This year will be an exciting year. My kids each start a new school, my husband shifts to new roles at work, I start teaching at Wheaton College as a visiting professor (commuting 2.5 hours each way for a few days a week), and, Lord-willing, I knock out that PhD. These are all good things, … [Read more]
I’ve been back in the United States for over two weeks now, and South Africa is starting to feel like a million miles away (as opposed to just the 8,762 miles it is). Fortunately I have Facebook and WhatsApp to keep in touch with lots of people. But more than just remembering people, I want … [Read more]
On this, my family’s last night in South Africa after a 10-month stay, I’m offering this self-indulgent post telling just a few of the things I will miss most about this wonderful country. People switching languages multiple times in a single sentence. Going jogging with dogs that are never on leashes. Mist rising out of … [Read more]
Searching through old files on my computer, I discovered this post I had written over a year ago while on a vacation and never posted. Enjoy. “Time for fun should be part of family living. And it should be jealously preserved. The attitude of levity is extremely important to the psychological health of the family.” … [Read more]
I just read this description of a scientist doing field research in the 1800s: “Wallace plunged into the jungles along the Rio Negro and spent the next four years doggedly collecting specimens. The challenges he faced were numberless. Insects made his life a torment. He broke his glasses, on which he was highly dependent, during … [Read more]
As I live in South Africa, perhaps the most race-aware country in the world, hearing bits of Ferguson-talk from a distance, I can’t help hoping that perhaps, on the bright side of all this, race is actually a gift if we learn read its lesson. The whole idea of “race” is an invention, one of … [Read more]
For the last four months, I’ve sat with dozens of underemployed South Africans talking about work. We talk about the work they dream of doing and the way the world works to keep them from getting that work. I am ever more aware of the very privileged position I have when it comes to work. … [Read more]
Doing life badly, like swimming badly, hurts badly. But it’s easier to check out than fix what causes the hurt.