A CURIOUS TALE OF DISAPPROVAL FOR GREAT FLYING, AND GREAT REWARDS FOR DISASTROUS FLYING

It was the beginning of the nineties and early days for paragliding in South Africa. None had flown from the ridges in the mountainous, southeastern part of the country I was visiting. I had arrived a couple of days early to prepare to lead a group of executives on an outdoor training adventure.

In the late afternoon of this day which had begun so beautifully I clambered, dusty, battered, bruised, and carrying my folded paraglider, up the path. I was returning to the farm after a frightening flight and a disastrous landing. For the second time of the day, I spotted the sangoma who was sitting on a rock, staring at me with a mocking smile.

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GLOSSARY

The Sangoma

Sangomas perform a holistic and symbolic form of healing by drawing on the embedded beliefs of the Bantu peoples in South Africa, who believe that ancestors in the afterlife guide and protect the living. Sangomas are called to heal, and through them it is believed that ancestors from the spirit world can give instruction and advice to heal illness, social disharmony and spiritual difficulties.

Paragliding

Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing. (Wikipedia)
Pictured here, Jono flying his 1989 Ailes de K Genair Paraglider.