26 September 2011

Teaching in South Africa, part 4

Monday, 19 September, was a unique experience. I had traveled all this way to teach seminary students on "Teaching the Catechism," but after my first two days of teaching I was "treated" to a three-day weekend. Due to re-scheduling of other classes already in progress, the powers that be did not give me class time on my first Monday here. So, since it was a free day, I decided to go for a long walk around Pretoria.

My first stop was to be the Pretoria Art Museum just a couple of blocks west from the seminary. However, they are closed on Mondays, so I had to move in my "walk about" journey.
From the Art Museum grounds I headed north to the Union Buildings. What a spectacular sight. The Union Buildings sit atop a hill overlooking much of Pretoria and house the administrative government offices for South Africa. They are named "Union Buildings" because "the two wings symbolised the union of the 'two races' in South Africa: the English speakers and the Afrikaners" (New History of South Africa, 233). The twin towers represent the two races and the central amphitheatre brings them together in harmony.

The Union Buildings sit on some wonderfully landscape grounds. As it is only early Spring here in the southern hemisphere, not many of the flowers and plants have bloomed fully, but it was still a beautiful sight to behold.

From the Union Building one can see a wide panorama of Pretoria. Yes, it is quite the modern city as you can see from this picture of downtown Pretoria.

The next stop on my Monday journey to Pretoria sights would be the Paul Kruger Statue in Church Square. Since this place shows up in the travel brochures, both online and print, I wanted to check it out. As I understand it Paul Kruger was something of the "George Washington" of  South Africa in that he both worked for Afrikaner independence from Europe and served as President of ZAR (the Republic of South Africa). The journey took a good while and it was quite the hike following Church (Kerk) Street toward downtown. Once there at Church Square, I took some pictures of the Paul Kruger Statue and the two old and beautiful buildings that used to used for official South African government business. After a bite of lunch that I carried with me, I began the journey back toward Hatfield, where the seminary is.

After a quick stop at Woolworth's to pick up some Coca-Cola and a snack (large Kit-Kat bar, if you really must know :-), then I walked past a park (sorry, I forget the name right now) which looks like it will be gorgeous once the plant life blooms in a few weeks.

To finish the journey I came past St. Paul's German Lutheran Church which lies just a block and a half east of the seminary.

After my three-hour walk around Pretoria, the afternoon provided a great time to rest, relax, and get read for Tuesday's teaching load of three class sessions, all before 12:00 noon (or as they note time in South Africa: 12h00).

Monday evening brought a very delightful evening with Guenther and Hannah Hohls, long-time friends of Pr. Daniel and Linda Preus. Pr. Preus had recommended that I get in touch with Guenther and Hannah, and so had Bp. Weber. However, over the previous weekend I received an email from the LTS secretary, Salome, which said that Guenther himself had taken the initiative to invited me to their home for dinner.

Both from Germany but now living in South Africa for many years, Guenther and Hannah, along with their youngest son Andreas, provided a delicious meal and delightful conversation. Guenther sure knows his history of the Lutheran Church in South Africa as well as the history of his country.

1 comment:

  1. Greets Pr. Asburry, glad to see you're enjoying South Africa! :-)

    Just a tiny correction - St. Paul's is a German/Afrikaans congregation (Afrikaans name: Evangelies Lutherse Paulusgemmente).

    I'm going to be at the seminary tomorrow. Are you around? It will be nice to meet you.

    Kind regards,