Simple Joys

Quick entrées into joys around the world.

An Unexpected Place to Practice Gandhi’s Secrets of Peace

Tucked away in a quiet Johannesburg neighborhood, I walk into a house and feel immediately and oddly at peace. The air smells clean and aromatic, and I am drawn to the back door, where a flight of stairs brings me into a flourishing garden.

Welcome to the world of Gandhi in Johannesburg, one of several houses where this peaceful warrior gained inspiration in his satyagraha movement—passive resistance to political injustice. In fact, this refuge is named Satyagraha, and today it’s a museum and guest house infused with his spirit.

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Laughter in Zambia

Meet Chris, Henry, and Evans, from Lord's Mountain Orphanage in Zambezi, Zambia. They never have the chance to go to the beach, or to swim, although the river is less than a mile away. When my husband and I stayed at the orphanage in August 2015, we took them, and their 32 fellow orphans, to the shores of the Zambezi River. This is how they reacted. Sometimes I like to play the videos just to remember what pure, unadulterated joy is all about.

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Paris: Rue Mouffetard

A narrow cobblestone pedestrian street with cafés, shops, and a glorious open-air market, La Mouffe feels like coming home to me, a place to mingle with the locals. Street musicians serenade diners on weekend nights. Specialty shops spill over with cheeses, wines, produce, and other kinds of ooh-la-la. Ernest Hemingway described this scene in A Moveable Feast: "That wonderful narrow crowded market street."

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