Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Funny Story

pretty cool picture, huh? that "little" baboon thought it was so smart and so clever. that bench is overlooking a gorgeous view of the ocean. it is at a place called "Simon's Town" on the Peninsula of Cape Town. apparently, baboons reside there.

this is what is so interesting about Cape Town. it is a pretty major city. great downtown. lots of buildings. lots of businesses. very metropolitan. very developed and industrialized. and then there are baboons. funny isn't it?

so my brother in law (actually, my sister in law's husband) and i were stay with my wife's aunt in Cape Town. she lives in an area called Clovelly. she is a tour guide by profession and loves to show people around. so one saturday she took us to see the South African Penguins and the Cape of Good Hope. after we left the penguins, we drove through Simon's Town where we saw all these baboons running around. so we pulled in front of a parked car, and my wife's aunt pulled in front of us. we are sitting there for a moment, when we see a HUGE alpha male baboon run to the car behind us, open the door, and jump in. luckily, there was no one in the car. so big guy baboon grabs what must be a back of food for a picnic and drops it outside the car where girlfriend and baby baboon come over and start eating. big guy baboon wasn't going anywhere. he was enjoying the back seat of the car. so my aunt goes up to the owner of the car and tells him to take off his belt and wave it around because it'll look like a snake and baboons are terrified of snakes. so he went to the back window and took off his belt and shook it around. sure enough - in a second, the baboon flipped out, and took off out of the car.

this is where it gets very interesting. because the only thing we can figure out, is that the baboon "knew" my aunt had told the guy how to scare him out. as soon as the baboon got out of the car it took off straight for my aunt. and it was at that moment, my aunt describes, that the baboon made eye contact with her for a split second. and so the baboon charged at her to attack her. my aunt turned around to run away, and as she did so, the baboon jumped at her. luckily, her moment was moving away from the baboon, so he did not knock her over. but he scratched her across the back. she is lucky she turned around, because if she had been face forward, it would have indicated an aggressive, attack position, and it could have been deadly. baboons have massive fangs for teeth. they are huge.

lucky she got away with only a few scratches. but this all happened in about .5 seconds. from the time the baboon saw the belt to the time he attached my aunt and ran away. it was insane! it happened so fast i wasn't sure it really took place.

Africa provides such wonderful stories!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Perspective Is Everything

one of my favorite things to say is, "perspective is everything." i believe it completely. i truly believe that perspective IS everything. perspective explains what your world view is. your world view is an indication of your heart - what matters and what doesn't matter.

and that is the reason why we have issues. isn't it? you see things up. i see things down. we see things differently. "A" is really important to you. therefore, you see things this way. well, "B" is really important to me. that is why i think you are wrong and i am right. because "B" is so important, it only makes sense, that my point of view is correct. because i am going to make decisions based upon my values. what i deem to be worth while, i put my energy towards. this is very simple. it can also be subconscious. i think sometimes we don't realize that when we make decisions - an attitude for example - we are really expressing our beliefs, our world view - our perspective. and that is why i believe what i do. perspective is everything.

cape town is such an interesting city. i wrote yesterday how it is "Heavenly." i believe it is. it is sensational. perhaps one of the best places on earth. but what makes it so interesting, is NOT just the fact that it is an amazing place. cape town is a world wide tourist destination. hollywood stars are flocking there. while i was visiting, matt damon was living there, and apparently oprah winfrey was throwing a party there too (not sure if the latter is true :-). but while it is a place of riches and beauty, it is also a place of poverty, abuse, sin, and need. and when i say poverty and poor - i mean it. i am talking about people in desperate, desperate, need.

and what is MOST interesting, is the gap between the two. cape town is a place of extremes. i saw very very little middle class. it was extreme riches and extreme poverty. this is very different than the make up of the states - which has the majority in the "middle class" range. it really felt like you were either rich or poor there. and the poor are very very poor.

but it was perspective that impacted me. we stayed in Hout Bay (a nice, wealthy, affluent community) and drove to Khayelitsha (a poor, massive township) several times during the trip. it was in Khayelitsha when it dawned on me how important perspective was. that is where i caught this image. this is a picture of happy little kids running around and playing with each other. they were enjoying one another and rolling their tires all over the place having a ball. i asked the kids to quickly gather together so i could get their photo. because i wanted everyone to see it. these kids live in a community of extreme poverty. but the smiles on their faces and their cheerful presence shows what they value: one another.

americans could learn a lot from these kids. where is our perspective in the middle of this terrible "recession?" how many of us are really about to be homeless? do we not have enough stuff to sell to make ends meet? do we not have enough family and friends to care for us in need? does this all even matter? i mean, really? what is your perspective? are you really in need? what matters to you?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back In The States

i am back. i spent about two weeks in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. it is simply wonderful there. beautiful beaches. bright and fun downtown. a gorgeous waterfront. huge mountains. animals. the ocean.

it is very close to what i think Heaven will be like.

over the next few weeks, you'll be going on a little adventure with me. i want to relive my South African experience with you - with pictures and stories and lessons learned while i was there. minute by minute, and day after day, i had moments like this little girl. times when i was caught up in the moment and overjoyed by what God was doing in that city, country, and people. i am so excited to tell you all about it - and for you to get to see all that i saw while i was away.

it is good to be back. hope all is well.