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Day 3 of 3 day quote challenge

Day 3 of 3 day quote challengeroses-with-thornsFrom: Meditations for Women who do too much: Anne Wilson Schaef 1990.

November 22: Wholeness

May Sarton: Women’s work is always towards wholeness

Anne Wilson Schaef commentary: When we women do our work, we move towards wholeness. The world is in need of wholeness. The world is in need of women’s way of working.

Too long we have doubted ourselves and tried to fit comfortably into a male modality. To have wholeness, we need to make our contribution too. To have wholeness, we need to know our values and value our knowing.

We have ‘welched’ on our responsibility to this society and this planet. It is time that we courageously put our thoughts, ideas and values out there and let them stand for themselves.

When I do my work, my work is wholeness.

 with thanks to google images

Day two of 3 Day Quote Challenge

Day 2 of 3 day quote challenge542591_620348161315085_803962571_nSecond day of 3 day quote challenge. Quote taken from ‘Meditations for Women who do too Much’ Anne Wilson Schaef 1990.

September 12: Reaching our Limits

Golda Meir: I have had enough

Anne Wilson Schaef’s commentary: What beautiful words, and how rarely are they spoken by women who do too much. Part of our craziness is not recognising that we have limits and not knowing when we reach them. In fact, many of us may see having limits as an indicator of inadequacy. We cannot forgive ourselves for not being able to carry on when we are exhausted or for not being able to keep going regardless of the circumstances.

Recognising that we are approaching our limits and accepting those limits may be the beginning of recovery.

Every human being has limits, and I am a human being

 with thanks to google images

Day one of 3 day Quote Challenge

Day one of 3 day quote challenge

542591_620348161315085_803962571_nGenevive nominated me to take part in this 3 day challenge. Thank you Genevive! (at http://www.geneviveangela.com/ – she writes from Hyderabad in India and her posts are so inspiring and gentle). I love quotes. I’ve taken the easy way out. I found this little book given to me by a friend many years ago but I hadn’t noticed it in a long long time. It’s called ‘Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much’: Anne Wilson Schaef. 1990. It has a quote for every day of the year by women known and unknown and the author adds her insight to it. I am making random selections for today and next two days.

July 31: Happiness/Depression

Anna Pavlova: When I was a small child … I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights for one brief moment, but soon flits away.

Anne Wilson Schaef’s commentary: There is no difference between happiness and depression. They both have the same process. It is just the content that is not the same. Both will come and go. The major difference is what we do with them.

We are always seeking happiness. When we see it coming we say, ‘Ah, come here, I see you. Stay with me always’. Happiness laughs and says, ‘Oh, she’s seen me, I can leave now’. And it does.

With depression, we see it coming, and we say: ‘Go away, I don’t want you. Not me’. And depression sighs and says, ‘Here we go again, I’m going to have to get bigger and bigger for her to hear me and learn what I have to teach’. So it taps us on the shoulder and says, “over here, over here!’ until it gets our attention. Then it leaves.

Both happiness and depression have something to teach us. Both will come and go. Both will return. It is our response and openness to learn from both that makes the difference.

My happiness is a gift. My depression is a gift. Both are like butterflies in my life.

I’d like to pass the challenge on to three special people to post 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days. We’ve become very good friends over the years and the miles in our blogging and writing. Their websites are worth a visit! It can be your very own quote, from a book, a poem, a writer, a film, or from anywhere, followed by however you want to do it. What it means to you for example or the how and why you like it. And honestly, more than fine if you choose not to accept. Comments are always welcome, and not just from these three!

 Samantha: http://thescheherazadechronicles.org/.

Gwynn: http://gwynnsgritandgrin.com

Patricia: www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com

And, I forgot to mention – please nominate three others to take up this challenge. Thank them and nominate three others!

 with thanks to google images

Winter Solstice

  Winter Solsticesunrise plettSo sorry about my faux pas last night but thank you to those who read my unfinished post! And added comments!

The winter solstice happens tomorrow June 21st at around 18.39. The significance of the solstice is always very real for me. It marks the anniversary of our moving from our old and lovely home to our townhouse 2 years ago. It also marks the 2nd anniversary of my dreadful car accident the day before our move (today as I write)..

