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We now live in Gqeberha

  • Timon 

No, it’s neither a joke nor fake news nor a typo. And we haven’t moved either. Our city was “merely” renamed, and so was our airport! Last week, the Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthetwa announced that several cities and airports would be renamed, including Berlin!

Timons attempt at pronouncing Gqeberha

When the British founded Port Elizabeth in 1820 it was named after the late wife of the first mayor. However, last week the city was renamed to Gqeberha! It’s quite a tongue twister when you hear it pronounced. Apparently, Gqeberha is the Xhosa name for the river that flows through the city. A number of other cities in our region have been renamed, including a small town called Berlin. Now it’s called Ntabozuko (“Mountain of Glory”). I rather like that one.

But what is behind the renaming cities and airports? Renaming towns and places in South Africa has been going on for a number of years now. By removing names from the colonial and apartheid eras, the government hopes to restore the dignity of black African comunities living in these areas. It is difficult to say whether this will succeed. With tongue twisters like Gqeberha even many black Africans struggle and people will eventually use the names they can pronounce. The Xhosas have always called Port Elizabeth “iBayi”, their own version of the word “bay”.

Travel time, family time

At the end of January / beginning of February we spent two weeks as a family in the Western Cape. We had it all: some good times seing old friends, a family reunion, and the drill of travelling hundreds of kilomiters with four small children. Our kids especially enjoyed spending time with grandma and grandpa!

Since this week, corona measures have loosened again, as our second wave seems to be over. The kids are back into the school routine and Timon continues to be involved at Mosaic. Speaking Xhosa is slowly but surely making progress.

Prayer items

  • Ann-Kristins VISAs: Parallel to the 2-year visa, which up to now could always be extended, an application for permanent residence has been running for a long time. (This is possible because Timon has South African citizenship). Now we have called in an agent to follow up on the process with the authorities. Pray that the application will be approved.
  • A German Home School Teacher Volunteer: Pray that someone will apply from Germany and venture to South Africa to help us home school David.
  • We are grateful to God for health and strength in all our daily tasks.
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