Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Today was the second day of the Baha'i Fast... a good day. We have had so much rain that most things were getting mouldy and muddy... but today was great. Sunny, blue skies and perfect clouds. The river by the house is in flood and is roaring away. Decided to work at home... opened all the windows and just let the fresh air do its work.

I wrote at least a dozen letters today.. and solve a dozen little problems at work. And my son, Sabelo phoned out of the blue... he recently moved to Cape Town (about 3 months ago) to take up a fantastic job in the provincial government; his first real job since completing varsity a year ago. It was nice to know that he was missing home.

Tomorrow is a Durban day... attending for the first time as a member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Agriculture of the Mangosutho University of Technology. Should be interesting... one of my former students in lecturing there. Cool fellow named Malose.

About the Fast... each year, Baha'is fast (no food or drink) from sunrise to sunset for 19 days, 2-20 March. It is a wonderful time to reassess and recharge while on your feet. It 'forces' you into a pattern of early rising and gentle living. Helps you to refocus on that which is really of value in life and to get a perspective on the world about us. It is one of my favourite times of year. Each year I try to read through a particular Baha'i book during the Fast. This year is a small compilation of the Writings of Baha'u'llah about the Station of the Manifestion of God. So far I am enjoying the clarity it brings. The picture is a nighttime view of the entrance to the Shrine of Baha'u'llah near Akka in the Holy Land. My family and I were recently there on pilgrimage.. the photo is mine.

I am looking at the clock and see that it is nearly 1 am and I must be up at 430am... so for now

sala kahle

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Getting started

So finally I have gotten a "round-tuit" and started my blog...
This is my 30th year in Africa... having arrived in October of 1979. Hence the name of the blog. You will see I sign off as "Farmboy" -- my nickname from my wife ('cause that's more or less what I was when we met)

I have spent most of it South Africa (including 17 years in the erstwhile Bophuthatswana) but have had a number of forays into other parts of this great continent.

Today is 1 March 2009. It is the last day of the Baha'i gift-giving period: Ayyam-i-Ha (Ah-yom-ee-ha). Tomorrow we start our Fast and the last month of the Baha'i year... and it seems to be a good day to start a new sort of venture.

I have no idea at this point what shape The African Wayfarer will take, but then, I suppose that's the point of wayfaring... having a basic plan in mind but looking forward to the unseen around the next bend or over the next hill.

My wayfaring has been driven by my affiliation to the Faith of Baha'u'llah (the Baha'i Faith). Hindsight confirms the rational wisdom of this otherwise wholly spiritually driven life choice. And it is with no small measure of wonder and gratitude that in a time and a continent beset with such difficulties that there is a general serenity in my life (which includes the chaos of a house in constant motion).

I was taught to be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity. Neither have needed to learn too well.. my wife is most generous with my prosperity...and I haven't quite figured out what adversity is... for by comparison to the lives endured by so many (including many who have passed over my threshold) my life is a proverbial 'walk in the park.'
Today we will be in Mpophomeni (ignore the h) to watch a play called "Roots of My Hope" written and directed by my daughter, Kiara. She has been working with a group of youth (mostly Zulu and South African 'coloured') for the last 2 years. They have been using community theatre and drama to identify and discuss some very tough social issues... violence, child-headed households, drugs, sex, education in a failing system. One result is this play. I saw it yesterday. It was amazing (like most everything Kiara does).
After the play we have a party for the Baha'i children.. a favourite annual event in our community.
Sala Kahle