Beautiful sunsets are easy to come by in South Africa. The light fades slowly through the afternoon, giving us plenty of time to prepare. The clouds are usually spectacular (except during the highveld winter, when clouds are scarce). Best of all, we tend to be awake already when the sun sets. Sunrises are much trickier. We must wake up well before the light to catch the sunrise, and if we’re a few minutes late, forget about it — within minutes the sun is hot and blinding. During summer, when the clouds are best, the sun rises at a ridiculously early hour. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve set my alarm to catch the sunrise, lingered in bed a little too long, then given up because I know I’ve missed it. Not to mention the number of times that I’ve gotten up on time, struggled my way outside (or worse, driven somewhere) and found that the fog is too thick, or that the sunrise is blocked by a mountain or building, and by the time the sun becomes visible it is way too bright. Last Friday morning, at the Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge, I hit the sunrise jackpot. A crisp sphere of orange flame rises […]
Five years ago today, I came to Africa for the first time. Over the last few days I’ve been thinking a lot about this impending anniversary, pondering what to say about it on my blog. I have many thoughts on the subject, but one thought keeps recurring: I can’t believe this all started just five years ago. That day — March 6, 2007 — feels like five lifetimes ago. I considered trying to recount what happened that day, and summarizing how it brought me to where I am now. But that would be the longest blog post ever written. Instead, I’m going to talk about Jon.
I’m melancholy. Bad things are happening everywhere and I feel overwhelmed by life. But it’s nice to know that no matter what, the sun keeps rising and setting. One of the advantages to my current 9-5 schedule is that I’m sometimes awake early enough to see the sunrise. I caught this one last week in our backyard. Even those ugly industrial buildings (I think they’re part of Johannesburg Hospital) look beautiful at that time of day.