Tuesday, December 23, 2008

So you want to be an instant 'somebody'? Become an activist? Build houses? Raise money for worthy causes?

If so, does it bother you that you don't actually know where South Africa is, or precisely what you'll be doing, when you get there? - Are you part of a knowledgeable team of people who have all the answers - even if you don't - or did you get the idea from watching Oprah? Are you sure that you are not just looking for adventure or relishing how good it feels to be counted among those who have a 'a heart' for the place?

Perhaps, in common with the school principal whose ignorance about the country (well before the Sarah Palin spoof) temporarily robbed me of speech, you may think that it is a continent, like South America; or could you, like certain prominent broadcasters, be under the impression that Namibia (stomping ground of Brad and Angelina) and South Africa are one and the same?

I've heard it all! I literally gnashed my teeth after having been approached by a bank manager - charged with the responsibility of planning the itinerary for a prize-winning young debutante (you've guessed it!) with a heart for South Africa - to ask if I could put her in touch with a few South Africans while on tour

Although it is 30 years since I left there to live in Canada, I still have friends and family in the country, and, wanting to oblige, I naturally needed some idea of where the young ambassadress planned to be spending her time. ... My mouth literally hung open when the airy response came, quite readily - TANZANIA!

Jacaranda photo: Courtesy of Alta Alberts
All other photos of South Africa are by courtesy of Clay Otto.

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