Despite the many travels that characterized much of my childhood, I had never been on a trip quite like that of my first visit to South Africa. To me Africa existed through my father's journals, letters exchanged between my grandparents, an array of photographs and wonderful stories of what it was like having Africa as a home. However now for the first time, I was actually arriving at the small town on the eastern coast of South Africa where four generations of my paternal side had grown up. Driving through the town of Estcourt for the first time seemed somewhat like a dream. As we passed the small stone church where my grandparents were married, a small black- and-white picture rushed to my mind. The beautiful stained windows over my grandparents' heads were somehow familiar. Jacaranda trees stood proudly between houses and along sidewalks with little blue flowers seated delicately on the top of most branches, so fragile due to the heat that when a warm breeze ruffled the branches, the flowers would float slowly to the pavement.
In December 2013, State District Judge Jean Boyd sentenced a North Texas teenager, Ethan Couch ,   to 10 years' probation for driving under the influence and killing four pedestrians and injuring 11  after his attorneys successfully argued that the teen suffered from affluenza and needed rehabilitation, and not prison. The lawyers had argued that Couch was unable to understand the consequences of his actions because of his financial privilege.  The defendant had been witnessed on surveillance video stealing beer from a store, driving with seven passengers in a Ford F-350 "stolen" from his father, and speeding at 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) in a 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) zone. Couch was also driving while under the influence of alcohol (with a blood alcohol content of %, three times the legal limit for an adult in Texas) and the tranquilizer Valium .  At a February 5, 2014, hearing, Eric Boyles—whose wife and daughter were killed in the crash—said, "Had he not had money to have the defense there, to also have the experts testify, and also offer to pay for the treatment, I think the results would have been different."  In April 2016, a judge sentenced Ethan Couch to 720 days in jail.