In the southern hemisphere the winter solstice marks the longest night and shortest day. Winter has seemed a long time coming this time round – just last week we were in Plettenberg Bay, in the South Western Cape at the tip of South Africa. The days were very warm, the nights cold, made even more so when we had load shedding (black outs) when our electricity grid was shut down. Thank heavens for gas heaters, log fire, candles and solar lamps. This has been happening for several years now much to our dismay and the fault is well and truly laid at our inept government and their handling of the parastatals. Our electricity supplier wants a further R50 BILLION from the government to bail them out … which means the tax payer will pay …

But when in Plett at 8.00 p.m. like clockwork we were plunged into darkness, it was thrilling to look up at the night sky. Those stars so bright, the milky way so pure. It was heart warming to see the magnificence of the skies and imagine the earth slowly turning.

The approaching solstice makes me think both backwards and forwards. Backwards when I reflect on that car accident 2 years ago the day before the big move when I learned how quickly these things happen. Smashed in by a truck who overshot the stop street, car turned upside down. I learned about impermanence and patience first hand, even right hand as my right writing hand was out of action for about 6 weeks  – I am constantly grateful that the accident didn’t render more dreadful injuries –

In thinking forwards I will as always plan a ritual for the day/night tomorrow. It is a sacred time, that time when there is a momentary stillness before the earth turns yet again and the Sun is re-birthed. Solstice comes from the Latin sol:sun; sistere:to stand still. It is the time in winter when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest from the sun. We don’t say goodbye to winter, as it’s only just begun it seems. But I do know that from the gloom, darkness and dormancy of winter the light and warmth of spring will follow. And my orchids out on my patio are a delight! Why and how they bloom in this freezing cold weather is a mystery to me but they are such a joy and brighten my day every day in these winter months. There are many more buds still to open. The freeze is only just beginning.

orchids June 2015

From my garden taken this afternoon –

It is lovely to have glimpses of beauty, most often in Nature as in the photograph at the top that my younger son David took this past Monday morning of the sunrise from the balcony in Plett before he drove back to Cape Town. He totally surprised me last Friday around noon when he pitched up at the doorstep to spend my birthday and the weekend with us. I could not believe it and my heart was just about bursting with happiness. There is beauty all about, in friendship, love, compassion, even amongst the horrors all around. 

We are shocked at saddened by the dreadful shootings in Charleston 2 days ago and I/we stand with you in America in your sadness.

May your solstice be joyous and the turn of the wheel keep you in touch with all that is good and true and valuable.

Pesach and Easter

Pesach and Easter

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A time of reflection – to deepen faith; a time of redemption – to deepen faith; a time of renewal – to deepen faith.

A time of ‘looking back to the going forward’. Pesach commemorates the Exodus (Greek: going out, 2nd book of the Bible), from Egypt. A time to look back to the 400 years of slavery, and Moses’ leading the children of Israel to the land God had promised on oath to Abraham. Their homes were passed-over when Pharoah ordered the slaying of all first borns.  Joyfully celebrated, in remembrance of the fulfilment of God’s promise of reaching the Promised Land, in spite of trials and tribulations.

Had the Passover not happened, we would not have had the birth of the carpenter from Nazareth. We would not have had His extraordinary teachings applicable to every human, of religious feeling or not, many times told in parable form. Every word, every setting, every moment, is painfully poignant. They are of psychological meaning. The gospels, also, are succour to my soul as I enter the story and feel it, challenged, speaking directly to my psyche.

 I celebrate Easter as a remembrance of His Life and message. For His unconditional Love, for sacrificing His own life so that our sins be forgiven and arising again, and again as we do even among these very difficult times we live in. His poetic justice; His showing us that the spirit alone is of value; His love for the sinner who repented.sunrise

For all, my Chag Sameach good wishes to you, to Christians too who celebrate this time, to all of any persuasion of good will, may this be a time of reflection, redemption, renewal.

New Moon, Equinox, Solar Eclipse

New Moon, Solar Eclipse, Equinox 

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The new moon (super moon) is tomorrow, Friday night and at the same time, there’s a solar eclipse (partially viewable only in some parts of northern Africa and Europe. The total eclipse is viewable from Greenland and Iceland); and it’s the equinox the following day on Saturday. Three rather extraordinary celestial events.

The new moon is always an inspiration to me – even if she causes a solar eclipse while passing in front of the sun (the solar disk) and her shadow falls on our planet. The moon will be in her waxing phase from tomorrow night, growing brighter and fuller in the night sky  – even if she plays hide and seek.

