Thursday, July 27, 2006

Updates from the Southern Stars

Hello to everyone out there! I have finally set up a blog so you can look at some photos and past emails! Check it out at http://maitalg.blogspot.com. Since I last wrote there have been many things going on in my life- some happy and others not-so-happy, but all a part of this journey that we call life! Since there are many, let me jump into them, pretty much in bulleted form, but not in any particular order.


First, Ima and Abba, being the wonderful parents that they are came “to the end of the world” to visit me in South Africa! They arrived last Sunday and in the past ten days we have had a great time. We went up Table Mountains, tasted wine and cheese in the winelands, had cocktails as we watched the sun set over the ocean, saw baboons at Cape Point, and drove up the Garden Route to where we are now and where I write this email- Kwandwe Private Safari, a luxury game reserve where we have seen elephants, lions, monkeys, cheetahs (oh my!) and thousands and thousands of breathtaking stars. One of my favorite days was when we stopped at MadAboutArt (where I have been filming in the township, where Beaty lives) and my parents got to meet everyone in person. Abba also brought recording stuff and we recorded some local songs from the kids that we are putting on cds for them! All in all, despite my sometimes moodiness around my parents (I know, hard to believe), we have gotten along great and I have realized- after hearing them process South Africa- that I am the sum of my parents, particularly my mother. It has been truly wonderful having them here, and I know I will remember this trip forever.

Next, it is officially two weeks before Beaty, Siphewe, Jonathan, Larry and I head for the International HIV/AIDS Conference in Toronto! Though I have much work to do, I am so excited to go, particularly to spend time with and film Beaty and Siphewe. Also, I noticed an MTV film contest that will be held for youth (18-26 yr olds) at the conference, and so Beaty, Siphewe, and I applied to write, shoot, and edit a piece at the conference about how HIV affects us, about how we are three different and are affected differently, and yet how we are also all affected and have become friends…will let you know if we are accepted!

Speaking of filming, remember I wrote several months ago that I taught the MadAboutArt kids filmmaking skills? Well, they have a camera and have filmed each other about MadAboutArt and HIV, but they don’t have a way to edit this footage…until now! Thanks to Duke’s Multimedia Project Studio (where I first learned to edit), they are donating not just one, but TWO mac computers to MadAboutArt!! This will be a huge help for the kids, who will be able to edit film, pictures, record songs, and express themselves creatively through multimedia! The only problem now is figuring out how to get the computers from North Carolina to South Africa without paying huge amounts of taxes on them (any ideas?). I hope to get the computers here by September so I can teach them how to use them and edit on them.



Finally, in not so happy news, Dinushika and I broke up last month. Though I am sad about the loss, I also know that this was the best decision, as we are both independent women who need to pursue our own life paths for now. Our relationship taught me so much, opened my eyes, challenged me, made me a thousand times more racially aware, and was filled with love. I think that we will always love each other, and I am learning to let go, to love her as a friend, and especially to see this as a new chapter in my life, one in which I am single, I make life decisions based only on myself, and I continue to walk the path of life where it takes me- as Yoav says, “You gotta go where the road takes you.”

Okay, so those are a few things that have been going on in my life. There is another thing brewing that could potentially be quite exciting, but I will leave that for another email update, when it is more definite (how’s that for suspense!?)



Thank you everyone for your support and love, I feel truly privileged and blessed to be where I am.

With love,
Maital

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