Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Summer Is Almost Over

I have two more days of Greek - a quiz and final test! I am amazed at how much I've learned in 3 weeks, and I am able to translate basic sentences - very exciting!!

My Thursday night class on Spiritual Direction starts this week. The course is offered at another seminary in the area. A number of classmates are taking this class. Should be fun to learn with them in a different environment.

My September calendar is filling up. Field Education begins on Sunday, Sept 7th. I serve on chapel team the week of Sept 7th and will preach in the seminary chapel on Sept 9th - Constance & Her Companions. The following weekend (9/19-20) is our class retreat and I will be facilitating a workshop on the labyrinth. Our class gift, at this point, MAY be an outdoor labyrinth which, personally, I think would be a tremendous addition to the campus.

The metaphor of the labyrinth is applicable to life, especially to life of a senior in seminary! One needs to remind oneself to take one step at a time, and even though there are twists and turns, it is important to stay on the path. Breathe, pace yourself, rest when necessary, and keep your eyes open! And so I will!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's Greek to Me!

I'm immersed in Biblical Greek and it is Greek to me! I started the three-week summer course last Tuesday, three days after returning from South Africa. In addition to daily quizzes, we have two major tests the first of which is Thursday. For me Greek has been easier, maybe more logical, than Hebrew, which I took the summer of my Junior year. It does help that the professor is engaged and enthusiastic about the subject! So far we've memorized more than 50% of the words in the New Testament, of course that includes all the "ands, buts and fors."

Surprisingly I am one of two Seniors in the class, except for the TA. I think there are about the same number of Seniors in Hebrew.

Well, I need to study vocabulary, and work on parsing and translation! Wish me luck!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cape Town

We arrived in Cape Town late on Tuesday, August 5th. We stayed in De Waterkant area in a very nice, three story townhouse with a roof deck where we had a wonderful view of Table Mountain. (seen here).

Marla & I went to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and others were held as political prisoners in the 1960's, '70's and '80's. Our second guide was Eugene, a former political prisoner, who was arrested when he was protesting against the unequal education that blacks received. He shared stories of other prisoners asking him to read their letters and write letters as they were illiterate.

Our first guide showed us the quarry where prisoners including Nelson Mandela worked in the hot sun splitting rocks into gravel. The cave served as a class room in addition to a place of shade. Several years ago there was a reunion for political prisioners and Nelson Mandela was asked to demonstrate the labor of splitting rocks. As he left the quarry for the last time, Mandela picked up a rock and put it down at the entrance to the quarry. The other former prisioners followed his example and this pile stands as a memorial.

It was too overcast on the day we tried to take the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain. It was the only day of our two weeks that the weather was somewhat inclement. A nice tourist took our photo! We left South Africa on 8/8/08 and returned home on 8/9/08. We had a wonderful time with our friends and loved South Africa. It's a beautiful country. Thanks for sharing our journey!

Boesmanskop & Vineyards

Last week, on our way from Knysna to Cape Town we stopped overnight at Boesmanskop, an amazing bed & breakfast which is nestled in the mountains at Kruisrivier. Boesmanskop is a dairy farm, as well as a vineyard. In addition there are ostriches and sheep on the farm. The views were spectacular and the food was delicious!!! And our accommodations were amazing!! http://www.boesmanskop.co.za/

Here are some photos.

On the way from Boesmanskop we stopped at the Jaubart-Traudauw Vineyard for lunch. Some more amazing views and interesting shadows!!

Then, while in Cape Town, we drove to Stellenbosch to the Warwick Vineyard where we enjoyed a wine tasting. Milla's nephew, Theo, who's studying wine making and agriculture provided lots of good information!

South African wine is very good and we brought some home to enjoy with friends!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Knysna Sunset

We've had a wonderful time visiting our friends in Knysna. Last night they hosted a braai or barbeque with 10 of their friends. It was a wonderful evening and a nice opportunity to meet some really fantastic women. Here's a view from the deck.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Photos of People - Christ the King Diocese

Here are photos of some of the wonderful folks with whom I spent time during my "plunge" in the Diocese of Christ the King: The Rev. Horace McBride (Archdeacon) & Lorraine, The Rev. Joan Hepburn (Archdeacon) & Jean, Nandi & Shirley, Betty & the Maropefela family, Beth & Sharon and The Rev. Gijimane.

Thanks to all of you for your warm welcome and hospitality. My ministry will be forever impacted by my time with you and my experience within your Diocese.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Big Five!!!

Marla & I enjoyed 3 wonderful days at Kruger National Park. Our homebase was the Skukuza Camp where we stayed in a 'luxury bungalow'.

We enjoyed a sunset and a sunrise game drive, and we drove around part of this massive park in our Toyoto Helux (big, big diesel) truck. Hopefully I will be able to post photos soon, but suffice it to say we got up close to many animals including lions, elephants and giraffes! The big five include lions, elephants, buffalo, rhinos and leopards. We were fortunate that at the end of our drive yesterday we finally saw the elusive leopard!

We are now in the Johannesburg Airport awaiting our 2nd delayed flight of the day. We are flying to George where we will visit with our friends Milla & Elizabeth who live in Knysna (pronounced NIZE na). On Monday or Tuesday we will all drive to Cape Town where we will stay for a few days until 8/8 when Marla & I begin our long journey home!
p.s. These are actual photos we took, not stock photos! And we do not have a high tech zoom lens. The animals were really close to us and our vehicle (in which we stayed)!!!