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Cape Town Diary: Day Zero

Watch where you walk.

Before the busy schedule of Lausanne's Cape Town 2010 began, an American friend and I took a brief driving tour of Africa's most European city. Our guide was a retired newspaper editor, and as a colored citizen of South Africa, he had tales to tell about the days of apartheid.

One beautiful part of the city to which he took us stacked its houses up a tall hill, giving the residents glorious, expansive, but expensive views. We parked at the end of the neighborhood's highest street and climbed a steep dirt path to get the best possible view. The dirt path was unstable, slippery, covered in loose rocks. So on our descent my friend, a Wheaton alum, talked about a lesson she'd learned when she took a mountain climbing course while a student. I learned you should always keep your eye on where you are, she said. Not where you're going or where you've been. If you look ahead or behind, you'll just freeze.

My friend knew it was a metaphor for life.

So it seemed like a providential moment when ...

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