It must be decades ago that I met my first South African at a
conference in Canada perhaps even in Manitoba. They gave us
small safety pins on which the flag of South Africa hung made out of
small glass beads, the same beads our First Nation's people use in
their craft and regalia work. Four years ago I was privileged to attend
the 40 Anniversary of the NACCW and learned of the long
collaboration between Canadian and South African academics.
Regretfully, I was unable to attend Durban this year but was signed
on for the Kruger trip.

I had met Jacqui Michael at several conferences over the years in
several parts of the world. That she and her brother Rodney and her
family agreed to coordinate with Darlene and Andy Leggett to make
this happen was generous and incredible. As with any long planned
event, life intervenes and the list undergoes constant revision. The
key point was that these were child and youth care people, familiar,
sometimes collaborators on projects or other events, flexible and
ready for new and in a few cases, renewed experiences in Kruger

The Michael family loves Kruger. Several are honorary wardens and
guides for just such groups professionally. The result was an
experience blending hospitality, entertainment, meals and contests
between generous time for road trips throughout the park. We
experienced a braai or BBQ with wild meats from the market, and a
fabulous breakfast buffet cooked on propane griddles, one per
course. We learned this was the lifestyle all year long if you wanted it
to be, something hard for a Canadian to wrap the mind around. This
was the dead of winter. Indeed. A 1000 thank yous for this. This is
the stuff of true Commonwealth.