy. I did not campaign to be your parent. You did not vote for me.
We are parent and child by the grace of God and I accept the privilege and awesome responsibility. In accepting it, I have an obligation to perform the role of a parent.
I am not your pal. Our ages are too different. We can share many things, but we are not pals. I am also your friend, but we are on entirely different levels.
You will do in this house as I say and while you may ask questions, you may not question my authority. Please remember that whatever I ask you to do, is motivated by love.
This will be hard for you to understand, until you have a child of your own.
Until then, trust me.
Your Parent

Originally written by Ricardo Montalban to his son.

And children do understand this thing when they become parents of their own children. Sometimes children even realize the benefit of having a seemingly strict parent while they are still children. Still others come to resent that their parents were not stricter; that is, that they did not show them more love. After all there comes a point when children are no longer children, when they must make decisions for themselves. There is a poem by Kahlil Gilbran that speaks to this very thing:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

And, conveniently, I was just made aware of an African (Xhosa) proverb that echoes this idea that change comes through children. The English translation goes something like this: Old people are like metal, they don’t bend. In other words, young people cannot try to change the views of the elder generations. At the same time, the older generation should not hold it against the younger generation that their views are different. It is the parents’ responsibility to rear their children well and prepare them for the challenges that lie ahead of them. Then, after they have raised them and instilled in them their values, they must release them from their influence and trust that they have well-prepared them for the challenges and blessings that life will hurl at them.

So yes, Eddy is so appreciative of the love that Mama gives him. And he is determined not to disappoint her, or himself.

Around 9:00 on the Friday evening we arrived at our families homes, the two girls told Christina and me that we were going out.

“Where are we going?”


So, we went to Keith’s Place, a bar in the township, just a short walk from their home. Locals didn’t start filtering in until about half past ten, so for a while it was just six of us Americans and our host families. When the locals did start coming in, they did a double-take as to why there were six white people in a bar in a homogenously black township. But the oddity of the situation quickly wore off. We engaged in conversations with the locals and soaked up the atmosphere.

On Saturday morning we went to Ubuntu (“togetherness” in Xhosa), an HIV/AIDS clinic for infected children. On this day the children were performing songs, dances, and skits. It was nice, but it was far too long for my restless self to sit there and simply observe.

In the afternoon we went to Ace’s Place, a meat market similar to Mzoli’s. It was here that an old man (he was probably in his late 50s) professed his love for me, and I proceeded to assure him that no, he did not love me. “You don’t even know me!” At which point I rejoined our group’s conversation and tried to avoid the old man who was confused about love. It turns out he wasn’t the only one who was confused about love. After I spoke with one of the other host mothers, I realized how true it still is that marriage is an institution and a vehicle for social mobility. (There is a difference between marriage for social reasons and marriage for love; here I am referring to the first one.) Anyway, this lady (a single, 37-year old, black, Xhosa, school teacher) wants to marry a white man. Why? Because, in her mind’s eye, white men are faithful, you always see old white couples walking together and still holding hands. They divorce less than black men. In other words, white men are just better. This truly shocked me. Obviously it is an opinion, and every person is entitled to his or her own opinion. But it seemed to me as if this lady feels scared into marriage. Her motive for marriage is not love, but the avoidance of a situation she does not want to be in. As I understood it, she was motivated to marry out of fear. Of course she wants to be happy (don’t we all?). Anyway, I don’t intend to draw any conclusions from this, it was just an observation. However, I did give the conversation my two cents: People are people, and white men divorce just as much as anyone else. So to simply marry any white man guarantees only one thing—that the chance of having a lifelong marriage is the same as the flip of a coin.

After we finished enjoying the braai at Ace’s Place, we went to the other Ace’s Place across town, which was complete with a bar and dance floor. I walked in and walked straight back out to my host brother, Eddy, and two of the other host sisters. The three of them were too young to go inside. We got in the back of a truck and rode home. I couldn’t handle another night out; all I really wanted to do was spend time with Mama and talk with her. When we got home, we went to a house church. The setting reminded me of the Spanish church I went to at home in the sense that there were just a bunch of people crowded in a room in a house fellowshipping and worshipping God. However, this experience was much crazier, in my opinion. Perhaps it wouldn’t have seemed quite as crazy if the speaker hadn’t been speaking English – at least then I wouldn’t have known what he was saying! This speaker believes that he is a prophet of God (the Christian God, father of Christ). He saw “seven angels among us,” and prophesied that, of the people in attendance, three of their mothers would die on Wednesday at noon… Yes, this creeped me out.

