Die avonture van twee 25-jarige Kapenaars

Liewe leser – hierdie blog post is nou vir jou as jy nog nie genoeg gehad het van my karaktersketse nie. Ek sal probeer om dit onsoetsappig te maak, maar as jy nie daarvan hou nie, gaan lees maar elders!

 

Kom ons noem hom Nelson. Hy sou daarvan hou.

Ons het ontmoet op ‘n Sondagmiddag. Ek was in my koshuiskamer aan die werk toe ek iemand buite hoor roep. Nuuskierig het ek my kop uitgesteek en hy het gevra of ek iemand nodighet om my kar te was. Ja, ek het, het ek gesê. Dit is hoe dit begin het.

Nelson het my kar nogal deeglik gewas (ek inspekteer altyd ‘n karwasser se werk, nes my pa my geleer het, en wys vir hom waar om nog ‘n bietjie beter skoon te maak). Ek dink ek het hom R40 betaal. Hy het vir my sy ma se nommer gegee sodat ek weer kan bel as ek my motor wil laat was of enige ander los werkies het vir hom. Hy woon in Kayamandi by sy ma, het hy my meegedeel, en hy is werkloos. Ons het uitgewerk ons is omtrent ewe oud, maar dit is sover soos die ooreenkomste gaan.

‘n Paar weke later het ek hom gebel en hy het stiptelik opgedaag om weer my motor te was. Hy het ‘n vriend by hom gehad en hulle het hulle eie kar was seep saamgebring. Ek was baie haastig en kon nie lekker aandag gee nie, maar hulle het my ‘n stuk gelaat lees wat Nelson met die hand in ‘n Croxley-boek geskryf het. Dit was onduidelik waarvoor die stuk geskryf is, maar dit het allerhande politieke stellings gemaak, soos dat menseregte belangrik is, dat sosialisme ‘n goeie idee is, en – wat my bygebly het – dat iemand wat ‘n misdaad pleeg, eers as straf na sy tuisdorp gestuur moet word; en eers vir sy tweede misdaad tronk toe gestuur behoort te word. Dit besing ook die lof van “Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela”. Die naam word telkens met titel en volle name geskryf. My vriend Nelson het gesê hy wil graag met my praat, later, as ek tyd het. Ja, later, het ek gesê.

Die lewe gebeur nie soos ‘n fliek of roman nie. Dit gebeur ook nie soos ‘n akademiese artikel nie. Die lewe gebeur maar net. Jy kom later agter watter besonderhede belangrik was – daarom is dit so moeilik om te midde van ‘n ervaring vir ander daaroor te vertel. Maar ek dink ek sal probeer met Nelson.

Vir my het die lewe in Bellville, Durbanville en Stellenbosch gebeur soos dit het, sover.

Vir Nelson het die lewe tussen Khayelitsha en Kayamandi gebeur, terselfdetyd. Ek het uitgevind hy was in Dr Nelson Mandela High School in Khayelitsha – dus die konstante verwysing na hierdie held. Ek het hom nog nie die foto van my en sy held gewys nie. Ek wonder hoe hy sal reageer.

‘n Paar weke later het ons saam na my kerk toe gegaan. Daaroor sal ek jou volgende keer vertel. Dalk laat ek hom ook nog op ‘n keer self hier skryf.

Climbing off the fence

To Luhann and everybody else who would like me to have a bit more guts and give my opinion.

I have thought for a week about your question – about where I stand; what I propose Afrikaners should do if it isn’t the VVK. Also, while I am engaging with these ideas, I’m engaging with some black people who are quite “over” reconciliation too and I’m a bit exhausted. But here is the answer I promised, as best as I can write it for now.

When I was growing up, I didn’t really believe that white people had anything at all to be angry about. It was clear to me that black people have a history of  inhumane oppression at the hands of white people, and I was not surprised at their bitterness.

I had no empathy at all for white racists. I also tended to see any white complaints and anger and bitterness  as mixed with vicious disdain and hatred towards blacks. I was often right, but not always.

I wrote a whole long story now, which I will spare you and maybe share with my close friends, documenting my walk with God from realising the corporate guilt in which I share; the years of shame and despair; the decision to accept forgiveness from God and then letting Him lead me wherever He wants. It has been very difficult. One of the things it included was going to the VVK meeting.

