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South Africa Adventure

Heading to South Africa, heading home?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dembo is not a common name. Prior to the internet, the only other Dembo I knew of that wasn't related to me was Fennis Dembo, college all star who barely ever saw the court as a member of the Detroit Pistons! Since the rise of the internet, I've learned about Ron Dembo, Yelena Dembo and a type of Reggae/Techno music that is nicknamed "Dembo" after one of the DJ's who made it famous.

I vividly remember though during inservice at my first teaching job, meeting a teacher who did a double take when she heard my last name. She asked whether I had any relatives in South Africa, because she knew quite a few people with the last name Dembo there. Dembo's in South Africa? I had no idea. It had never come up in any of my genealogy reports before.

Then, a few years later, someone created a website that determined the odds that somebody else shared the same name as you. According to the site, I may be the only person in the US named Steve Dembo. Because of this, I didn't exactly have high hopes of ever meeting another person with my name. So imagine my surprise when I received a message on Facebook from someone else with name... and guess where they from?

From Johannesburg, South Africa.

So while as giddy as I am to drink in the culture of South Africa, I have to admit that on a very personal level, I can't help but wonder whether I'll find traces of my family name while I'm there, and run into anybody else who may be an incredibly distant relative. And of course, meeting face to face what may be the only other person in the world who shares my name!


Mr. Cochrane said...

Perhaps we are all heading home in a sense because we get to visit Sterkfontein Caves where scientists have discovered many hominid fossils, dating back more than 4-million years. Even the genes in DNA provide evidence for showing that all humankind may have began in South Africa.

Ms. Wells said...

I think maybe you were "meant" to go to South Africa with us!

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 12 days
When June 2nd - 13th, 2009
Focus Wildlife Research/Conservation
Political History