On Sunday morning we went to an Anglican church service, which was conducted in Xhosa. Mama didn’t come with us because she was too busy preparing breakfast for us, despite our urging her to sit down and eat with us. My only regret for the weekend is that we didn’t have more time to talk with the elders. Well, that we didn’t get to talk more with Mama (I only saw her husband once over the weekend). Still, the conversations we did have were meaningful.

In summary, this weekend was a great experience. There is a spirit of ubuntu (togetherness, collectivity) in Khayelitsha. Everyone we met – our host families, locals, complete strangers – went out of their way to welcome us, make sure we were safe, and to make us feel at home. I wasn’t planning to have anything to drink at the bar on Friday night, and I was fine with this. So I was surprised when my host sister brought me a bottle of Powerade. Why was this girl who was just two years older than me and living in these conditions buying me, a white, privileged American, a drink? Someone else from our group started turning down beers from locals only because he couldn’t drink them all.

This is the benefit of becoming engaged in a culture despite how negatively it is portrayed by the media. Khayelitsha has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous townships. We students were all very aware of all of the things associated with Khayelitsha before we arrived, and we took these into consideration. I, for instance, didn’t bring my camera because I didn’t want to risk it being stolen. (My camera would have been just fine.) The residents of Khayelitsha were so eager to welcome us and to show us that it really is a great community, that people really do appreciate outsiders taking the time to understand them. And over the course of the 48 hours that we were there, we tended forget that we were in this supposedly crime-infested black township where poverty is an adamant oppressor. Instead, this was a vibrant community of human beings who care for one another and look out for one another. Yes, this was ubuntu.

I realize that I have not gone into too much detail here about the living conditions of the homes where we were stayed this weekend. I think this is an important part of the weekend, and I will include more of these details in the next post. For now though, this one has become too long. So, until next time…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Backflips in the vineyard, and other things to catch up on

I have been slacking on my blogging lately, so I’ll attempt to sum up the past week in a single post. There hasn’t been much change in terms of classes or service is concerned, but I’m not sure whether this is a good or bad thing. Before I get into the academic aspects, let’s talk about the weekend. On Saturday we went to a wine tasting at Nelson’s Creek vineyard, about 40 minutes from where we are staying. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t too enthused about the wine tasting, but I was excited to spend the day in a vineyard since I had never visited one before, and the only image of a vineyard I had in mind was from the movie The Parent Trap.

As soon as we stepped out of the van I was overwhelmed by the smell of fermented grape juice. (I think “fermented grape juice” sounds nicer than “alcohol.”) Our visit began with a brief tour of the vineyard in which we learned about the different types of grapes, soil, weather, and farming techniques. Then we saw the machinery used in the wine-making process that. The machinery sat outside on a neatly poured base of concrete, which my Grandpa Bowen would have been delighted to see. When our tour guide finished speaking, I asked what the trampoline was for. He replied that it was for the children who accompany their parents but cannot partake in the wine tasting. “Is there an age limit?” I asked. “No,” he said, “you can jump on it if you’d like.” Doing front-flips and back-flips on a trampoline in a vineyard would turn out to be one of the highlights of my day, until one of the other workers informed us that the trampoline is only for children. I guess I cannot pass for a child anymore after all.

The informal wine tasting was mildly entertaining, and I found it slightly humorous that the others could taste strawberries or smoke or other strange flavors in the wines. They all taste like alcohol to me. I did, however, enjoy the dried apricots, almonds, crackers, and cheeses, and the others at my table were glad to have my share of the wine. Afterwards we sat under a shade tree and had bagged lunches (no baboon intruders this time, fortunately). I also made friends with a golden retriever that enjoyed placing his large paw in my palm, until he caught on that I was playing a game and seeing how many times he would shake with me until he quit.