Going to the VVK meeting, and having a couple of painful discussions with a beloved white friend who didn’t grow up in the idyllic Western Cape, are pulling at the curtains I’ve drawn over white people’s suffering. I haven’t really suffered in the new South Africa at all, so the special kinds of suffering of white people was initially easy to ignore. And now… it really complicates the picture when you believe that both black and white have done wrong, and not just one group. It is also shocking to me how little white knows what black thinks of them and of life; and vice versa.

I guess I’m coming to accept that white people, all of them, also deserve human dignity. I am very humbled to realise what a bitch I’ve been to some white people in the past while preaching universal love and understanding. I’m sorry. And I know I will have to keep listening to them even if doing so currently troubles me.

But if you forced me today, to either join the ranks of the campaign for Afrikaner freedom, or remain a part of the “terminally ill rainbow nation”,  I would choose the latter. This country is very very sick, but to me the whole country is my country and every unemployed person or person living with HIV and person living in a shack and raped woman in this country are my people. And every former Apartheid policeman, and every airheaded English liberal city girl are my people too.

I don’t side with the VVK, because they want to withdraw from this pain into an imagined safe place. But I don’t believe that they will have any rest until they’ve had healing, no matter how high they build the barricades to ensure their physical safety in their Nuwe Boererepubliek. They won’t be able to think straight with all those negative emotions running through their minds; through their souls even I believe.

I also don’t believe black people who go through the world despising me and other white people will have any true rest. Not only do I need their forgiveness, but I think they need to forgive me too. Else they won’t be able to think straight either, even if they try to ignore white people in their country. It is difficult to emphasise this point because it sounds demanding, so I won’t.

That is where I stand. I am grateful to know that a lot of my sentiments here are shared by other South Africans of all races, many of them also Christians in whose lives I believe God can impart wisdom and direction. (Please understand that I do not imagine my faith to be a simple means to finding solutions.) But I would like to live in this country and work with others to heal the injustices of the past and the present; the suffering of black and white.

There is no formula for national healing. But I will spend my life pursuing it. And there are others like me.

A volkstaat for the VVK

Lauren said, “So are you going to the Afrikaner meeting?”

I said if the Afrikaners were meeting, I didn’t know about it. So she sent me a picture of the lamppost with the poster.

The Volksraadverkiesingskomitee was calling a meeting. In English they suggest that they be called the “Electoral Commission for the Election of a Boer-Afrikaner People’s Assembly”.

If you showed me this two years ago, I would have laughed. A year ago, I would have run away and hidden under something, terrified of what is happening to the Afrikaners, this group of people with whose past I identify so strongly and whose politics today drive me to utter despair.

This year, because I believe that God is inviting me to come to terms with every aspect of my identity, I said: “Let’s go.”

So Lauren and Lweendo thought about it. We all read up about the VVK at http://www.vvk.co.za, and they sort of chickened out, but I said I’m going whether they join me or not. And so we went.

 ***

It is difficult to be objective when I tell you of that evening. How can three young friends, who would all have been housed in different areas under Apartheid, be objective about a meeting of 40 odd Afrikaners who want self-determination? We’ve had a lot of discussions since that night and we’re still reeling a bit. But in light of what happened the next morning, we decided we should try to tell you what we saw. Lauren and Lweendo added their comments at the end. They might be the only people who don’t fit the demographic who have witnessed a meeting like this, and I might be the only “volksgenoot” who was there as a traitor instead of a potential registered and paid-up member.

 ***

There is one more thing I want to say before I start. If you are tempted to ridicule and belittle these people, I want you to realise that you have now met the limits of your own open-mindedness and compassion. If you cannot regard these people as your fellow human beings and worthy of some respect, you do not espouse the spirit of reconciliation upon which this nation was born, any more than they do.

***

 We walked up to the door slowly, wondering what we would find. We had decided not to speak at the meeting, not wanting to get involved in long debates. We wanted to observe. But would we be allowed to? Were these guys actually dangerous or just radical? Lauren, whose parents raised her in English like many other “coloured” parents of their generation, arranged with me that I will translate words for her if necessary. We took a deep breath and strode inside.

The first thing you noticed was the flags. There were no Old South Africa flags, if you were wondering. I don’t think the VVK really liked the Old South Africa, founded as it was after the loss of the Boer republics in the Anglo-Boer War. Instead, the Vierkleur van Transvaal forms part of the VVK’s logo.

