The Foreign Service Journal, May 2004

M A Y 2 0 0 4 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 49 F O C U S O N A F R I C A M ANDELA , M Y H ERO first met Nelson Mandela when my husband Princeton and I had only been in South Africa a few months — a very turbulent few months. Mandela had been released from prison two years earlier. There was progress toward a majority-rule government, and most South Africans, “black,” “white,” and “colored,” were passionate about avoiding civil war. But the political reality was still a dizzying roller coaster ride. One day some seemingly insurmountable difference would suddenly be, at least partially, resolved — but then the next day the newspapers would be full of the graphic descriptions of riots following a township killing. After each horrific I N ELSON M ANDELA IS LOVED AND RESPECTED WORLDWIDE FOR HIS COURAGE , INTEGRITY AND CHARISMA . B UT HIS SOFTER SIDE CAME TO THE FORE ONE MEMORABLE DAY . B Y H ELEN L YMAN David Dean