Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Running Start

Today was my first full day in Cape Town, and it was certainly an eventful one.

It started beautiful with a peaceful (dry!) walk to the Plumstead Methodist Church, where I how great it is to be in “family worship” and to have a sermon be just the words I didn’t know I needed to hear. It was a good reminder of why I have come to love the church and faith communities so much. It has been a long time since I have had a church I could call home, and yet there is something about PMC that gives me that feeling every time, even as I am only beginning to get to know this community.

After church I had breakfast and spent the rest of the morning/early afternoon doing one of my favorite things that I haven’t done in months: I spent the morning reading the newspaper. Funny how its the small things that can make one so content.

Mid-afternoon I went with Pete and Lisa to another church in the circuit. The youth at the Methodist Church in Vryground, an informal settlement within our circuit, invited us for a program they prepared. They had spent time learning about their culture and invited us so they may have an audience to share it with. This was also their effort at a delayed “67 minutes” of volunteer service in honor of Nelson Mandela. (Mandela asked that for his birthday this year, every South African give 67 minutes of their time back to the community. 67 - in honor of the 67 years of his life he has given to community service. The youth were on retreat on Mandela’s birthday, so they decided to make it up today instead of skip it). The singing, dancing and sharing of food were incredible reminders of the beautiful mix of cultures and traditions we are living so nearby, and yet have so few opportunities to interact with and live into.

This evening, we (the whole family and I) went to see a stage production of Mama Mia! It was the first time I’ve been able to see it live, and it was great! As happens every time, I was marveled at the genius of how so many hit songs were put together to form this story line. The talent was incredible, from the acting to the dancing, and least of all the singing: the vocals really were phenomenal- and made the show. The costumes didn’t hurt much either, though, with an abundance of hilarious sequins and sparkles reminiscent of the age of ABBA. As great as the show was, I must confess: topping it off for me was an adorable little girl sitting in front of me who would get my attention every once in a while so she could say hello and get a smile and wave from me. She was great, and really added to the show in her own precious little way.

Indeed, this was an eventful day and a certain kick-start to my stay in Cape Town. While I anticipate a bit of a slower start to work and daily routines as I begin to settle in, I am grateful for such an incredible introduction to the local church, community, and recreation all in one day. I look forward to what the days ahead hold.

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