TRAVEL ABROAD 1994
Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
Towards the end of my final year at school in 1993, and about to start my matric finals...my mother and father approached me and asked what I would like to do the following year...1994 ?Having this option given to you by ones parents is a real privilege that, to this very day, I am very grateful for. While my father and I were in agreement that I would end up at university soon enough, what worked nicely for the country and for me, personally, was the release of Mandela and the unbanning of the ANC in the early 90's. This lead to the abandonment by the government of obligatory military conscription in September 1993 - after I had already received my military papers to report to a camp in the (Orange) Free State.(amazingly, all three men in my family - born between 1942 and 1975 - did not do a day of military service for the APARTHEID government)" AD, would you prefer to take a year off before university ? " my father asked...followed by a big smile from my mom and the most sincerest and loving message I treasure to this day : ''we would love it if you decided to spend some time in Europe.'' Young South Africans between the years of 1970 and the turn of the century were almost obligated to 'go see the world and become adults' but return ready for adult life in the country. I think this tradition has a lot to do with our colonial background as MOST started (and some remained) in the U.K. In hindsight, in the early nineties, I also think that with an unknown future in the country as the ANC looked set to take control of the country in the elections of 1994, many parents did not want us to witness the new SA.My destination did somewhat shock my father, but when I advised my mother that I wanted to start my adult life in a completely unexpected place, she simply embraced me with shared excitement. Why did I choose to start my year in Israel ? The easy answer was because I had really got friendly with many of the Port Elizabeth kids in our suburb of Walmer, as the main Jewish school, Theodore Herzil was very close to our house in Short Road.having many conversations with these Jewish teenagers, I was intrigued by the idea of the kibbutz and the communal living, which, while growing up at the end of the COLD WAR, challenged my thinking and opinions of a communist type lifestyle. Growing up, we were constantly feed with the belief that COMMUNISTS WERE THE ENEMY.