It’s been an interesting couple of months. My October and November were particularly fraught with hassles, some of which were side effects of living in a big city while others were simply bad luck. December, so far, has been looking brighter. The weather has been fabulous, I’m going stateside next week for an entire month, and my end-of-year class schedule has been simultaneously relaxed and productive. This afternoon, however, threw me for a loop. I returned from running some errands, turned on my computer, and learned that one of my personal heroes, Nelson Mandela, had died.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see it coming. Mr. Mandela was plagued with recurring health problems for much of the year. Still, he looked great, and life in post-Apartheid South Africa was good to him. He was 95.
I had the privilege of touring his former home with a friend of mine when we visited South Africa in 2009. Two of his former homes, actually – although only one was resided in by Mandela out of choice. For the former, I’m talking about his house-turned-museum in Soweto, near Johannesburg. For the latter, I’m talking about his tiny prison cell on Robben Island, near Cape Town.