The following day Lin-Lin and I attended the non-denominational Christian service held at the Baxter Theatre. It struck me as ironic that, to the best of my knowledge, the rest of the congregation was either Black or Coloured, yet the pastor was obviously White. In one regard it was nice to know that all of these groups could congregate to worship one god, but at the same time the racial composition of the group, and the fact that a White pastor was ministering to a Black/Coloured congregation was reminiscent of the all-too recent colonialism this country has undergone. In my opinion, both South Africa and America are racial and cultural melting pots, but with different flavours of stew. The South African stew has a smooth base, a medley of many ingredients, but it also has some distinct vegetables that have barely been diced and tend to remain separate from the rest of the ingredients. The American stew is blander and less flavourful than that of South Africa, but it is palatable.

Back from my tangent to the originally intended narrative. My service at Equal Education has been both rewarding and frustrating. The entire organization is deeply involved in preparing for the March 21st protest for a national policy on school libraries, so it is difficult to work on any other projects right now. The library campaign will be complete in two weeks time, so for now I am trying to offer my help with the campaign and am waiting patiently to really dive into this academic program I am attempting to implement with the help of Joey, the head of the Youth Department. Perhaps the most frustrating thing is that it is nearly impossible to pin down this man because he is so incredibly busy. I think the trick is that I must just schedule weekly meetings with him, and even then it is virtually impossible to have an uninterrupted meeting. But, this is the nature of NGO work. I know for a fact that I could not handle so much stress and disorganization, but I admire people that can because their work is extremely important.

The most rewarding part of my time at Equal Ed. is interacting with the students. They are all incredible people with incredible stories to tell. Two of the gentlemen and I are working informally to improve some poems they have written. Their poems are very real and reflect some of the daily struggles they face. I am learning a lot from conversations over poetry, so it is more of a co-learning experience than anything. The ladies have been begging me to bring my guitar, so I took it with me last Friday and it was a big hit. The guitar is a very social instrument, I have found out. No matter where you take a guitar, you will make friends because of it. Anyway, the girls took turns playing and learning chords and just having fun. Before I knew it we had a crowd of no less than ten people gathered around this instrument and making music. Upon their request I agreed to play something for them – I had no idea Taylor Swift was such a hit in South Africa – and one of the girls took off her hat and set it in front of me to collect tips. They have so much spunk and personality, each one of them. It was a good day. Two of the girls either have or are now getting guitars for themselves, so I sense that there will be more guitar lessons in the near future.

Unfortunately one of my guitar strings snapped on Friday night, so I haven’t been able to play (although this does provide me with a legitimate reason for why I do not take my guitar to Equal Ed. every day!). Still, I need to find a music shop and get me some strings. There’s no sense in having a stringless guitar sitting in my room.

As far as classes go, I continue to be mostly disappointed with two of them. But there is one that I am enjoying very much, Poverty and Development. I think we could add “and Globalization” to the end of the course title as well. The professor is very knowledgeable, has lots of firsthand experience, and is passionate about what she is teaching. She also has an incredible life story (every person does) and I look forward to having more conversations with her in the future. We are thinking to go for coffee or lunch sometime over the following weekend.

This coming weekend is our home-stay weekend. Each of us 16 students will be staying with a family in the Khayelitsha Township, which I am very much looking forward to, particularly since Equal Ed. is located in, and most of the students live in, Khayelitsha. We will be departing from our residences at 17:30 on Friday and will return at 14:00 on Sunday. Khayelitsha is a Black township and the language spoken there is Xhosa. I am used to hearing this click-language spoken, and I can say a few words and phrases, but I am pretty useless when it comes to holding a conversation. On Saturday will be walking around the township and attending a festival at Ubuntu, the children’s HIV/AIDS clinic in Khayelitsha where some of my peers are doing their service. Most families go to church on Sunday mornings and have a large family dinner afterwards, so that is as much as I know about what this weekend will entail.

Wikipedia has an incomplete but basic description of Khayelitsha here:

You can also type “Khayelitsha Township” into Google images for some pictures.

