It's raining in Joburg today. Not too heavy, but the rain brings thunder and lightning with it. It is making the phones unreliable, the traffic is snarled (although that might be a regular feature of Joburg and nothing to do with the rain). Feels like monsoon season at home. I've missed warm rain all the years I have stayed outside India. This brings back many wonderful memories.
Somehow tied up with those memories are reflections on the levels of poverty and need in this country. Again, just like home. I listened today to stories told by 18 and 20 year olds about how they planted kitchen gardens to feed the little kids they were teaching because the local merchants couldn't afford to donate anything to the feeding programs. Conditions here are desperate, and some of the conversations we have with people are wrenching. On the other hand, there is so much hope. It is inspiring to see these young people talk about building their country and "building a better South Africa" and really and truly trying to do something for their country instead of waiting to be helped. I wondered briefly whether this is what the 50s must have felt like in India. Sadly, none of my grandparents are around so that I can ask them.
I stood on my balcony for a long time watching the rain come down. I wonder, but I have no answers.