Ah, it is SO wonderful to have fast, FREE internet!  Seriously, I thought I was going to lose it the other day at our house.  It seems that we’re in the middle of an internet hole on our block – if you literally head a block in either direction supposedly the coverage is better, but we are back in the stone ages in our little cottage.  We bought this fancy 3G pay as you go modem (that is pretty high-tech here), but we get about 56kbs on most days…ouch.

I’m up in Johannesburg for a work meeting this week.  Work??  you might ask.  No, I haven’t gotten a new full-time job yet, and honestly am still not planning on it.  I’ve been trying (sort of half-heartedly) to set myself up as a consultant here, and was put in touch with this organization back in September.  They do a lot of high-level dialogues and consensus-building work on Zimbabwe issues, particularly trying to influence SA Government policy.  They’re also branching out into work in other parts of the region. 

I was brough on initially to help pull together a proposal, and have been helping out with writing policy papers, proposals, editing research papers, helping with strategic planning, etc. since then.  Its not rocket science, but it is interesting to learn about a new region (I’ve never worked at all on Southern Africa, so there is a lot to learn).  I’m also meeting a lot of interesting and important people, though usually I have to be told after meeting people just who exactly they are and why they are so important (like I said, I am pretty ignorant of the region still, and I am terrible at names!).  But its a good way to connect while keeping my feet in the work world and still having time to take classes, write, and generally explore all sorts of things.

It’s nice to be up in Joburg again.  I still have good memories of living up here after we left Sudan, and we have quite a few good friends here.  Summer is the rainy season in Joburg, unlike Cape Town where it is dry – there are massive thunderstorms in the afternoons, and everything is so green!  It’s great to be away from the wind in Cape Town, too, although we have had some pretty spectacular days lately.  And I’m sure I’ll get my fill of rain with Cape Town winter coming.  But there is nothing like a good summer storm – just the smell in the air and as the rain hits the hot sidewalks…mmmm.


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