Wednesday, July 06, 2016


My father was a chaplain for the South African Army during his military service in Angola. I haven't visited yet. The Carnation Revolution led to the fall of the Portuguese government in a military coup in 1974. Angola got independence the following year, and civil war followed until 2002. Angola was a front in the Cold War with involvement from the Soviet Union, Cuba, the United States and South Africa. That is how my Dad got involved. Military conscription for able-bodied men. Fortunately for him, his role was to look after people rather than to fire a gun. The war resulted in more than 500,000 deaths and one million people displaced. Angola, for me, triggers a sense of enormous gratefulness that I have never had to be involved in a war. Enormous gratefulness that general direction of the world is towards peace.

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