Monday, April 7, 2008


There has been drama at home. The brothel that borders our back yard on a parallel street was connected to a murder. Anna says that when the police raided it, perhaps they switched illegal activities. Anyway, the murderers were in that neighboring house (though they got the victim in another part of Cape Town). So they place had tons of police forensically investigating the scene of the murderers’ home or HQ to get evidence to indict them. My roommate Ryan may not have heard about it because when we were talking about it he wasn’t there.

Because I don’t see Ryan much, when he invited me to hang out with him I decided to do so. He and his friends went to a place called Galaxy Friday night and I joined. It’s a place for young people to hang out at night. Often times they have music playing or a DJ. They may even have live music. It’s just like any place in the states. South Africans seem to know American songs even better than Americans. It’s in the Cape Flats (that tough neighborhood I’ve mentioned before), so most of the people were coloured. Even the black people were coloured (I wonder if you understand that comment, but I got fooled many times). I was the only black black person there (well one of the only few).

I eventually went upstairs and fell asleep on a couch. I was woken up by a phone call saying they were outside.

Saturday Ryan and his friends went to Mzoli’s. It’s a famous meat place in a township named Gugulethu. Jeannie and Haley have gone there though I bet Jeannie didn’t eat the meat. But she might be one of those down-low carnivores. I’m currently an undercover vegetarian (if someone is reporting what they read here to my mom, that means I DO eat meat. Thank you very much). Anyway, I had a leader’s breakfast at church with Michael Ramsden, a world famous apologetic professor/philosopher. He’s from the UK. He’s friends with Ravi Zacharias (Ramsden works for the Zacharias Trust and is a lecturer in Oxford at Wycliffe Hall). He did (spoke at) a ticketed supper (you had to pay for the food) on Wednesday, a Saturday morning leader’s breakfast, and Sunday morning and Sunday night service at church. It was good, and I enjoyed it, though he speaks extremely quickly. I wonder if you know.

Next, my church is bringing David Brock, a world-famous astronomer. The cool thing is that he is actually a professor of computational and applied mathematics. But he’s called an astronomer. It’s like some of my earliest e-mails when I was answering people’s question of why I can do medical research or chemical work or civil work or really most things. And here is a guy with a founding in computational and applied mathematics (similar to part of my background) who applies it to astronomy. Louis Giglio used David’s pictures for his DVD message entitled “Indescribable” which uses Chris Tomlin’s song. This video is very big in South African (Christian circles at least). So people are excited to meet the scientist who gave Louis the pictures. In fact, the kids that I work with will be in “big” church (instead of children’s church) to listen and see the cool pictures and hear the cool talk.

I actually love my church, did I tell you? We have a legal clinic, a health clinic, a women’s program, a sewing project in the township, a “think twice” program with teens and sex, a HIV/AIDS and pregnancy counseling program (me!), etc. It goes on and on. They are in the community, and it’s not because the programs are set up and so people just fill in. Those programs are there because of the hearts of the people in that community (Jubilee Community Center is the name of the church) who started those programs from nothing. And new ones are still starting.

I told you that I went to the students and 20’s camp. Well, I was just asked to go to the Blitz (Grades 4-7 group at my church) camp. They are also getting ready to transfer the HIV/AIDS counseling to Jubilee (it happens somewhere else) and staff it with Jubilee members. So they are trying to get people (especially guys; we need guys) to take these two counseling courses which certify you to do the work. The first is 4 straight full days. The second is every Wednesday from the end of April through early/mid August (save a few Wednesdays in July). Both present problems for me because of teaching and TA duties. So I’m trying to get around it. You have to have daytime availability to work/volunteer during the day. I’m SUPER excited about it, even if I can’t do it. You see, primarily I don’t see myself here doing work at the University. I see my holistic contribution to the SA community I have been placed. And this is a HUGE part of it. Moreover, I get to mingle the social and scientific work on AIDS. That is a beautiful relation, so that the science isn’t removed from the society. And honestly we just need it. I love my church.

I also love how the pastor (we are around the same age) has a heart that follows God. He actually has us pray for the plight of people, especially Zimbabwe. He has a special place for Zimbabwe.

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