As I was writing my last blog, Matt just called Scott to see whats up. We found out that Scott is locked in his room and can not get out. One of our family members has the key and I think they will be away for a while. I joked that "Scott is under house arrest". We all laughed with Scott because it was a very funny for us. Its part of our larger bonding experiences here in Cape Town. Its part of our Ubuntu!
Recently in Edmond Ngeh Category
I have really enjoyed my experiences volunteering at African Tikkun within the townships. The gardening work we did was great though the some sharp plants poked my finger while we were trying to clear it for farming and vegetation. The poke in my finger felt like needles were stuck in my finger or something. It was not a very pleasant feeling until once it was removed. I was also very surprised to see little sharp glasses within the soil. I think that will be something that i will need to research about. There must be a reason why little sharp glasses were found on the soil that would be used for vegetation. We went to visit a clinic nearby in the Township area in a hot day. I can recall fainting towards the end of the visit at the hospital besides that, I can not recall much. It lasted only for a few minutes before i got up and found a lot of people surrounding me. i was shocked to find so much people and i also smiled to the patients and some of my other classmates that were in the room the moment i had fainted. I am very lucky to have such great people and fun people that i have come to call family, friends, and the like. From this incident, i learned what ubuntu is from experiencing it as it happened to me. Next, we played with the children at daycare. I enjoyed making the kids laugh, play, and have fun. I was very lucky to still had enough energy to play with them for three to five hours with them and my south Africa experience family. I also bonded very well with the little kids there. The last thing we did was to go to the different township homes and listen to its resident's stories and how we came to be in the state they were in. This so much reminds me of back in the states where many stories and experiences still need to be heard. We have learned that change starts in the individual bases, not with the society.
I enjoyed going to Table Mountain yesterday. i enjoyed riding the cable carts up to the very top of the mountain. It was scary at times moving up, not because i was afraid of falling off but because i did not want to lose my things. I did not like how packed it was inside the cable cart because i could easily lose somethings. if i was not careful, i would lose my U.S. cell phone that i was using for taking photos and videos of the journey. i definitely did not want to lose my cell phone because it had a lot of pictures there and i had personalized the phone. Once we got up to the mountain top, we were welcomed by a very big open land that was filled with rocks, grass, small shops, and tourist guides. When i walked down the rocky paths, i found a set of black-colored birds. They were the only sets of animals that we found up there besides us, human beings, and a couple of flies or bees. They were seating in groups of 4 to 5 at the edge of 'the mountain we were on. I closely and slowly tried to sneak past the grasses that was surrounding the spot that they were at to take few very good photos. Because i was not very successful, i moved on to record videos of these birds. with my cell phone, i captured the birds flying around the mountain valleys and they even flew over me a couple of times.
At the EducoAfrica retreat, the question of what is the meaning of life came to me and the other students. i have always looked for answers about life's most difficult questions. Sometimes I am compounded with a lot questions that just can not be answered. it is a very difficult lesson for me to learn and understanding because deep in my human soul, i feel the need to answer them. As a philosopher, I ask questions. As a scientist, I look for logically realistic answers to many of philosophical difficult questions. From the retreat, i have come to understand what seems to be the meaning of life. We had shared our personal stories, experiences, and confusions that we have about our reality. The reality that we are told to not question but i ask, for what reason. We are afraid of the unknown, the strange, the foreign, and ways of knowing that differs from us. By going to South Africa, we have come to challenge this notion and the false ideas that our western developed society has made us believed. For me, I believe that the meaning of life is the pain, struggles, anger, suffering, and the pleasures gotten from the feelings of accomplishing something that we had so loudly striven for. It is an ugly picture of the world and our reality but seems to be what makes human beings still exist. However, human beings have a way of rising up to the occasion and fulfilling their unique purposes in life.
I forgot to add that seeing that the Bantu languages came from this area, it is a reason for me to be very excited to go. While, I was in Cameroon, I learned how to speak one of hundreds languages from there. The other language that I can speak is a Semi-Bantu language. Those who migrated from South Africa brought the Bantu language to Cameroon. Also, in school, i learned that the tectonic plates that moved the different continents to be where they are today can be traced back in the mountain regions of South Africa. I know that we will be going inside one of this mountain, so I am very excited to see and experience this.
There are many reasons for why I am going to South Africa. One of them is that I have always known about South Africa 's struggles and achievements since I was very little. Yes, I have watched Shaka Zulu and Sarafina when I was about eight years old. I learned a lot about the great African kingdoms such as the Zulus and how South Africa was settled and colonized in the late 19th century. At the same time, i learned about the Aparheid system and the racial division that accord from 1948 to 1990. In Sarafina, the college students were protesting for Nelson Mandela to be freed and a lot of riots took place. Students were gased, beaten, jailed, and burned. By going to South Africa, I will be able to stand on the soil that all that history took place. As a Cameroonian-American, I can't wait to share and listen to my African brothers and sisters in South Africa. This would be the second time that I have ever gone to the African soil. The last time was when I went to Cameroon at close to two years old and returned eight years later. This experience has transformed me to the person i am today. For me, this also serves as a return to the African continent. I am also interested how they have dealt with forgiveness which is still an issue in the United States and how they dealt with identity which is very relevant to who I am. I hope that by going to South Africa will able to find understand better the questions and issues that i have had to deal with.