When did you arrive? When are you leaving?

The weekend comes early around these parts, and by Thursday evening we were ready to explore the town.  After a long week of databasing and documenting four days’ worth of condition reports (we learned from the previous week’s encounter with Computersaurus Rex and luckily brought our own laptops with us), we met up with Francoise at the Greatmore Studio in Observatory. Francoise is an artist from France whose work was featured in the Rendez-vous 12 exhibit at the National Gallery.

Upon arriving, we were invited into the studio of a painter named Bongwana.  His work was political and surreal, and many of his pieces were his artistic responses to the current violence plaguing Palestine.  Though each wall was adorned with mind-blowing art, my favorite pieces were done by a woman from Barbados named Roberta Whittle.  For one series, she had torn out pages from the National Geographics and watercolored the words When did you arrive? and When are you leaving? and Outsiders welcome over them. While talking with her, she explained her work as personifications of her feelings as a foreigner in Cape Town, as well as the many other cities she has had studio residences in.

Though a nickel for each time we’ve been asked these same questions by strangers at cafes and new South African friends would surely pay for our airfare home, every one of these individuals has been nothing but welcoming and accepting of us regardless of our Midwestern accents and descent.

So, in answer to Roberta’s – and everyone else’s for that matter – questions:

We arrived on June 22nd and we will be leaving on August 5th.  This time around, that is.

But we will be back.

We will definitely be back.

(In other news: Selina and I went to dinner with Rehanna and a group of her friends on Saturday in Claremont. Apparently fried pineapple in burritos is a thing here. Also, we are babysitting for Maya again on Thursday. Jim made mention of more pizza and cable. We sure are spoiled over here… )

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One thought on “When did you arrive? When are you leaving?

  1. Fried pineapples sound delicious.

    That feeling of arriving and leaving is such a strange one, especially when you’re in a place long enough to feel that you’ve really been there. But you’re right, you’ll be back. It’s hard to go to South Africa just once.

    What’s in store for the final week?

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