Becoming Chris Kamalski

"There's a Writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us" ~Don Miller

A (Google Maps) Tour of Pretoria.

(Picture Mr. Rogers singing: “Won’t you be my neighbor?”)

Several weeks ago I was talking to my parents on Skype when we suddenly had the brilliant idea to jump on Google maps as a way to use their satellite imagery to show my parents the physical layout of where I am now living in Pretoria North as an Apprentice with NieuCommunities South Africa until late November this year.  We had a blast trying to stay on the same (literal) page, clicking left/right/up/down/east/west etc for almost an hour.  In the end, I had shown them the bunch of trees under which I lived, the local high school, the white roof of the first gym (Virgin Active) I have EVER belonged to in my almost 30-years of life, local haunts throughout downtown Pretoria, and even the Block that I am doing mission within in Soshanguve!  It was wild to say the least.

One thing led to the next, and as I have been (too slowly) working on a massive update to send out to friends, families, and donors, I created:



I’m stealing a bit of my own thunder, as this is coming out in a newsletter update soon(ish), but this simply couldn’t wait, so follow these simple steps to take a tour with me (via Google’s greatness).

  1. Open your Web browser and type in
  2. Search in the Maps function for “A (Google Maps) Tour of Pretoria.”
  3. My created journey for you will pop up as the top search result, so click on that.
  4. Adjust your map settings to SATELLITE imagaery (not map view), and click the + BUTTON until you are 2 clicks from the top.
  5. Enjoy my rambly comments…

God of This City (Pretoria, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, San Jose, Saratoga…).

Thought you might enjoy a few short video clips I shot recently from the top of the Pretoria Zoo on a breathtakingly clear early Autumn day in Pretoria.  Enjoy these short clips by simply clicking on the links below…

  1. Clip 1: A TOUR OF PRETORIA 
  2. Clip 2: GOD OF THIS CITY PART I (Of Pretoria, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, San Jose, Saratoga…)
  3. Clip 3: GOD OF THIS CITY PART II (Down the tram line…)

On Holiday.

Holiday (From


1. a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.
2. any day of exemption from work (distinguished from working day ).
3. a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment, etc.: New businesses may be granted a one-year tax holiday.
4. a religious feast day; holy day, esp. any of several usually commemorative holy days observed in Judaism.
5. Sometimes, holidays. Chiefly British. a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation.
6. an unintentional gap left on a plated, coated, or painted surface.

–verb (used without object)

9. Chiefly British. to vacation: to holiday at the seaside.

bef. 950; ME; OE hāligdæg. See holy, day
I am writing this post of brevity from the lovely confines of Big Blue Backpackers (Google them), a fine hostel in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Capetown, South Africa.  Busi, Colletta, and I flew down late this afternoon, chasing a breathtaking sunset to enjoy our first off-week holiday, as we have remarkably completed the Orientation, Listening, and Submerging Learning Postures (which means that we are almost 40% done with our Apprenticeship year!?!?).  Tomorrow, Adrienne and her boyfriend Ryan join us, as well as Curtis who comes in from a 26-hour(!) train ride.  We’ll spend the next 5 days here until early Thursday morning, in which case most Apprentices head home, and I take our rented Corsa for a road trip along the famous Garden Route of South Africa (specifically, the coastal Indian Ocean region between Mossel Bay and Storms River Mouth in Tsitsikamma National Park).  I’ll be less than 100KM from Jeffrey’s Bay, the world-famous right-point tube made famous by WCT surfers the world over.  I’ll spend 4 days by myself hiking, driving, meandering along the coast, and that’s right: BODYBOARDING!
I could not be more excited.
I desperately need a holiday.  From intensive coaching training this past week almost all day Monday-Thursday, to truly submerging into culture and ministry in the local township of Soshanguve and with my growing friendships at Third Place (a highly creative Afrikaner church in Pretoria East at which I am teaching monthly experiences in spiritual formation/disciplines), to offering spiritual direction in group settings to local hospice care workers out in the township, to a few other emerging opportunities to care for the souls of new friends here….

I need: refreshment, solitude, fun, lightness, novels, bodyboarding, tube rides, nature, new environments, and simply REST.
Please pray for these next 9 days….I am eager to return refreshed, renewed, and ready to dive into the second third of our year submerging into live in Pretoria, South Africa!
Much to report and catch you up on regarding our first 1/3 of this year upon my return….some lovely goodies are coming your way!