 The equinox, when the days and nights are of the same length, 12 hours each, before the days and nights slip into a different gear. For a moment, balance. Here in South Africa, the days become shorter while in northern climes you’ll be welcoming spring and longer days of sunlight. Here, we note the advent of autumn. Already I see signs of it when I walk around my small garden. But surprisingly, while I note some things looking decidedly tired and weary, I note other plants and flowers coming into their own. They’ve been lying low, giving me surprise and joy. Yesterday when I went for a walk, my first in ages, I noticed the lengthening shadows, and the sun lower down in the sky.  It’s our season for turning towards darkness and burial, while for many of you a time to look toward renewal. 

As I write it is hailing, something I haven’t seen for a while. So far it does not look destructive. The thunder is rumbling, at times hugely banging. We have fearsome lightning bolts. I’m writing off line as I’ve disconnected from the plugs – I’m taking no chances while the celestial happenings are making themselves felt.

May the balance of the equinox, and the new moon and the sun in alchemical counter poise to each other, be a reminder to us all of the changing and turning of the seasons, bringing change into our lives, a harbinger of a positive and healthy kind amidst all the turmoil of the world.

With Easter and Pesach approaching early next month, I’m reminded that both are times for redemption and renewal. May these days irrespective of your perspective, bring you exactly that. 

Health and Anarchy

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Does anyone feel really fit and well these days? You know, fighting fit, glad to be alive, full of energy, full of the joys of life and brimming with good will?

I’m  not sure if it’s the change of seasons here in South Africa from summer to autumn – harbinger of winter – but so many are ill, feeling low, exhausted, depleted, weak. But sometimes I wonder if it is the outer events on the world arena that predispose one – me – to feeling drained, enervated, anaemic, from hot to cold, like the weather, and back to feverish again.

The world near and far seems to me a troubled and dangerous place. I feel anxious when watching the news, hearing flowery, political spin by those doctors about the behaviours of their leaders. All that plotting and planning, depriving the ordinary citizen of their rights, exploiting their hard earned money by way of inter alia higher taxes to fund their extravagant lifestyle – while smiling. I want to withhold my taxes and let them know why and wherefore. My anarchic protest is my way of not colluding. R33 BILLION rands lost to corruption in the last financial year. 700 BILLION rands in last 20 years. Let them know that I will not be bound or bowed by their illegitimate rules and laws, that I am fed up to the back teeth of their fleecing, the injustices, not only on my person but on all of us, in the attempt to render us sheep like, obedient, subservient. We, the tax paying public (only about maximum 10% of the total population), fund their flamboyant flights with families in tow to far-flung places, boisterous parties, sexy shoes, cars the size of their egos, systemic, systematic failure of the government where patronage is the name of the game. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Parastatals like our power utility service, the post office, our national air carrier, mines, hospitals and clinics in dire straits ‘managed’ by ill educated CEO’s, our education system designed to keep the majority dumbed down…

My husband is a medical specialist and he tells of the sick people he is seeing at his rooms, more so than ever before.  It’s like a malaise that has gripped us all. The parasite that is the government, sucking away at its host. I feel the prison walls coming closer, the power elite sniggering outside. Our beloved beautiful country, being fracked and f*%#@ed, waters and rivers poisoned from mining, fish dying, animals, birds, forests under threat, rhino, elephant poached. This is what misery feels like – and it’s why I am in favour of anarchy. Purposeful anarchy may be necessary for my health if it means freedom from the shackles of a government who does not have my or anyone else’s best interests at heart. They are tyrants who do not know the meaning of being servants of the people. They call themselves the ‘ruling party’ – and this is what they stand and live by, forgetting who it is who pays their salaries.

It’s enough; it’s making us ill.

Faith, Synchronicity, Doubt, Uncertainty

 Faith, Synchronicity, Doubt, Uncertainty –

faith

 What does one do when one can do no more? Perhaps a better question is what can one be when all else seems dark and hopeless? Is keeping Faith uppermost in our hearts and minds the only way to endure, and thereby ‘get through’ suffering?

