That’s “Hello. How are you?” in isiZulu, the language of the Zulu tribe of South Africa. My husband, Jay, and I are here visiting our son, Sky, and his lovely bride, Katie, for two weeks, and we’re traveling around the southern part of the continent of Africa. We’ll also travel to Lesotho, where Sky and Katie are Peace Corps volunteers. Katie works with children in an orphanage, and Sky works with young men by teaching them basic life skills and how to provide food for themselves and their families. If you had told me a decade ago that my son would be raising rabbits and tending a garden—and teaching other young men how to do the same—then I would have told you that was impossible. As a youngster, the boy wouldn’t walk into our garden and pick a tomato much less pull weeds. He is, seemingly suddenly, very grown up, mature and responsible, and I respect and admire the person he has become.
I tell you all this because I almost missed the experiences that my family is currently enjoying. Some work responsibilities made me second-guess making this trip. I have a habit of not taking vacations, not because I’m a glutton for punishment but because working is what I do and constitutes a large part of who I am. Certainly, this issue of AgPro has come together well with little help from me, thanks to our very capable team.
I’m grateful to have this time off, and it reminds me that I need to make sure that I create a life in the process of making a living. Too often I forget that. A poll that AgPro did a few weeks ago tells me that’s true for many of you as well. The poll results show that 40% of you either don’t take a vacation or don’t take a week off on an annual basis. Another 40% of you only take a few days off here and there during the year. Just 20% of you take a week-long break every year to relax and reboot. While these are certainly challenging times for all of us in the agriculture industry, I’d like to encourage you to not let the summer slip by you. Take a break, even if it’s just for a few days, and contribute to your life and the lives of your loved ones by creating some good memories with family and friends.
Agriculture In Africa. We have put nearly 1,000 miles on our seven-passenger van as we’ve driven from Johannesburg northeast to Kruger National Park, on the border of Mozambique, and then south to Durban. Along the way, we’ve seen thousands of acres of corn (or maize), wheat and other grains, and a lot of beef cattle. During a stop to buy gas, I found this July issue of the Farmer’s Weekly (above), the Farm Journal of South Africa, on the newsstand. Finding a magazine about agriculture made my day.