The "pencil test" decreed that if an individual could hold a pencil in their hair when they shook their head, they could not be classified as White.
William told us of this class defining technique from his childhood. The government had job positions for “pencil test operators”. These employees would go to the schools and if your hair could not hold a pencil you were considered white.
There were 3 classifications White, black or colored. This method of classification was stopped in 1990. William shared that the sales of blow dryers and flat irons sky rocketed in the 70’s as straightening your hair on pencil test day could effect your future and class status.
william, our guide, shook his head and said this method of classification was developed by the top minds in the country....
Learning every day...
while on Cape Point watching the sea birds I learned a valuable lesson about shit.
the sea birds lay their eggs in their Guano. Guano was a very important and harvested fertilizer transported by ships. This ‘bird shit’ is nutrient and ammonia rich.
When loading a ship with guano the instructions were ”Store High In Transit”. Hence, S.H.I.T
became the slang for guano.
how did I get to this age and only found this out now?
I’m sitting in a beautiful sunlit room over looking the Victoria Albert harbor in Cape Town South Africa. I hear my husband listening to South African videos behind me... he’s fact checking all the details we heard today on our tour.
It’s been an amazing 16 days. I’m overflowing with blog posts. And struggling between “what to take time to share” and “ what is just an insanely wonderful memory”.
I won’t lie. Listening to Martin linger and speak on the rich South African history made me smile. Hearing my husband interject facts and dates that challenged Martin.... well that was crazy impressive.
Me? I am not a historian. I was interested in botany, geography and the beautiful language being spoken on my left....
I got the LOOK. You know the LOOK. The one that says...don’t interrupt us...we are busy. These two beautiful men are bonded beyond the Red Sox Cap Mark toted from the states.
A stranger, an Indian woman from San Francisco asked if she could take my photo on Table Mountain....I was stunned... for 10 minutes I was part of a photo shoot...then a release was signed and I may end up in some San Francisco magazine about South Africa and retirees!
I’m going out on a limb.
I’m at the end of an amazing South African trip.
Our friend, Bea, who we met 5 years ago while doing a sunset voyage down the Zambezi river. I fell in love with her young son. Those who know and love me are not surprised that this friendship is secured by a child. Leander (Leo) is a wildly handsome young adult now. I won’t embarrass him by my musings.
His mum, Bea, However.... she made efforts to meet us whenever we we were on the continent... sometimes meeting us on a barge on a river in Amsterdam....
Bea and I have been friends for 5 years and she “gets” our craziness. This trip could not be more perfect for OUR 60th year. Both Mark and I are grateful we are still on the planet. Mark has lost siblings. I’ve been lucky.
But 60... is a gift. Relationships at 60 years of age is a story. Experiences at 60 years of age is history.
Today, a waitress from the bar at our hotel in Cape Town said “ thank you, mum, we appreciate your love for us”
It made me think, as I closed my hotel door....isn’t that what makes these 60 years what they’ve been have been all about?
APPRECIATING YOUR LOVE FOR US?
Please...if you do nothing else....appreciate your love for.........
its not wise to leave your windows open! The Baboons are very crafty in this area... they are however open to negotiations. If you carry a banana or an apple with you you stand a pretty good chance of getting your pocketbook, golf clubs, keys or wallet back from this crafty creature.
while walking around Hermanus if you see folks with random pieces of fruit...don’t assume it’s lunch! It could be baboon retardant!
no!!! It’s not from Africa!
This is my mother’s silver teaspoon. My friend Christine built this bracelet for me last Christmas. You see I have her my Mother’s 10 silver spoons. On 9 she imprinted “Blessed”. And on one she stamped “fierce”.
my nieces received one of mother’s spoons for Christmas last year...and I have not removed “Fierce” since it arrived!
Christine is a talented artisan. My mother was a fierce and powerful woman. Her silver lives on with her grands...whether they wear the bracelets or not... we are “fiercely blessed” by being her descendants...
but no...to those who asked... my bracelet is not an African Treasure.
thanks for noticing!