Another New Year in Jozi

My first full year in Johannesburg is over. I won’t try to sum it up in any kind of neat and tidy way, as that would be impossible.

I suppose it would be logical for me to say something like, ‘Good riddance to 2011, it was a horrible year. Looking forward to better times in 2012.’ But that’s not how I feel at all, actually. This was the most remarkable year of my life and I don’t want it to be over. What I’d really like to do is travel back in time to about halfway through 2011, and pause the clock there forever.

If I could choose a moment to go back to in 2011, it would be this one.

I’m terrified of 2012. But like it or not, it’s here. Time to look forward.

Before I do that though, I’ll share one more set of pictures from last year. I spent the final day of 2011 doing the same thing I did on the final day of 2010: watching the Jozi Carnival. I stood on the same street corner in Newtown that I stood on last year, and watched the children and the floats go past. (The Jozi Carnival is actually a parade.)

The parade looked very similar to the way it looked last year. Fortunately my photography has improved.

Jozi celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. ‘Rea Vaya’ is the name of the city’s rapid transit bus service. It also means ‘We are going.’

Giant papier-mâché head.

Sparkly pink hat.

Cutest moment of the afternoon.

The parade finale: giant puppets.

Karen is accosted by a puppet.

The Jozi Carnival is no Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There are no professional dancers or three-storey cartoon balloons. It’s a homespun affair. This year there was a huge rainstorm when the parade began, so the floats and costumes were looking especially droopy. Carefully applied face paint was smeared.

But none of that mattered. The Jozi Carnival, like Jozi more generally, is all about the spirit of its people.

Who needs giant balloons when you can have giant smiles instead?

Happy New Year from Jozi.

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  • Reply thirdeyemom January 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Happy New Year Heather. I wish you the best in 2012 and may the sun shine over you and Jozi.

  • Reply Derek Smith January 1, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Strength, joy, happiness and healing – might this all be there in 2012 for you and my African Sky Blue shine on you. Nice photos, I really like them

    • Reply 2summers January 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks Derek. The African sky is definitely something I can always count on.

  • Reply taxslave January 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    can’t really think of anything profound, so, best wishes to you for 2012

    • Reply 2summers January 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Nothing profound needed! Thanks for the well wishes and happy new year to you too.

  • Reply eremophila January 2, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Stunning images Heather! You’re doing great, in all ways. ♥

    • Reply 2summers January 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you. That’s a very nice thing for you to say 🙂

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough January 2, 2012 at 2:55 am

    I, too, wish you could have stopped the clock. Blessings to you in the coming year, my friend.

  • Reply Eugenia A Parrish January 2, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Thanks for reminding me to gather people and smiles. Lately it’s been hard to remember, but I’ll try not to forget again!

    • Reply 2summers January 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Smiles are fun to photograph. I see lots of them around here.

  • Reply landofnams January 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

    here’s to peace, serenity, and moving forward in 2012…great photos from the Carnival, sad to have missed it.

    • Reply 2summers January 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Yep. Cheers to the new year.

  • Reply Debra Kolkka January 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    These are beautiful photos!!! I love the colour and happiness of the parade. All the best for 2012.

  • Reply Bridget van Oerle January 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Hi Heather, beautiful carnival pics thank you. We missed Jon at this years carnival he covered so many of the events we did PR for, I met Jon when he was at the Pretoria News and when I went into PR he was always there taking beautiful pics. I am so sorry for the huge space his loss must give you and hope that 2012 is gentle and kind to you

    • Reply 2summers January 9, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Thanks very much Bridget. I really appreciate that. I’m glad you like my carnival pics — I had a very good teacher.

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