Postcards from Around the Globe
Day 7: Sunday, May 24, 2009
Eric Vickers - Sunday was wonderful! Our day did not begin until noon when we had to meet downstairs to leave for Clayton’s future in-laws’ house to dedicate his young son, Dalu. We wore business casual clothing out of respect for the service that Dr. Fuker was going to preside over. We spent much of the time joyfully meeting Clayton’s family and helping place the final touches for what would be an event to remember for a lifetime. We were also able to engage in meaningful conversation and exchange ideas. Personally, I spoke with Clayton’s future father-in-law who owned the beautiful home and the store where we stocked up on snacks. In a grandfather-like manner, he recalled the difficult days of apartheid and compared it to the civil rights movement. He said, “In America, 20 percent of the people (blacks) were fighting for civil rights against 80 percent of the population (whites). But in South Africa, 80 percent of the population (blacks) was fighting 20 percent (whites) for what was already theirs.”
Tremaine McGregor ’09 - I found the most interesting conversations were had among Clayton's father and Wallace. Clayton's father spoke about his skepticism concerning the new government because of historical instances of corrupt leadership even in this most recent election. He thought that one of the sources of this problem was overly complex government structures. The issue of xenophobia is brought to our attention during Mr. Lillienfeldt's discussion about Zimbabweans. He says that over 60 percent of citizens from Zimbabwe are located in South Africa (he may be exaggerating to a point) and that they are taking jobs away from natives. If he had his way, he said that Botswana would be an ideal choice for him to move to, outside of South Africa. That is because of the stability of the economic and political structure there, as well as the health of its currency in comparison to the rand. He also spoke about the World Cup coming to South Africa and what that means for the country. He said that four other large sports events were scheduled in the next few years to be set in South Africa, and that he was optimistic for the short-term future of the country. Furthermore, he said that the reason for the international attention in their country regarding sports is because of the world-class training facilities developed during Apartheid, and recently upgraded in preparation for the near-future.
Wallace spoke about alcohol use and how it correlates with socio-economic status, specifically, how alcohol-related problems are more prevalent among blacks than whites, despite the higher alcohol consumption levels of whites. We also discussed the importance of knowing other cultures and realizing that beyond our unique challenges.
Today was a very good and relaxing day -- a day of congregation and celebration for a job well done and one that brings closure to one chapter of our journey and the beginning to the next chapter. We had fun, touched lives, met friends, became family, and set the stage for great things to occur in the futures of both the lives of me and my Morehouse brothers, and those of the inhabitants of this great and diverse land.
On an additional note, Adam approached me today. He stated that an initiative was being set in motion that had to do with nurturing a relationship between Morehouse College and Teboho Trust. He said that there was a need for black male representation to be implemented into its program. In addition, he asked if I were interested in being a part of this program. Being the Morehouse Man, and remembering the assignment presented to me at the U.S. Embassy by Dr. King, I may become a part of the initiative as well as communicating with my fellow alumni concerning this new program and possibly helping to fund it.