Besides all of this, I do not seem to have any increase of fondness toward learning in the classroom. In other words, I have a research proposal due by tomorrow at midnight that is not yet complete. I must change this bad habit before I return to my home college next fall. Anyway, I plan to spend the remainder of this rainy day in the library. Speaking of rain, this is only the second or third time it has rained during the day since I have been here. It is a welcomed cooling agent after yesterday hit close to 90˚F. Still, this sunshine has been lovely.

That wraps up just about everything over the past week. I’ll make a more conscious effort to post more frequently; a lot of the feelings are lost when reflections aren’t done in a timely manner. I hope you all continue to be well, thanks for reading, and take care. Now I must make my way to the library!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Every single person on this planet has a unique life story, and all of our lives are somehow interconnected. When we look at people, we view them in a certain light. We compare their behaviors, attitudes, and opinions with our own, and we usually consider whatever we do or believe as being correct and anything that diverges from that as wrong. The problem with this is that none of us can know what is right or what is wrong. Our notions of right and wrong come from many places, most often stemming from religion or some other sort of spiritual practice. But in the end, our ideas of what is right and what is wrong are merely that – ideas.

As human beings, we are in no position to judge other human beings as being better or worse than ourselves. Nor should we expect that other human beings follow the same moral code that we do. Each person has a reason for following the moral code that he or she chooses; the only wrong moral code is one that is not supported by reason. I know what you are thinking: There are some moral codes that are inexcusable and undoubtedly wrong (those of the serial killers, rapists, pedophiles, etc.), and I agree with this. In fact, there are some things which are considered wrong or taboo in every culture for the reason that said behaviors are harmful to the existence of society and the sustainability of its members.

I do not mean for this to turn into a debate over the origin of right and wrong, nor how to determine what is moral and immoral. The point I am trying to make is that, as humans, we generally draw conclusions about people far too quickly; consequently, we judge them based on our constructed conclusions rather than taking the time to talk to people and listen to their life story. If only we would take the time to stop and listen before we judge and draw conclusions, then we might create understanding rather than discord. When understanding is sought, even the most opposite personalities can have a healthy interaction based on an appreciation of differences rather than a hidden motive to judge and compare.

Although we have no right to judge someone or say that they are a lesser person than we are, we do have a right to make judgments about what is good or bad based on our own values and moral codes. So a person could do something that is good according to his moral code, but is wrong according to mine. This does not make either of us right or wrong, it only makes it different. And this is where understanding is essential. You know the cliché about agreeing to disagree? It is relevant here. It is not our duty to change people’s moral codes against their will. Certainly we can discuss moral issues with them, defend our own moral codes, and challenge them to think differently; but any change must come from within their own hearts. If they do not accept those things that we have proposed, then they do so for a reason.

The line between reason and excuse is not a fine one. A person’s experiences can influence their present behaviors and beliefs, but these reasons cannot excuse their present ill-behaviors. This brings us back to the issue of how to determine what is right and wrong. So for now, just consider your own definitions of right and wrong. It is never too late for a person to change their wrong behaviors. However, we must remember that if a person does not view their own behavior as wrong, they are unlikely to change.

Perhaps this is where religion and spirituality come into play, though I do not believe that the two are mutually exclusive. More than anything else, religion and spirituality are the most discussed topics among the students in the house where I am staying. After the most recent debate between the two, the conclusion was drawn that religion has a more selfless component whereas spirituality is more self-focused. (Obviously these are just generalizations that are not applicable to all situations, but they are a starting point for further discussion.) This brings us back to the issue of right and wrong; where does this notion originate from? Can a person who is purely spiritual find definitions of right and wrong within themselves? Or must these definitions come from some higher being, a god or some holy text?

I’m not sure where I intended for this post to go when I began writing, but that’s often the way life works. We have certain intentions or expectations, but life – or god, or the universe, or some higher being, or humanity itself – has other plans. And those plans are generally more beautiful than anything we could have created for ourselves.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Photo Link (Erin Callison)

A fellow student, Erin Callison, was kind enough to share this link of photos she's taken of our trip thus far. I haven't yet seen the photos, but thought I'd pass them on to you awhile.