We picked a row about midway through the room. There was one young man sitting about six seats into the row, and we took up the three at the end, he suddenly stood up with conviction and asked that we please get up and let him pass so that he can switch to the row behind us.

Two men seemed kind of amused by us and they held their video camera on us for a long time, grinning. We shrugged and grinned back and speculated what they’d use the footage for.

I was kind of enjoying the attention. People, mostly my parents’ age, were glancing at us and then looking away, talking. Twice, people came up to us and asked whether we knew what the meeting was about and whether we were in the right place. A young man behind us leaned over and said, “Julle weet hierdie hele vergadering gaan in Afrikaans wees, nè?” I replied: “Ja, dis nie ‘n probleem nie,” and he said “Wel, miskien nie vir jou nie.” Lweendo turned around and said, practically without accent: “Ja, ek verstaan!” Growing up as the daughter of a Zambian doctor, on the white side Krugersdorp, will do that!

We also noticed the little copper busts on the front desk. Afrikaner heroes, presumably. I thought I saw Paul Kruger. There was also a female bust and we wondered who that could be. Lweendo guessed Emily Hobhouse; I guess Racheltjie de Beer. Then I had to tell Lweendo about Racheltjie de Beer.

The meeting was opened “op die gepaste manier” with scripture reading and prayer. The speaker read the story of Gideon from Judges 7, telling the audience that it is clear from the Bible that God can use even a small group of people to do His will, and that the Afrikaners must not get downhearted because God will help them to fulfil their God-given mission. He prayed, saying: “We know we as a people have sinned and that this is why you have punished us by taking away our freedom”.

Then a man introduced himself as Paul Kruger, a lawyer from Pretoria. He serves as the chairperson of the Volksraad Verkiesingskommissie and addressed the meeting as “Volksgenote”. The word “volk”, used also in Hitler’s National Socialism, cannot be translated and means something like an ethnic nation. He was thus calling the audience “fellow members of the nation”.

I will not repeat Mr Kruger’s introduction, because he basically explained what the VVK is about as it is set out on their website. You can read their statement in English if you scroll down on this page http://www.vvk.co.za/8927.html. If you understand Afrikaans, you can also scan  through their legal argument here http://www.vvk.co.za/33519/60530.html. At this meeting, which is part of a national tour, some of the nominees for the Volksraad would have a chance to address us.

There were only four nominees present, as most of them reside in Gauteng and could not take leave from work. The four addressed the audience in turn, each one’s CV first being read by Mr Kruger. Mr Kruger expressed great pride at the fact that there are close to 20 nominations. He said it encouraged him to have proof such as this that those Afrikaners who said the volk has no more leaders anymore are wrong.

The four nominees present were all male, and I wondered if there were no women running, but I see on the website that there is one woman among them. The meeting was also predominantly attended by men, but some married couples attended. The CVs of the four nominees were so composed as to convince voters of their involvement with ethnic/cultural organisations, their commitment to family and church, and the successes of their careers. Some of the organisations that they belong to or have belonged to included: Die GHA, the Herstigte Nasionale Party, die Voortrekkers, die Rapportryerskorps, die Majuba Boeretrust, the Oranje Sake-instituut, die Geloftefees Herdenkingskomitee, Projek 2010, Suiderland Media, die Oraniabeweging. They all belonged either to the APK (Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk) or Dutch Reformed (NG) Church.

I can now relay some of the arguments to you, although I must emphasise that I may have misunderstood them in some ways.

A key element in the ideology of this group is that white people and especially Afrikaners are under siege in South Africa. They speak of how white people’s numbers are dwindling and how the insufficient policing of our borders conveniently allows even more black Africans into the country to outnumber whites. Black-on-white violence, according to them, amounts to genocide. I think any one of them would say that they live in constant fear, for themselves and their families. Especially in the case of brutal farm murders, where they emphasise that the motive is not always even theft. The song “Dubun’ ibunu” / Shoot the Boer is often mentioned, with the implication that black South Africans are being officially encouraged to commit these acts of hatred. I say “black” South Africans but it seemed to me that the speakers did not have a very nuanced conception of the Other that they believe themselves to be up against. They also often spoke of “strangers” (vreemdes) instead of giving a description of their enemy. One of them has laid a claim at an international genocide watchdog.

They also clearly believe that the Afrikaner’s mission in Africa is God-given. They see their quest as a continuation of the Battle of Blood River and the religiously inspired narrative of the Afrikaners, identifying strongly with the Old Testament. They did not explicitly state that Afrikaners are superior to other races. They did not mention how Afrikaners benefit Africa.

