Capetown Africa

For dinner Kim and I took a short walk to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront area – a wonderful collection of shops and restaurants – there are many public safety people at each intersection making us feel safe – we saw our first “wildlife” – watched the sun setting on Table Mountain and of course I felt the need to stretch my legs after having been crammed in an airplane the past couple of days making the “conga” guys smile – what fun !!!

Advertisements

Green Market Square and Capetown

Kim and I did a bit of exploring around our Inn this afternoon – Green Market Square was a couple of streets away with vendors displaying all kinds of items daily waiting for Kim to make an offer – ha ha – cobblestone streets and brightly painted houses everywhere – including the last picture of us with an 81 year old man who ran a bookstore selling gently used books with a warm hearty laugh – he said Capetown is the place to be not Johannesburg – people are very friendly here

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela died today, at age 95, after a long illness.  He was one of the most extraordinary figures of our time — a selfless man in an increasingly selfish world, a man whose example was so deeply powerful that it brought down a wicked regime, and a man whose compelling life story was inspirational to millions around the world.

Mandela fought against the evil of apartheid, which legalized and institutionalized racism in South Africa.  He was jailed for his efforts, spent almost three decades in prison cells, and became the most celebrated political prisoner in the world.  He was freed, immediately became a leading voice in the country, and was elected president when South Africa held its first all-race election in 1994.  Crucially, Mandela did not use his ascension to power to obtain vengeance for his years of wrongful imprisonment.  Instead, he supported a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that sought to expose the wrongs of apartheid and heal his divided country.  His actions demonstrated his commitment to peace and inclusiveness and made him the most deserving recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in a generation.

It is interesting that this astonishing historical figure bore the name Mandela — pronounced in the same way as the mandala, a Buddhist and Hindu concept that represents the universe as a circle.  In those religions, a mandala is an instrument of peaceful meditation and a gathering point for essential universal forces.  Nelson Mandela, too, was a gathering point for universal concepts of peace, and freedom, and equality, and he served in that role with decency and without rancor.  A true giant has left the world stage.