 Last week I was away from home in another part of our country to be witness and hopefully a comfort to a dearly loved human being’s suffering, distress and despair. My sister was with me. The word Faith cropped up in the novel I was reading although this wasn’t its premise; on social media; someone else’s blog post; the newspaper; a billboard – in the strangest of places. This word was jumping out in front of my eyes practically all the time and I couldn’t ignore it any longer – the synchronicity was very real – it was like I was being knocked over the head to receive the message of Faith – when the tiniest bit of positive energy was no-where to be found –

 The more this happened the more I questioned whether my internal Faith muscle needs some exercising. It’s been dormant for too long –

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What does this mean, practically, to me? Is it legitimate that I have faith that this person will get well again and come back to himself, and be the lovely soul that he essentially is? In other words, can I have faith on that person’s behalf? Does this in some peculiar way lessen that person’s authority  – and his own faith in himself – and could this also be arrogance on my side? My faith for that person? Could I rely too much on faith in order to lessen my own pain at being witness to another’s suffering? Will my faith in this person having the ability to overcome his pain and suffering go some way towards alleviating his darkness? Is it sufficient to ask G.d for His help for that person, and ask only once and to have faith that this request be granted – and consider it done? One asks only once –

Doubt is the other side of Faith – the strangest of bedfellows, so apparently poles apart at first glance. But bedfellows nevertheless. Side by side, not exclusive or opposite to each other. They belong together. Like quicksilver, mercury, Hermes on winged feet, doubt always creeps in. Or doesn’t creep but barges in and shakes you up. And brings uncertainty blazing in its wondrous wake. The ground beneath one’s feet does not seem so sure anymore.  Yet, Doubt has its extremely healthy aspect to it especially when it serves to strengthen one’s faith.  Doubt is indeed faith’s strange bedfellow. For me it is a tough struggle leaving me raw, maybe a little more rugged –

It can of course be thoroughly destructive if used in an unhealthy way to serve some or other nefarious purpose –

There are times in our lives which are hard, painful, including witnessing another’s suffering. And we have doubts and we do not know –

Living with un-knowing, uncertainty – a fertile landscape, welcoming it in, willing to walk in its wake no matter what, means exercising those inner muscles, struggling with them, trusting the process, having faith in the process –

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In a way I have written this post fairly freely while thinking along the way about ‘things’ which pertain to me at this time. A sort of need on my side to put it down on paper and clarify my thoughts. Thank you for sharing it with me –

Word Games While Walking

diet

 I forced my slothful, gloomy self to take a walk yesterday. We’d been back from our long sea holiday for a few days already, and I could feel myself sinking deeper into the quagmire of reality as I saw it. Not only within my gloomy self but on the world stage as well and, closer to home, the politics here in South Africa.

I was thinking about diet while walking. I re-arranged those letters. I’ve been tied up in knots and distressed about the extra kilograms gained.  When thinking about ‘weight’ I’ve been inclined to think in terms of ‘gaining lightness’ as opposed to ‘losing weight’. I don’t like the emphasis on losing. It is my plan to gain lightness this year, by shedding unnecessary baggage whether a kilogram or two, being less of a procrastinator, more focused on WIP, less time on e.g. FB, more time on walking and taking the air, making time to meet a friend here and there for coffee, shedding bad habits –

Re-arranging the letters again I get edit. A letter I wrote recently to a newspaper was published this last Friday to my surprise. A superfluous paragraph was removed by the editor rendering it tighter with stronger emphasis and more flow. My very own experience and one I will take with me while doing much needed editing on WIP. My letter was in response to an article in that newspaper the previous week headlined ‘Why we should not give racist white people what they want‘ the author of which has the same surname as our president. No idea if they’re related but it demanded a response from me expressing my dismay inter alia at its content.

The tide always turns and I’m keeping this idea foremost. I sink into its swells and rip currents from time to time or tide to tide. While holidaying in Plettenberg Bay there were many warnings about rip tides. Instead of trying to get out of it by battling the current and attempting to swim to shore, the best thing to do is to let the rip tide or the undercurrent take you, keeping the shore in sight and swimming parallel to it. Our first panicked thought may be to battle the undertow to try to get back to shore, maybe drowning in the attempt, but this is one of those times that following that first instinct is ill advised –

It is a bit like life I sometimes think –

The below photo was taken with my cell phone. The Kiffness was live on the lawns of the Beacon Island Hotel in Plettenberg Bay. It was around 7.00 p.m. Fishermen on the rocks, the Robberg Peninsula jutting out into sea, the seagull taking off, the tide momentarily stemmed -all was calm and peaceful and all was light and right with the world.

