Friday, September 7, 2012


Finally in Africa everyone! 
Thank you for being so patient, internet is a wee bit slow over here.. so you kids in the US, you best appreciate the fast speed internet and unlimited wifi time!

After 36 hours of traveling to Johannesburg, I am officially up to here with being in a cramped airplane with uncomfortable headrests and thin blankets. It sounds like I am complaining a little bit, and well.. yes I am. Thank the good Lord that I do not have to do this again for another 3 months or so!
We arrived and walked off the plane to a beautiful yet overcast sky. The air smelled like the mountains during the winter season, but ten times better. So you LA folks, I feel your jealousy already ;)

Giddy and cold, our group walked up and down the airport, got our luggage and drove off to the hotel.
Definitely different to be with a group of people that go to the same school as you, especially when you have never met them before. Strangers. Awkward introductions. The occasional handshake. Smiles. But it only gets better because after all those silly things that I was afraid of approaching, I have met 47 wonderful people who, like me, are just as excited and nervous to finally be here.

Rand. approximately 8 Rand = 1 US dollar
pretty right? why don't we have animals on our currency?
one of the biggest malls in Joburg.
i like elephants.. :)

Our second day in Joburg, we had a small tour with our beautiful tour guide Elsie. She is also quite the comedian! well.. when we understood her accent, that is. The weather was a bit too cold, so our tour was mainly on the bus, driving around the city of Soweto (Su-weh-too). Mostly in these cities, the social classes are either rich or poor, nothing really in between. It was interesting to see the homes that they live in and how appreciative they are of having a roof over their heads. I'm not too sure what broke my heart more.. the fact that they live in brittle unstable shacks or the fact that I have just about everything I want and I forget to be appreciative. Even though these people lived in such circumstances, I can reassure you that the people of Africa are still warm and loving people! It was beautiful to be a part of that experience.

The next stop on our short tour were the monuments and pieces of history that the African community are very proud of to display. The "x" represents the right to vote within their government after the Partide. Quick history lesson in a few sentences or less... the Partide was a time in Africa's history where the whites dominated in just about everything over the blacks and colored. (In Africa the population is basically categorized under black, white, colored, indian, and muslim. Seems like a racial issue, but it is part of their culture to simply recognize others within the five I mentioned. I still don't really understand why, but it is what it is). So there was a large separation between the blacks/colored and whites. It left the blacks and colored with less job opportunities, separate bathrooms, low educational systems, and less privileges overall. Everything dramatically changed with Hector Pieterson and Nelson Mandela. These two changed history by going against the system. Although there was uprising and bloodshed, it brought Africa that much closer to a untied country. 

monument dedicated to Hector Pieterson

Nelson Mandela's home. cool museum, but unfortunately too much money to get in.. :(

recreational center, graffiti art and bungee jumping between the two towers.
neat huh?

Home sweet home. Airplane ride from Joburg to Durban, and the long drive to Pietermaritzburg, my new home for the next ten weeks. Late supper and dark photos of my chalet (aka dorm). Hope you enjoyed the small history lesson and some interesting photos. Now for some jet lag sleep.. Sweet dreams from Africa.

Always, Allex


Post a Comment