A choppy, hour-long boat ride out of Cape Town brought us to the small island invisible from the mainland: Robben Island, Seal Island in Dutch, describing its original inhabitants. But people long ago decided that a remote, inhospitable, barren islet was just what was needed for those things that needed doing in isolated, inaccessible places.
Many thoughts pierced deeply into my heart that day on Robben Island. But the forgiveness of the prisoners was the one that affected me most of all. As former inmate Mbatha described the conditions, the food, the treatment, he brought the reality of his seven years on Robben Island into full view. But he harbored no bitterness. As a guide at this world heritage site, he works alongside former guards. He admitted it was not easy at first, but he has learned to forgive.