Where to Start…

It has been a week or so without internet and, while that isn’t a terribly long time, so much has happened that I am going to have trouble getting it all down. Bear with me.

On of my last days in Durban turned out to be a pleasant one when I ran into three awfully pale looking folks sporting San Diego sports apparel. I made some comment bidding them welcome and we hit it off wonderfully. After a few pleasantries they began asking what to do around town. I jumped at the opportunity to suggest an African reggae bar that was in far too dangerous a location to venture alone. They decided to go and I smoothly entered myself into their plans. We watched the match and arrived at Cool Runnings (ya, amazing right?). As we grabbed a a seat in what seemed to be a drum circle, we observed the happenings inside and discovered, it was a drum circle. About 40 bongos, congos, cajon’s, snares and whatever else you can imagine were brought in and distributed to everyone in the circle. We, the only white skinned amongst the growing crowd of nearly 100, casually positioned the drums between our legs and joined in 2 hours of what would likely be the most unforgettable rhythmic phenomena of my entire life.

The Southern Cali boys and I hit it off so well that the following day, when they suggested I join them in a road trip all over the country, there was not a moment’s hesitation.

We loaded the car and rolled out toward Rustenburg. One close call and one car accident later, we were beginning to feel an emotional wear and tear reminiscent to that of our vehicle. We pushed ever on and found a way to laugh about it. We had acquired 4 tickets to the USA match and pressed on without a clue of where to stay. Shirtless and painted, we cheered on our boys in their last match of the FIFA World Cup. Discouraged with the US loss but intrepid, we decided to go straight to Johannesburg and find tickets to the Mexico match. Going on little to no sleep we hauled over to Jo-burg and rooted on yet another losing nation (this trend would continue). After one more night’s sleep we arrived at the JHB Airport to pick up s0ccer tickets and a new rental car. I decided that it was time to say farewell and let the guys go on without me, back to Durban. They did their best to persuade me to continue on the journey but I could not be a charity case, for I had no more money and knew they would cover me. We shared some laughs and recollected some horrors and parted.

Unaware of what I would do next, I grabbed some food, sat down in the airport and counted my last 30 Rand. 30 Rand, for those who don’t know, is almost exactly 4 US dollars. There was a match in Cape Town I needed to get to but I had no means of making it there. I chuckled nervously to myself and began to wonder how I would get out of this one. It was about 2 in the morning back home so a call for funds was not feasible. I sat and waited for a miracle.

Said miracle arrived in the form of a man asking for some money to make a phone call. He seemed honest and I found solid irony in the request as I had just finished counting my last cents. I gave him 10 Rand and after the phone call he came and sat by me. Hours of chatting later I discovered he was on his way to Cape Town but his boss (who I would later discover to be an amazing pastor and humanitarian) was having trouble booking the ticket remotely and Doole did not know how to go about doing it. I told him of my quandary and without further discussion he got back on the phone. A few moments passed and Doole, my new friend from Ghana, returned smiling and said, “My boss would like to bring you to Cape Town.” In exchange for helping Doole book the fare and helping him with his luggage (and inevitably keeping the sinister beggars at bay), Barry would pay for both of our tickets via Doole. With his financial connections, he enabled me to get from here to there.

I found ever more irony in the fact that a US native would arrive at an airport in South Africa to meet a Ghana native on the day of his arrival and travel together that very day, and all of this just 2 days after Ghana knocked the US out of the World Cup…

I found great pleasure in the questions from the locals who observed our jovial intercourse such as, “How long have you known each other?” or “Are you guys from around here?”. It was my pleasure to inform them that the duration of our friendship could be counted in hours on one hand.

The following night I would watch a great Portugal match (albeit, another loss), check out the Cape Town nightlife and rest my head in the house of Doole’s boss/pastor/mentor/friend, Barry. Quite a birthday if I do say so myself.

With Portugal losing I have lost interest in this great tournament and while I will still watch every match on the television, I have no intention of attending any more matches live (5 in 5 different cities will suffice). Within the next day or two I will make the great journey back to Johannesburg, where my soon-to-be great friend William and City Life Church await me. It is time to put the coast behind me and let the wind rush me to the last leg of my journey. Three weeks remain in my African journey. Three weeks is plenty of time to change the world eh?

Published in: on 30/06/2010 at 2:52 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You are having the adventure of a lifetime. I loved reading about all of your divine encounters!

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