Since my last post the world has changed, again. I finally turned off the TV with its endless telling of Paris stories that were no longer news. We are all so connected to France that the list of people who could have made the wrong choice that night is endless. It reminds me that ‘making the world safe and secure’ is a relic of the past. In fact, one wonders whether we, in our fragile bodies, could ever be totally safe and secure.

Here in Pretoria things are calm and some would say, almost sleepy. But I know such things can change on a dime. I am not going to worry about that as it would make no difference whatsoever.

I designed and facilitated the last meeting of Board and senior SA staff to focus on the most critical challenges they have to deal with in the next few months, and we ended with a round of ‘what have I learned,’ giving everyone a last chance to speak out to the whole group. They are currently all in the air or have already landed.

After our goodbyes I had lunch with K and J who have married in the meantime and are in an exciting phase of their life. They dropped me off at a hair salon that is all but sleepy, with its loud thumping music, colorful hair dressers of both sexes (colorful in both dress and hair style), with mirrors everywhere. It is a frantic place. The massage of head and neck that comes with the washing before the cut is one of the attractions. Still, I was grateful my haircut was done quickly as I could only stand so much of that beat. As usual (I have been there a few times before) the cut was expertly done and very inexpensive, allowing for generous tipping.

I Facetimed with the Blisses and then with Axel to reconnect with home, finished my reports for my assignment in Madagascar and started to prepare for the next, a little outside Johannesburg. My colleagues for that assignment have arrived from DC and we enjoyed a nice meal together. Today is a half rest day and half workday. On Monday we are off to our retreat center.

This morning I read the newsletter from our Quaker group and the query for the month of November seems right on target:

Do you respect the worth of every human being as a child of God? Do you uphold the right of all persons to justice and human dignity? Do you endeavor to create political, social, and economic institutions which will sustain and enrich the life of all? Do you fulfill all civic obligations which are not contrary to divine leadings? Do you give spiritual and material support to those who suffer for conscience’s sake?

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November 2015
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