There is also a pervasive denial of guilt. One speaker went so far as to insist that Afrikaners never took away the hartland of any other volk; that in fact, others were given additional “lewensruimte” by the Afrikaners – referring here to the Apartheid homeland policy. Afrikaners were too nice to the volksvreemdes, and this kindness has turned around to bite them. One nominee also emphasised that Afrikaners have a juridical, moral, and historical right to self-determination.

Finally there was a deep disgust at the current government – not only because they feel inadequately protected, but because of corruption, of which all black leaders are indiscriminately accused. In fact I think it is safe to say that the current government of South Africa enjoys no legitimacy with the speakers at this meeting, except in so far as they consider their mission potentially justified by Article 235 of the Constitution.

But they would not use these negative themes to describe themselves. Instead, maybe they would talk about a hope at a better future for their children. Many of the speakers that evening – all men – spoke of their responsibility towards their families, who cower in fear in their homes at night. These men feel it their duty to be able to tell their wives, daughters and sons that they are working towards securing a country for them where their enemies cannot harm them.

Maybe they would tell you that they are merely struggling for their own freedom – that they are freedom fighters in their own right, committed to the cause of the freedom of their people from the legal, physical and intellectual oppression of those who wish them ill.

Or maybe they would tell you of their deep faith in God. But I find it so difficult to reconcile my Christian faith to theirs that I’m afraid I can’t tell you much about that.

Abel Malan’s speech was the most radical. He wholeheartedly agreed with what the others said, he simply turned up the heat several degrees. He said that white people are a dwindling minority in South Africa. There is only one possibility for survival: to occupy some small area (possibly one obtained through negotiations with the ANC government) and to re-populate it. And then, to begin to re-conquer the old, white South Africa. The Afrikaners are a minority, but must make themselves unmissable, he said.

Malan also lashed out the most aggressively against volksgenote who have forsaken their Godly calling to aspire to self-determination; those who are so naïve to believe that they have any future in the so-called new South Africa. Also those who, like prof Anton van Niekerk, dare to tell other Afrikaners that they should be humble and feel guilty about the Bush War – a war that they won! “Humility!” he repeated with disgust. The Afrikaner has never been humble, he insisted. It is not what the Afrikaner does. He said that Afrikaners do not  mix with others, nor do they “humbly” let others step all over them. He was outraged, he said, that they are up against enemies not only outside their ranks, but also from people like this professor, who should be on their side! But, he told us, he had made an appointment with this professor for the following morning, to discuss the article.

Upon hearing this, my friends and I were not really concerned. I actually thought it would be quite a good idea for Malan to speak to the professor face to face. I thought it quite mature. That’s before I found out that Malan evidently subscribes to the proverb: As hy nie wil hoor nie, moet hy voel.

Mr Kruger often interjected throughout the evening, offering information and opinions, and as far as we could see, he has done his legal homework properly. He said it was crucial that the VVK leaders, once elected, at least attempt to obtain a Volkstaat through the legal channels. One of the nominees – the only one from the Western Cape – beseeched the others not to make any more enemies, but to maintain the moral high ground and to win the sympathy of the international community. Many of them spoke enthusiastically of strategies to get their message out: they have 30 000 registered members, but believed that many more would join their cause if word could reach them. All of them, except Abel Malan, seemed willing to keep the peace by letting Afrikaans white South Africans like me, who have absolutely no desire to live in an Afrikaner volkstaat, enjoy our place in the sun. In a way, I walked out with respect for them. Respect, and concern. We left after about two and a half hours, when they were about to share their financial situation with the group.

– Cara
Lauren continues the story:

As we discussed the bizarre way we spent our evening, several things came to light. Lauren was quite happy to sign off on a decision to give them their own boertjie homeland, after all it seemed that the VVK was legally entitled to it. However, the more interesting part that Lauren was interested in was to see whether they would ever be able to legally plead for state resources given that they had seceded from the Republic. In general, we discussed how an economic model of a Volkstaat might work in a globalised economy. Mostly we also discussed how the VVK could not seem to think that anyone else in South Africa – besides their volk – was also angry at the levels of crime and corruption. In this vein, Lweendo mentioned that her mom’s white friends were very surprised to hear that crime happens to black people too.

