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Sunday, June 21

  1. page Musings edited ... {IMG_6904.JPG} My time in Cape Town ended in the best way possible. On the Friday morning th…
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    My time in Cape Town ended in the best way possible. On the Friday morning that I was to depart South Africa, I attended a church service presided over by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Father Desmond is still active in his pastoral role at St. George's Cathedral, and on Friday mornings he leads a small congregation of people in worship. The service includes a group of about 25 regular attendees and is open to the public for others to visit. As I entered the church, I was first in disbelief that I would have the opportunity to see THE Desmond Tutu, a man whose passion for peace has inspired so many worldwide. I'm not sure what I expected to see, but I smiled as my eyes landed on the gentle face of man who could easily have been my grandfather.
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    congregation grew even smaller. After
    After the service, Father Desmond took pictures with visitors and autographed books. Then those who were able, including Father Desmond, walked a block down the street to a cafe for breakfast. Every Friday that he is in Cape Town, Archbishop Desmond Tutu walks out his faith in just this way. He has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and is known and esteemed internationally, yet I experienced him as the most humble, peaceful human being I have ever encountered. What a blessing he has been to the nation of South Africa and to the world. I am grateful to have had this experience, especially on my last day in Cape Town.
    On District Six Museum and Slave Lodge
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    11:26 am
  2. page Musings edited ... After the service, Father Desmond took pictures with visitors and autographed books. Then thos…
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    After the service, Father Desmond took pictures with visitors and autographed books. Then those who were able, including Father Desmond, walked a block down the street to a cafe for breakfast. Every Friday that he is in Cape Town, Archbishop Desmond Tutu walks out his faith in just this way. He has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and is known and esteemed internationally, yet I experienced him as the most humble, peaceful human being I have ever encountered. What a blessing he has been to the nation of South Africa and to the world. I am grateful to have had this experience, especially on my last day in Cape Town.
    On District Six Museum and Slave Lodge
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    by the {IMG_6862.JPG} Group Areas
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    that systemic racismracis {IMG_6862.JPG} m can have, but asalso as a
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    the past, maymany will have
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    future generations.
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    The Slave Lodge has served many purposes over the centuries, but was originally built to house slaves brought to Cape Town from Asia and the other parts of Africa. Although its focus is on the history of slavery in South Africa, it also includes exhibits about the anti-apartheid protests, music, clothing and textile industries, and prominent female leaders in South Africa. It also raises awareness of the current global issues of human trafficking and the recruitment of child soldiers.
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    a poem. The sensory experience of this small space was compelling and I found myself weeping. The words of the poem gave voice to the thoughts of slaves who may have wondered what would await them at the end of their journey, and what would happen to their descendants. I heard the words "We are the seed; They are the dream" and the tears just poured from my eyes. Although it is not likely that my ancestry connects to the slaves of South Africa, I can imagine the Middle Passage experience of the people of whom I am an descendent. I thought of Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise" which concludes with the powerful couplet:
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I am tearing up as I am writing this, thinking about so many who sacrificed and suffered so that I can be where I am at this very moment. I couldn't be more grateful.

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  4. page Musings edited ... He was, of course, dressed in his official robes; however, he did not seem distant as one migh…
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    He was, of course, dressed in his official robes; however, he did not seem distant as one might think a religious leader of his notoriety would be. Scriptures were read and prayers offered, all of which were followed by the sacrament of communion. There was a moment during the service when visitors were asked to stand and introduce themselves, and the distance between Father Desmond and the congregation grew smaller. After greeting each visitor, he went on to acknowledge members of the church who had made physical improvements on the church, celebrated the birth of children or grandchildren, and recently recovered from injury or illness. I was in awe that he knew these people by name, but realized that this was his flock. He was accountable for them and to them and it was apparent in his compassion and concern for each of them.
    After the service, Father Desmond took pictures with visitors and autographed books. Then those who were able, including Father Desmond, walked a block down the street to a cafe for breakfast. Every Friday that he is in Cape Town, Archbishop Desmond Tutu walks out his faith in just this way. He has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and is known and esteemed internationally, yet I experienced him as the most humble, peaceful human being I have ever encountered. What a blessing he has been to the nation of South Africa and to the world. I am grateful to have had this experience, especially on my last day in Cape Town.
    On District Six Museum and Slave Lodge
    Cape Town has several museums, two of which chronicle dark times in South Africa's past. The District Six Museum focuses on the forced removal of thousands from their homes during apartheid. It is located in a church downtown and poignantly details the lives of individuals and families who were affected by the {IMG_6862.JPG} Group Areas Act in Cape Town. It stands as a reminder of the devastating effect that systemic racism can have, but as as a pillar of hope for the future. Efforts to provide some sort of reparations for those forced to leave their homes in District Six are in the works. However, the process is long and emotionally arduous for many. In order to attempt to repair the wrongdoings of the past, may will have to re-live the trauma of losing their homes and their livelihood. The District Six Museum powerfully illustrates this challenge as personal stories and possessions of families from the area are included in the museum's exhibits. There is also a collection of poetic offerings that provide inspiration for future generations.
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    The Slave Lodge has served many purposes over the centuries, but was originally built to house slaves brought to Cape Town from Asia and the other parts of Africa. Although its focus is on the history of slavery in South Africa, it also includes exhibits about the anti-apartheid protests, music, clothing and textile industries, and prominent female leaders in South Africa. It also raises awareness of the current global issues of human trafficking and the recruitment of child soldiers.
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    The most moving part of the Slave Lodge for me was a small space made to replicate the bowels of a slave ship. It was dark and unwelcoming and although it included no representations of physical bodies, there were ropes and chains strategically placed to remind all visitors of the bondage experienced by those forced to come to Cape Town to labor. As I stepped into this area of the museum, I heard the voice of a woman reciting a poem.

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