the kiffness beacon islandresized

Do you go with the ebb and flow of life and its tides, many times extreme? Yet, ever changing, re-arranging, becoming one thing, then another, retreating, advancing – 

There’s a crack, a crack, in everything

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The title of my blog post are words from a Leonard Cohen live performance of ‘Anthem’ which I watched and listened to a little earlier, prompted by a blog by Luke Storms today. The words of the refrain ‘ring the bells that still can ring … there’s a crack, there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’ struck a note with me. It was a wonderful performance – as was Luke Storms’ blog (hit on this to read and listen to Anthem) –

It was late last year, at a gathering of a dear friend in Pretoria, in honour of her very good friend, a Jungian analyst from Switzerland visiting as he does every year or so. Another man, Deon, asked me if I’d like a glass of wine, and held out a glass. Yes, I would, thank you. O said he, there’s a crack in this one. Let me get you another – No, said I, that one’s fine. But it’s got a crack in it, said he. That’s why I like it said I. Deon laughed. They’re special, said he –

I loved this brief interchange with Deon – I smile every time there’s a crack in my armour –

So, cracks … and bells … and the eve of the New Year.

There’s quite a wind as I write out on the balcony of our holiday home in Plettenberg Bay. The navy blue seas are choppy, there’re kites on the beaches, a few boats out. At least it isn’t raining as it has been for the last few days. Cold, wet, but rather nice and soft. Today dawned rain-free. We had a light lunch a little earlier and wondered whether to rather sit inside and avoid the wind and coolth. But we donned jerseys and sat outside and let the wind blow some cobwebs from our minds.

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NY Eve – courtesy Mike

Thank you to all who’ve supported my blog in one way or another. I so appreciate this. I so enjoy reading yours. So many are so encouraging, or amusing, or reflective, or interesting; many leave me feeling envious with their use of words …

May the bells ring for you this New Year’s Eve. Any cracks that appear are lovely – they let the light in.

The Summer Solstice

wheel images  William Shakespeare: Midsummer Night’s Dream:

“Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass”

Today’s the longest day and shortest night of the year here in the southern hemisphere. I awoke early this morning, didn’t really check the time but it was before 5.00 a.m. and went out onto the bedroom balcony and watched the giant red orb rising and breaking through the mists on the horizon over the sea. It was truly lovely and awe-inspiring. I thought of taking a photograph with my cell phone but it was only a thought.  I wish I had. I was aware in previous days that the solstice was looming but when on holiday the days seem to run into each other and I lost track of dates. It was only while out walking today that it struck me that today is the day that the sun is at it’s highest position in the sky as seen from the south pole.

‘Solstice’ is derived from the Latin sol:sun; sistere:to stand still.

For those of you in the northern hemisphere it will be the longest night, and shortest day. Something to look forward to as tomorrow dawns! I love the winter solstice on June 21st in South Africa – and while it is a harbinger of the sun getting stronger, I acknowledge the darkest and longest night of the year and bid it farewell – until next time –

‘In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer’ – Camus

For me, while the change is imperceptible, it is nevertheless real. From now on, the days will be shorter, nights longer. Summer will start to wane. In 3 months’ time the days and nights will be of equal length when the equinoxes occur on March 21-22; and here in South Africa we march towards winter.

So, the seasons are changing. So too are the times, they are a’changing.

While summer is upon us here in South Africa and we are holidaying in Plettenberg Bay, I plan to enjoy and celebrate these days as much as possible. My brother is here from Durban, my son Mike lives here in Plettenberg Bay, and my younger son David will arrive this afternoon from Cape Town.

May you all have a blessed Christmas and festive season. Embrace the solstice and its harbingers of change. Whatever lingers from the previous season needs attention. May the New Year bring renewed optimism, individually and collectively.

Mr. Nelson Mandela’s Death One Year On

Mr. Nelson Mandela Tomorrow, the 5th December, will mark a year since our beloved Mr. Nelson Mandela’s death.  For several months prior to his death, he was elderly and frail and incommunicado.  South Africa was forever holding its breath waiting to hear –

Our country and world-wide went into collective mourning – he is still mourned. Along with the mourning, is the wish that we had someone of his stature to lead our country. He stood for all that was good and true and expressed on all occasions his wish for all to live in peace and harmony. He eschewed violence and embraced peace.

