Nonetheless a good curry dinner cheered things up a little, and we scuttled off to a hotel. The Metro Lodge had the luxury of toilet seats (the first we’d looked at didn’t!) and we booked two rooms there for the night (for those wondering, rules of propriety were definitely followed.)
On Tuesday we went to uShaka – shark, in Zulu-speak. It’s a massive marine aquarium, the best I’ve seen yet, and we were thrilled by the graceful dance of the dolphins, the slinking sharks, the crotchety old faces of sea turtles and muscle-crackers, and the African penguins who were swallowing fish twice the length of their heads. But I think I liked the seal show best – it was more of a play than anything, and one hapless gent was voluntold from the audience to come “on stage.” But he was petrified by animals in general and only ventured near the area at the persuasion of the trainer. There a seal burst out from nowhere, he gave a girlish scream and the seal chased him off stage. The seal returned a minute later with underbroekies in his teeth :)And then we left the blue and yellow world of Durban –its sea, sky and sunlight—and headed back to Richmond. I said goodbye to Aaron (it was really REALLY nice to trade experiences with an old friend!) and arrived much later in Pretoria. And there’s not much more to say, except one very interesting event. While waiting for my ride in Pretoria, a young man sidled up. He was Sebastian. And his story poured out in emotionally-loaded pieces: parents dying, leaving him only deep debt, depression setting in... A close encounter with death and deep scars to tell of it. Then somewhere along the line, God stepped in. He sent a man to tell of Jesus and offer hope. After some time in rehab, Sebastian was released three days ago. He had been living in that terminal, trying to raise funds to make it to Pietermaritzburg where he might have family. And so our paths crossed: he was headed for the very place I’d left! Suddenly I knew why that ride was taking so long. We prayed together, and I told him of Immanuel’s Wish Foundation (the hospice/ rehabilitation centre) in nearby Richmond. God willing, he is in Pietermaritzburg as we speak – and if he doesn’t find family, he’ll find help at Immanuel’s Wish.