OK, girls. Although I'm getting pretty homesick these days, I will miss many things about South Africa. I know I've written this before, but it bears repeating -- I truly love the people here. No matter how hard their lives are, no matter what they're doing, they always seem to have a smile for you. They are the fastest-smiling people I've ever known, a skill we seem to have lost amid the mad scramble that has become our North American lives. Sure, I won't miss the dust or the smog or the nighttime smoke from the veld fires. I will miss the response "Pleasure" to "Thank you" (said in an Eartha Kitt voice). I will miss someone answering the phone with "Fine and you?" instead of "Hello." I will miss the easygoing nature, the fluid schedules, the lack of clocks and paucity of TV. Africa is called the cradle of civilization; I know now that you can go home again.
Hug your mom for me.