Wednesday, October 24, 2012
MANDELA AND SOWETO
This was our last day in South Africa, and we were leaving on the red eye to Dubai, so we filled the whole day with learning about the struggle SA has had with Apartheid. We started out with a tour of Johannesburg, a quick history of the city from our guide, who has called this city her home all her life. We drove to the city of Soweto and were joined by a native of that area named Gubby. Between the two we learned so much about the history of the "coloreds, and the blacks" (different in SA terms) and a very violent long struggle for basic human rights. We ended up at the home of Nelson Mandela and heard more of his history in bringing Apartheid to an end. This was was followed by an afternoon visit to the impressive "Apartheid Museum" in Soweto. One could spend hours in this well thought out museum, and we did. Unfortunately for me, I came down with a. 24 hr. case of T.D. and did not fair so well. The bad part hit as were were being given a tour of Mandela's house, so I guess I spent more time in his tiny bathroom than anywhere else! It was pretty bad, and I was wondering how I could possibly go on. After some time spent in that bathroom , our guide got me some anti-nausea and anti-diarrea pills, and a coke, and I could hobble to the van. As the afternoon went on, I didn't feel great, but the worst was over so I managed to see some of the museum, always keeping a quick detour to the restrooms in mind. I came back to the van early to rest, and the driver who was Afrikaner AND very interested on politics, gave me a lot of his opinions on things on SA, and I can guess, he isn't too happy about his government. Actually, SA has waay bigger problems than the US, and no one sees any way out at the moment. It was quite the afternoon in many respects. I just wish I had been on my game more, cause I like that kind of discussion.