Since hearing of the assault of Prof. van Niekerk, it will be interesting to see whether the VVK distances themselves from the actions of Abel Malan. If not, then whatever individual amounts of democratic respect and tolerance we held for them that night in Stellenbosch have quickly dissipated.

-Lauren

Lweendo speaks…

Sitting discussing the meeting as an intellectual exercise was all well and good but reading about the assault of Prof. van Niekerk the next morning made our experience all the more poignant. Often when it comes to these issues we sit outside and judge these ideologies. But we sat in that meeting, we heard those men speak. We saw them for what they are, fellow South Africans looking for an identity.

Please note – below, some of the most notable Afrikaans comments have been translated by Cara, including one by a VVK nominee.

gaborone

vir ryan, 11 maart 2011

 

in jou afwesigheid word ek, dit spyt my, ontrou –

deel ek my vel met die stof,

my lippe met die son,

my bed met multiple concurrent goggas.

 

ek hoop jy verstaan, hulle is blote afleiding

terwyl ek luister vir jou stem oor die gedreun van die vragmotors.

Updates

Dit is moeilik om oor alles te skryf wat aangaan.

Ek het die trein geneem na Kaapstad toe. Voor jy sidder, oorweeg dat ek eersteklas kan ry teen R25 retoer. Hoeveel bestee jy aan petrol, en wat sou jy doen met twee uur wat jy maar net hoef te sit en te wag? En dat ‘n mens kan seker maak jy sit naby aan heelwat ander mense en ‘n sekuriteitswag.

Ek lei ‘n connect group (kleingroep/selgroep) en daar het actually twee mense opgedaag vir laasweek se sel en weer twee mense hierdie week. Dit is ‘n eerste vanjaar. Ek bid kliphard en ek leer baie.

My vriende werk almal kliphard en ek sukkel om gemotiveerd aan te hou werk. Daar is soveel maniere om tyd te mors op hierdie dorp. Selfs net met die hulp van ‘n rekenaartjie. Geluk is ek met ‘n paar cool dinge besig – die Community of Mandela Rhodes Scholars reël ons jaarlikse konferensie vir Stellenbosch, en die Northwestern University-studente is amper op pad huis toe, so ek probeer hulle te siene kry.

Ek gaan ‘n vriendin leer fietsry. Ek het alles opgelees op die internet, en ons moet net ‘n fiets te leen kry. Ons het vandag ons eerste les aangepak net om te besef die saal is te hoog vir haar. Want jy sien, met hierdie metode (www.ibike.org) moet die leerder sommer eers net bietjie skopfiets ry, al sittend op ‘n verlaagte saal. Het ek genoem dat my leerder vreesbevange is? Ek sien so uit na hierdie uitdaging!

Ek maak nuwe vriende. As jy ooit vir Lauren Rosenberg of Sikelelwa Dlanga of Idelette McVicker kan ontmoet, sê ja asseblief en drop alles anders. Seriously. En die oues is soos goeie wyn. Dit is wonderlik om in ‘n mens se twintigs te wees.

Dit is nie meer okay om sommer enige persoonlike worstelinge aanlyn te bespreek nie. Ek het geleer daar is lyne. Daar was ‘n tyd, maar daardie tyd is verby. Gevolglik sukkel ek en om ‘n storielyn op hierdie blog te behou.  En tog glo ek daar is rede om te skryf. Ek moet dit net uitfigure: waaroor om te skryf, en watter prosesse om eerder nie vir die verlangse vriende en nuuskierige vreemdelinge uit te blaker nie. Ek kan toe tog misverstaan word. Ek het toe wel vraagstukke wat ek eerder wil beskerm en uit die publieke arena wil hou. Dit is nuut en nie aldag lekker nie. Maar dit is maar deel van die twenty-something package.

Na gesprekke met my ouma en my gesin, gaan ek nou my tweede naam verander van Johanna na Hugo. Cara Hugo Meintjes. Ek dink die volgende post sal daaroor gaan.

Sweef!

Vandag sweef hierdie M-student!

