I’ve been trying to make my lockdown posts more targeted — like trying to focus on one specific topic per post, rather than rambling on about everything. But today I can’t do that. I have too many different thoughts and feelings roiling around in my brain.

The move to Lockdown Level 3 has left me feeling confused about how to make decisions and spend my time. After more than two months of basically no choices, I suddenly have so many. My head is all over the place.

The good news is now that we have a bit more freedom of movement, I can start visiting places around Joburg again and blogging about them, like I used to.

Jumbo Farmers

I started today by going to Jumbo Farmers, an independently owned grocery store in Albertville that is supplying the Melville food parcel program.

Ahmad at Jumbo Farmers
Ahmed, manager of Jumbo Farmers in Albertville.

I met Ahmed, manager of Jumbo Farmers, last week when volunteers were packing the Melville food parcels at Heritage Baptist Church. Ahmed and James, a Jumbo staff member, brought two big truckloads of food for the parcels. Jumbo Farmers is selling this food to the program at rock-bottom prices and Ahmed is paying for some of it out of his own pocket.

Food delivery by Jumbo Farmers
One of the two truckloads of food.
James of Jumbo Farmers
James tosses a bag of onions to volunteer Sean.

Today I decided to go see where this food is coming from, and discovered Jumbo Farmers is only a five-minute drive from Melville.

Jumbo Farmers
Ahmed (right), co-owner Joe (center), and security guard Mario (right) outside Jumbo Farmers.

Ahmed showed me around, introduced me to his co-workers, gave me coffee, and insisted on discounting my grocery bill.

Clearance corner at Jumbo
The Clearance Corner.
Biltong at Jumbo
The biltong corner.
Elube the cashier.
Food stacked up and ready to go into the food parcels tomorrow.
800 bags of mielie meal, enough for the next two weeks’ worth of parcels.

Visiting Jumbo Farmers gave me a little more faith in humanity than I’ve had for the past few days. If you live in the area, please support this local business if you can.

Anger and #BlackOutTuesday

I’ve been feeling so angry lately. I’m angry at a person I trusted who hurt me. I’m angry at the South African police and military for their senseless killing of civilians. I’m angry at the United States of America. I’m angry at white supremacy. I’m angry at COVID-19. I’m angry at the world, which seems to have far too many assholes living in it.

Today thousands of people are using the #BlackOutTuesday hashtag on social media, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. I’d like to write more on this topic but truthfully it’s hard to figure out what to say.

So here’s a fantastic quote that really encapsulates my feelings about racism and white supremacy.

Scott Woods quote on racism
This was written in 2014 by poet Scott Woods as part of a much longer blog post about racism.

I recommend this great article from the Root, which simply and succinctly summarizes the entire history of racial injustice in America.

I recommend Patience Zalanga, a photographer based in Minneapolis who documents the Black Lives Matter movement. Her Instagram feed includes poignant photos of the recent protests against police brutality.

I recommend this video addressing racism among young white men — made by my friend Gary’s two sons, Jake and Brody, and their friend, Troy. Jake is 21 and Troy and Brody are 19. They live outside Washington D.C.

Gary and I were colleagues about a million years ago and I still think of his sons as tiny children. Anyway their video — which they made as part of a race relations project Brody did for a college sociology class — also gives me some hope for the future of humanity. Maybe the world’s youth can do better than us older folks are doing.

Today’s Worthy Cause

Today I’m featuring Kennedy of Microadventure Tours, which I’ve blogged about more than once (see here and here).

Kennedy Tembo on his cycling tour
Kennedy is one of my favorite people in Joburg. I don’t think I’ve ever met another person as tirelessly positive and enthusiastic as Kennedy is, and he hasn’t missed a beat during lockdown.

I just found out local South African guides are permitted to conduct tours under Level 3, under strict conditions, and Kennedy has information about that up on his Facebook page.

Kennedy is also going to start offering virtual tours for those not comfortable touring in person, and you can book vouchers for future in-person tours after the lockdown ends by emailing info@microadventuretours.co.za.

Follow Microadventure Tours on Facebook (above) and Instagram for regular updates.

See you tomorrow, hopefully in a more focused frame of mind.

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