Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Out of Africa

I've been traveling a lot lately.  And by "a lot" I mean "enough to circle the Earth twice, just in the last four months."  Take that, Phileas Fogg!

My latest exploits have taken me to the ICSE 2010 conference in Cape Town, South Africa.  The journey was long, though relatively uneventful, and while I enjoy flying, spending two consecutive nights on airplanes (in economy) is just a bit much.  The weather the week of the conference was rather dreary, but I did manage to get to the top of Table Mountain during one of the rare clear periods (picture below).

South Africa itself was a bit of an enigma.  Having lived in some rough areas of the US, I'd have to say that it was just a couple of notches rougher, and on a much larger scale.  And yet, going to places like Robben Island, or some of the other museums made it feel that South Africans have addressed problems that we are still facing in the United States.

The highlight of the trip wasn't actually in Cape Town: it was in Johannesburg, where I stopped for a couple of days to visit some friends.  Ten years ago, I served in Los Angeles as a volunteer missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The mature couple assigned to supervise the missionaries in that area ten years ago, has now been assigned to be in charge of training perspective missionaries in the Church's Johannesburg Missionary Training Center.  Compared to the MTC in Provo, Utah, this one is tiny: only 19 missionaries the week I was there.  But the experience was a good one, and I'm glad I could be there.

1 comment:

Sally said...

Wow, that's so interesting about Robben Island. I hope we can hear more about your trip to S. Africa sometime! :)