The loss of our Father was deeply felt, in the gut. He really was our Father, who guided us with sternness, compassion, forgiveness. He encouraged us to work hard, get educated, be proud of our achievements, help the other, be the change we want to see

 The pain of our loss is still with us … but the pain is valuable in that we feel his absence. But another value of this pain, indirect it may be, is that the longing, the nostalgia, forces us to look at what is, what has become of his legacy. What can we salvage from the tatters and detritus and the dung that is present in our country at this time, all of us edgy, wondering if the abyss looms. And, in all gloominess, personally felt, I wonder if we, and any other country in the world, needs to fully experience the abyss in order for the gold to emerge. Get things broken down, scrambled and turned inside out, so to speak. Let the people speak. Let us talk about our pain. Let us reflect. Let us say no to all that is rotten. Pluck the nugget, from the dung, no matter how small, that emerges. Let another miracle happen – for our beloved country –

He spent 27 years on Robben Island (11km from Cape Town, almost 7 miles, photo below) before his release and thereafter becoming our President in 1994, 20 years ago, when our first democratic election was held. Those years of exile on Robben Island were invaluable to him, he said. He has stated that he saw those years of confinement as necessary for his development as an individual in that he gained a broader vision of his place in the world. He stated in his autobiography, that the only way to make an impact on society and one’s fellow man is to effect a change in one’s self. It is necessary, he said, to let your fellow man know that you pose no threat to him.

Dear God, may tomorrow be honoured, and used as a time for reflection. To bring Mandela back to us, as a light, his name a symbol of a mandala, in our remembering, re-membering. May we somehow find a way to not stop hoping that there are reasons to be hopeful. May his wisdom inspire us once again. May we once more come through this valley of darkness. Our birthing into Mr. Mandela’s dream is proving very long labour. May it not be still born.

 “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.

Nelson Mandela: Defence statement during the Rivonia Trail, 1964

Amandla! Mr. Mandela! Amandla!

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Photo from top of Table Mountain. Robben Island off and up on right. Blouberg Strand in distance. October 2014. Taken by me with cell phone.

Africa is bigger than we think

Africa is way bigger than we think –

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If you look at the map of Africa, you will see all the other countries that can be fitted into it. South Africa, where I live, is located on the southern tip of Africa.

South Africa comprises only 4% of the continent’s total landmass. Cape Town, looking at the map, is on the left, down towards the bottom, with the Atlantic ocean on it’s left. Durban is further up on the right hand side, with the Indian Ocean bordering it.

Johannesburg, where I live, is about 1400 km (approx 950 miles) away from Cape Town, travelling in a SW direction – a two hour flight. Johannesburg to Durban in SE direction is about 600 km – just under an hour flight.

There are 53 or so countries within Africa, most of which are members of the Africa Union (AU) but not all are members of the UN. Nigeria is the most populated with 173.6 million people; Ethiopia: 95.045 million; Egypt: 82,196 million; Dem. Rep of the Congo: 67.36 million (the equator runs through Gabon; Congo; Dem. Rep. of Congo; Uganda; Kenya); South Africa: 52.9 million. Total population of Africa approx 1,138 billion.

South Africa is home to asylum seekers – best guess of 3 million Zimbabweans (we border Zimbabwe), Nigerians, Ethiopians, Somalians, Rwandans, Burundians, those from the Democratic Republic of Congo –

    Within South Africa there are 9 clearly recognised provinces, each with its own legislature, premier and executive council; each has their own distinctive landscape, population, economy and climate. The Cape is the largest in size – Cape Town is in the Western Cape, Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape (which takes up nearly a third of South Africa’s land area) borders onto Namibia and Botswana.

Johannesburg, where I live up on the highveld at 6000ft (2000 mts) is actually the smallest province – Gauteng:City of Gold – with the greatest population of 12.2 million.

Within this beautiful country of ours live amazing people of good will. We have a few first class cities, a fine banking system (what banking system is ‘fine’ though I have to ask myself), beautiful landscapes, home to amazing wildlife within our borders. We have poor education for the masses, corruption, murder, rape –  and much of the time we live in despair with our backs against the wall.

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the farthest north I’ve been in Africa – it’s the highest mountain in Africa (Tanzania) standing at 5895m and Tanzania, bordering on Kenya is a few degrees south of the equator.

I MAY write more about South Africa at some stage or the other – I just really wanted to illustrate the size of this huge continent on which I live – and to place South Africa –

I wish you all  in the US a blessed Thanksgiving …

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