Experiencing an African Blessing Ceremony

When you meet John's teachers and adopted Xhosa parents, Mum Nguevu and Tata Sugweni, you notice a twinkle in their eyes and can feel something magical in the air. They have the presence of two Tibetan lamas, but grounded in a household filled with children and animals and all the chaos of normal life. Their home is filled with love, and they hold themselves with great dignity, humility and a healthy dose of humour. They manage to walk the path between strength and compassion perfectly and give you the feeling that you could spend your life learning from them. Besides meeting Mum Ngwevu and Tata Sukweni, the highlight of the 4 days of John's annual thanks giving ceremony for me was the final afternoon in the Kraal. Everything seemed to come together in the sunshine of that moment. The singing was mesmerising, all of the speeches were passionate and the strength of feeling was palpable. One elder was so taken by Johns speech that he was moved to tears when given the chance to respond, he said he couldn't find the words. It was one of the most touching moments I've ever experienced.
John told the people to be proud of their culture, that what they had was gold. The people responded with their usual generosity of spirit, by telling John to continue to go out and help people from other cultures around the world, by sharing their ways with them.

Caroline Eaton,

Teacher, Wales, UK.   March 2012