Die dag na my verjaarsdag het ek my eerste konsep van hoofstuk 4 (Suid-Afrika) ingehandig en ek het geweet dis maar bietjie touch and go. Ek het al heelwat beter geweet hoe om die hoofstuk aan te pak omdat hierdie hoofstuk presies dieselfde formaat moes aanneem as die voltooide hoofstuk oor Botswana, maar hierdie keer moes ek deur die moerasse van navorsing oor Suid-Afrika swem. Dit was oorweldigend. En ek  moes dit in twee weke doen, in teenstelling met die vier weke wat ek aan hoofstuk 3 (Botswana) bestee het. (Vier weke ten spyt was daardie eerste Botswana konsep vol gate en prof B was uitdruklik ontevrede. )

Maar wonder bo wonder was die kommentaar oor daardie konsep: “This is an excellent draft!”

Dit was verreweg die beste kommentaar ooit. Ek was in die wolke. En toe swot ek vir my ekonomietoets, vier Ryan se verjaardag, ontvang ‘n spul Amerikaners, woon ‘n menseregenaweek by en doen afskeep-afskeep die nodige verbeteringe aan die hoofstuk. En raak al hoe meer bewus van die tekortkominge van die hoofstuk… Dit weerspieël nie behoorlik Botswana nie, byvoorbeeld. En ek gebruik net twee bronne om die gesondheidstelsel te bespreek. En ek het nie ‘n clue wat Jacob Zuma se Vigs-benadering is nie. En wat presies was die deal met Barbara Hogan? En so aan. En ek dateer maar op waar ek kan; wysig en vul aan.

Gister het ek ingegee: my hoofstuk 4 (Suid-Afrika) asook my opgedateerde hoofstuk 3 (Botswana, met verryking/veranderinge na aanleiding van my besoek aan die land). Asook my gekonsolideerde bibliografie van al my hoofstukke tot op hede.

Ek dink nie ek het nodig om vir jou veel meer te vertel nie. Onthou maar net die vassit aan die begin. Die frustrasie en teleurstelling wat prof B duidelik met my beleef het. Die feitlik vyf maande wat ek aan die Research Proposal bestee het.

Hier is sy terugvoer.

Beste Cara

13th Comments

  1. Die nuwe Hfs 3 is goedgekeur (18.4.2011). Goed!
  2. Die nuwe konsep van Hfs 4 is ook goedgekeur (18/4/2011). Cosatu is Congress nie Council nie (p 8) en by par (a) op p 15 moet “and” uit.
  3. Die bibliografie is indrukwekkend.
  4. Skryf solank aan Hfs 5. Dis ’n baie belangrike hoofstuk. Kan ek 1e konsep teen middel Mei sien asb? Onthou dit sluit ’n Assessment in. Mik vir 16-18 bladsye (maks 6000 woorde).
  5. Dié tesis gaan goed wees. Die harde werk sal beloon word (hoop net die eksaminatore dink ook so!)

Groetnis

Prof WJ Breytenbach

19/4/2011

NB: Aan  die einde van alles sal ek ’n finale proeflees maak. Dit lyk egter reeds baie goed.

Ek sweef.

Thanks, God! and Karen Zoid…

When you look at other people’s theses, few pages say more than the Thank You page. While briefly researching regional hegemony, I came across the thesis of my old classmate Thabile (aka T.O.), who had written as the first paragraph on his Thank You page:

“First and foremost I would like to thank God for all the conversations we had leading up to the completion of this study. Amidst all the loneliness of thesis writing you were there throughout.”

I enjoyed the frankness and the obvious familiarity of that line tremendously.

What also impressed me about Thabile’s Thank You page is its brevity. I’ve started writing a draft Thank You page and soon it was two pages long.

Maybe it’s because he really didn’t have that many people in his life to thank, and my thesis writing experience, though lonely, is turning out not to be as lonely as his. (At least not so far… I’m dreading the quiet, cold June/July university holidays, which will now also be sadly devoid of soccer excitement).

But another reason for the length of my draft Thank You page is that I’ve been inspired by Don Miller, who thanks several musicians for making the wonderful music that he listened to while writing his book Blue like jazz (which, by the way, is a wonderfully engaging piece of Christian biography). I felt compelled to offer a hearty thank-you to Aqualung, Karen Zoid, and AKing. Their music has been on repeat in my ears for hours on end.

I’d love to hear what Prof B has to say about that! On the one hand I’m very aware that he has a friendly, even jovial side. On the other he has kept this side neatly away from me, apparently frustrated that I spend too much time socially already. Sigh.

Which reminds me, it’s three days from D Day for Draft 1 of Chapter 4 (South Africa), and here I am, having a WordPress party. Let me go research the hell out of that South African civil society, and I’ll check back with you guys next week.