Kathryn: Welcome to South Africa! Now your year long advernture begins. I hope the flights, etc. were not too exhausting. Sorry to wake you at 4 a.m. but I was excited to say goodbye and good luck and figured I would get voicemail. I will be excited to follow your blog. Love to you and Dan, Aunt and Unkie in PDX-OR.
Not sure what’s up but your blog is not working…or at least ability to read posts after October 2007 is not working. Is the site still active? I know family wants to communicate with you. Much love, Elizabeth & David
Great to see U2 hooked up in a “powerful” way – week 3 entry is a “Wow” and awesome computer triage skills Dan! You are learning your value as the go to IT guy, little village big time ; – ). Since sharing is caring…here is what we sent to the fammy….from top to little tyke:
I will thank Kathryn for offering us her beautiful examples of ubuntu, although she did not use that (South) African phrase.
We are really happy for her and Dan and also so immensely proud of what they are doing in Namibia. She is an amazingly soulful and resilient young woman and these experiences have already become life changing for her.
I remember Michelle and I speaking about ubuntu when she visited…maybe the first or second time, I am not sure…but for any of you that are not familiar with it, it has become part of our way of understanding the world and our mutual/shared humanity through the efforts of people like Oprah Winfrey through her association with Nelson Mandela…which we have all come to know has been a long and very deep friendship; ultimately leading to her academy for girls in South Africa.
Anyway – Ubuntu” is an ancient African word, meaning “humanity to others”. Ubuntu also means “I am what I am because of who we all are”.
And this is why it was essential for Kathryn to have experienced the village where every person was met, greeted, looked at and acknowledged. Failure to do so essentially means that you do not think that person exists…not that they just do not matter, or you do not like them, or you do not have time to chat with them…but that they do not exist.
When you think of how we treat one another in our hyper-active world/s, it is an astounding thing, really. The notion that every day, each and everyone of us is taking for granted the existence of so many people….and sometimes the ones we love the most. I always loved David’s former company’s motto “We exist to build great things” and “our” new company tagline… “We build lasting impressions”….the point of both being – what’s the point of living if you are not building something great in your life that leaves a lasting impression. It doesn’t have to be material….it can just be memory. Tell me, when you close your eyes and think, what can you take with you no matter where you go that requires very little in terms of “infrastructure” to sustain you, uplift you, etc. if not a potent memory or impression….
Anyway….I know I am going to enjoy seeing Africa through Kathryn’s eyes, impressions and memories – as I have Dubai and Thailand and all her many visits in between.
The great news for all of us as her family who loves her; be it as grandparents, mom and dad, sister’s or aunts and uncles – is the knowledge that Kathryn is giving great gifts to the world and in doing so is making it a much better place.
So please let’s all give a great big family cheer for Kathryn and Dan. Wish them well, keep them close and thank them for wanting to be two remarkably caring, intelligent, special people.
Sorry to hear you got some kind of bug and hope you are feeling better when you read this note. I would not be surprised if your colleague has HIV. It is rampid in Africa and there are not enough ways to educate the population. So sad. But sadder are the children who will be left behind to fend for themselves. What fun to have play time but I am glad you set times. You would be inundated daily if you did not set some rules. I agree, you will probably need to do some remedial classes to get the chilkdren up to snuff but I doubt you will get all to do it. You are aeal trooper.
We are AOK here. Some snow but actually a fairly mild Winter. I bet your children have never seen snow.
Hope you feel better soon. Love Gam.
Hello, Spring has Sprung at last and all the flowers are popping. I read with great interest about the exam being 100% of the grade. That surely is not a fair way to figure what the children have learned especially the ones who have done well all term. Sounds weird to me. If you approached the principall about a better way would he/she listen.
Sounds like a great trip coming up to Victoria Falls etc. And how great that the Taos are coming soon. I wish PopPop and I could visit also but it is not possible for us. Our BIG travel days are over but know that our hearts are with you. Enjoy the trip and the visit.
Hi there. So happy to receive both of your latest blogs. Your trip sounds awesome, wow, petting lions!!! So back to the grind now, I hope the learners have settled down and are back in the school groove. We could use some of those yard cleaners over here. For some reason, most of our crew from Mexico has been denied a return to the U.S. so we are short of gardeners this year. Only a few have returned. They do all the care of the golf course and gardens around the villages. Please send me some ideas of items I can send along with your Mom and Dad when they visit in August. I was looking at some spelling and Math work books etc. at the book store and thought they would be great for practice. I would like to send something for the children. Of course there is a problem of carrying items but these books are thin and shouldn’t take up much space. What do you suggest. Send me an E-mail if you have time please.
Sorry you are once again out of H2O. Hope by now all is back in working order. A good long hot shower must seem like a luxury now. We take all that for granted.
Take care. Love hearing about your adventures. Love Gam & PopPop
You will be sad when you pack up and leave these children. They have captured your heart. When I read your descriptions of the boys, I can see that they ADORE you. I would bet that no other volunteer has given them the attention you have. I mean all the children you have come in contact with. You have allowed them to invade your territory with love and have given much love to them.You have a gift Kathryn, to see things as they are and address them compasionately. We are so proud of you. Love Gammy and PopPop.
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