Johannesburg has been “home” now for 4.5 years.
When friends and family visit from abroad, they ask me lots of questions and I attempt to answer them. They wonder what it is like living behind big walls and electric fences, if the crime is really as bad as it is reported to be and if I am scared to walk down the street in broad daylight.
I show them the little bottle of pepper spray attached to my keychain and share with them my attempt to be victorious over the prevailing fear-based mentality.
And sometimes I answer, “Yes”.
They ask about apartheid and what has come after. They point and exclaim when they spot an African woman carrying her groceries down a busy street on top of her head and look to me for answers when they see a black woman following a white woman in the supermarket, pushing her shopping trolly. I ask them if they have seen the movie “The Help”. They try and wrap their heads around the SUV’s zooming past the Alexandra township.
I am an American, I am an Israeli and now my passport is stamped with a “married to a South African”. I am an expat, I am a global citizen. I am a wife and a mother. I am a international development specialist with a passion for the social economy, job creation and innovation in Africa.
The newly formed Republic of South Africa (RSA) is only 20 years old-on the verge of becoming a legal adult in the USA. I am bearing witness to her evolution, and to my own.
And in this journey there are many stories to tell and even more life lessons to be gleaned. Stories about what it means to be human, what it means to be one of the colours of the rainbow of this nation.
This blog is my attempt to share more, go deeper into my experiences down this very peculiar rabbit hole.