South Africa Tour, District 6, 23 February

Forgiveness.  Reconciliation.  The urge to destroy and kill, and the commandment of love.

One would not expect that such words would be the centerpiece of a tour, but that would be the wrong assumption in South Africa.  For this is the land of Truth and Reconciliation, and a bold attempt to repay centuries of discrimination with love and, well, forgiveness.

That moving message came through loud and clear today for most in our group as our guide for the day, Owen (top photo), took us to District Six, to Langa, and as part of Langa to an electric church service. Owen is a glass half-full kinda guy, and he both spoke about the discrimination and hatred of the old regime and of the courageous message of Nelson Mandela as he came out of prison. Do not let your anger consume you.  Do not allow yourself to be a prisoner of the past long after you have been freed from the physical bars of the prison itself. Owen spoke about how he had himself struggled long and hard to embrace that message.  We were fortunate to hear his “testimony”, for there is no better word for it.

We stopped at Signal Hill on the way back for its matchless views of Cape Town and Table Mountain, then back to the city for a final wander about.  We’ll gather one more time for an evening mel today.  Then tomorrow we will head our separate ways.

I know that I always end up thinking this, but TourMagination tours are so incredible, and not merely for the splendor of where we go, but for the caring community that we create along the way.  And the global linkages that will stay with us long after we have returned home.  That’s how it felt today, thanks to Owen, the good people of Langa, and the privilege of sharing it all with this cohort of fellow travellers.

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