|Sunset over the Atlantic|
We've been roots-finding in South Africa these past two weeks. It was 21 years ago that I was last there, having quality time with my terminally-ill father. My parents left in the 1950s and my father had always refused to go back until apartheid fell. After Mandela came to power, Dad spent his last several winters in Cape Town; it was only when I saw him there, in 1996, happy and smiling despite his illness, that I realised he had missed it all his life. Since then I'd had no wish to return, given the painful nature of the associated memories. This time, though, we had incentive as my husband has discovered family to visit too.
|Another South African cousin...of Ricki and Cosi.|
|Moving forward...in Addo Elephant Park|
As a tourist it's hard to know how deep this goes, but the feeling that everyone is out enjoying the sunshine, the local fruit and seafood and the beauty of the landscapes side by side is something new to me in that country - immeasurably so, compared to my early experiences on childhood visits to family there, which shocked me profoundly when I was a six-year-old in a car passing Soweto.
|Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town|
We remember, seeing South Africa, that countries can change for the better. Many others are changing for the worse at the moment, and it's easy to succumb to despair. We shouldn't. Transformation, a positive opening out, is possible, given will, action and enough time.
|Melkbosstrand, north of Cape Town|