Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dreary Bonnie

Well really, if a tropical storm had to ruin a Memorial Day weekend and wreak havoc with Spoleto events, it could have been a little more exciting than Dreary Bonnie.  For the past couple of days I've been driving around attending to my usual routine business to the background of weather reports telling me I'm surrounded by lashing rain, thunderstorms, and wind gusts of up to 45 mph.  Seriously?  Not in my world.  In fact most of today was pretty good.  Cloudy yes, but outside events were doable from mid morning onwards.  I decided I needed a walk on the beach this afternoon and I don't think I have ever seen Folly Beach less populated on this holiday weekend.   

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Gullah Culture and Slavery

This evening I am better educated about the origins and scope of the Gullah culture, and also the history of slavery in America, specific to the Drayton family and Magnolia Plantation.  This morning, Anita Singleton-Prather gave a rousing presentation on all things Gullah at the Slave Mart on Chalmers Steet, enlisting the participation of all attendees, both willing and reticent.  She is a wonderful performer and it is hard to remain detached from her engaging personality, even for those who had initially no plans to become part of the show.
Later in the day, I stopped by Magnolia Gardens where Joe McGill (of The Slave Dwelling Project) had put together a living history day entitled "Inalienable Rights:  Living History through the Eyes of the Enslaved".  There were cooking and blacksmithing demonstrations, lectures and story-telling. Here are a few images of both events.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Last Few Random Images of South Africa

Before I move on to life back in the US and more portraits of my impossibly cute and talented grandchildren, here are a few more random slices of  the Western Cape area of South Africa.  What a beautiful country it is.  I find myself straddling two lives, my life there with beauty and family, and my life here with the same.  If you ever get the chance to visit, or if you've been thinking about it and just feel like it is too far or too different, don't hesitate - as Nike says, "Just do it".
Buildings in downtown Cape Town - old and new

Allee Bleue, Stellenbosch - Avenue of Gum trees

A drought prevails in the Western Cape

Fisherman's boat in Paternoster

Columbine Lighthouse, Columbine Nature Reserve

Friday, May 13, 2016

Classic South African Farm

By now some may have a suspicion that I love farms and rural scenes.  This is true.  While I was in South Africa I spent a couple of nights at the Waylands Guest Farm in the Western Cape.  The 1,200+ hectare farm has been in the same family for many generations.  They run a large herd of free range Nguni cattle and Merino sheep, and grow many crops including vines for wine production.  The area is also world renowned for it's spectacular annual display of wildflowers in September, but I will have to revisit to experience that. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A big Day

Lunch at Dutchies, Grotto Bay
My mother had a hip replacement about 10 days ago, and has been pretty much immobilized since.  Today however she felt strong enough for a day trip to Hermanus for lunch.  My sister Judy and I made some modifications to the back seat of her car, loaded all the necessary medical support equipment and off we went.  It was a poignant mix of concern and hilarity, but we all got back in one piece, albeit with leaving her walker behind in the restaurant parking lot.  I think we were distracted in our euphoria over our success.  The weather was kind to us and it was a good day.
View of Hermanus coast from Grotto Bay
Coastal road back to Cape Town 
Coastal road back to Cape Town

Sunday, May 1, 2016

There's something about Africa ...

I am in South Africa visiting family right now and I have to say that something stirs in my soul every time that big ol' jet touches down at Johannesburg International Airport.  It doesn't stir for long because then the realization hits that I have to clear customs, passport control, and then wait another two hours for my connection and almost three hour flight to my final destination, Cape Town.  
Anyway after I had slept it off it felt wonderful to be back and I happily settled back into my African life.  This time my mom is having hip replacement surgery so a lot of time has been spent shuttling back and forth to the hospital. Nevertheless she is doing well, all things being considered, not the least of which is her ripe old age of 88.  God is good.  I did spend this last weekend with Sister #2 in the winelands area of Paarl and Franschhoek, heaven on earth, so here are a couple of images from my travels.
Franschhoek Valley

Rainbow's End Wine Estate

Vineyards along Zevenrivieren Road, Stellenbosch

Gum Tree Allee, Allee Bleue, R45 Franschhoek