There are so many things I want to say about our experience in Cape Town. The contrast and conflict and complexity of the situation in South Africa just boggle the mind. While thinking about how our team fits into it all, it’s hard to know what to say first. But for now, I’ll start with the ring.
Cape Town, August 30, 2008
For eight days now I’ve been wearing the “wedding” ring that I bought in Kennedy airport, to fend off the expected barrage of marriage proposals. But I haven’t actually worried about that since the day after we arrived – that phenomenon simply isn’t prevalent in South Africa. Yet I’m still wearing the ring. By Wednesday morning, I started to panic when I briefly couldn’t find it on my dresser table.
Simply put, the ring now encircles my South African experience. On the simplest level, it reminds me of being in this time and place. But more than that, it’s my symbol of fidelity, not to a person but to the meaning of this trip: To take on daunting challenges even though I don’t know exactly why the world chose me for them. To accept that things will sometimes get difficult, and not to give up. To keep the faith.