Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sabie holiday part 1 & thoughts on skin color

Hello all! I am back from a fantastic and refreshing holiday in Sabie! I didn't have internet access while I was there but I wrote some post and will be putting them up over the next week. Also, I don't normally do this, but if you want to see pictures from the week you can see them here: Sabie holiday. Hope everyone is enjoying the coming of spring! It's starting to get cool here - it reminds me of "fall" in Miami. :)

Day 1
It is the end of my first day in Sabie. We are staying at an absolutely gorgeous resort, in a two bedroom/1 loft bungalow type thing. We spent the day lounging in the sun, by the pool, reading. It has been divine! Relaxing and refreshing (although, an event like this particularly makes me miss my family because this is something I normally do with them; there’s no replacement for that). The views are just breathtaking here. I am in awe of what God has created here and that I get to enjoy it. There have been a number of times since moving to South Africa that I’ll just stop in whatever I’m doing or wherever I am and think to myself, “I am here. I live here. I live in South Africa. Just capture this moment.” Today, being here in Sabie, in the South African country, is one of those moments.

The more I spend time out of the US and see how many holidays (vacations) most other countries take, the more I am determined that we all need lots of holidays. Americans work too much and Ecclesiastes says that there is nothing better for us than to do good and enjoy life. It is a gift from God. I’m going to start praying now that when I get a job and have a career, that I will be able to take ample amounts of holidays. J  

As I was sitting by the pool today and just looking around at all the people that were there, I thought to myself, “I just love that there are so many different cultures in the world. And I love that every single person is different.” And the more I travel and see this, the more I realize how true it is that kids, especially, are the same everywhere. I sat by the pool and watched the three cutest Indian boys, Afrikaans kids, English kids, and a few black children all play together. They all just wanted to have fun, to be loved, and they did not care a thing for what they looked like, or what each other looked like. That is true for all kids and it amazes me. Think about that: they DO NOT care about what they look like. They don’t look at skin color, hair type, height or weight. It astounds me, and makes me feel so safe.

Skin color is something that fascinates me, regardless of country. But here in South Africa, it is something that on one hand is not a big deal and on the other hand, is still very much a big deal. We don’t always talk about it, but it is undeniably a topic that produces discussion. Supposedly, we don’t look at skin color anymore, it doesn’t make a difference. But, it really does. To be completely honest, I was slightly surprised to see black people on holiday here. That comes more from the fact that here in South Africa, specifically, it does seem that white people are more affluent; also, only black people work at gas stations or restaurants, or take taxis. (The taxis here are not the yellow cab you see in New York City or something…they could have a whole post in and of themselves.) But should I not be surprised? I guess I’m trying to figure out in myself, how much I still stereotype, hold prejudices, and judge. I didn’t/don’t really think I do that (at least too often), but this whole skin color thing is so prevalent and obvious here, that I’m just not so sure. I’m not saying I think I’m a racist or anything dramatic and awful, I’m just saying that this is something that I thought was a non-issue, but it is still very much an issue in our world…and it intrigues me. Thoughts? Comments?

Stayed tuned for the rest of the week…it gets exciting! J

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