Hill House in Pretoria’s leafy Waterkloof is depressingly empty of the Gaspards. The outgoing US ambassador has a taste for good art and music, but no sign of these remain. Only a few forlorn pieces of official furniture still stand. Even their beloved adopted pet goat, Buzi, has moved on to a nearby farm where he now roams free.
It’s two days before Reconciliation Day, which marks Patrick Gaspard’s final departure from diplomacy (for now, at least) and from a country he’s clearly passionate about.
The stay in South Africa “has exceeded my expectations”, he says.
Sitting by a small table next to the window of the lounge that many nights were abuzz with receptions, Gaspard reminisces about the “very, very hard work” and the “great times” that constituted his mission here.
SOUTH AFRICA IS STRONG
CATCH YA LATER Outgoing US ambassador to SA Patrick Gaspard