Monday, October 1, 2012

You Are a Tourist

This past weekend, we were able to visit three battlefield sites that encompass the past history of South Africa. The first battle site was called Islandwana, and this was where the British suffered their biggest defeat from the Zulu. The pile of white rocks that were spread out around the site were the places where the British soldiers were buried. Being here in this vast space was so surreal. It was so surreal to be in a spot where history took place and to be in a place where words came to life.

Our second battlefield site was Battle of Rorke's Drift which was a battle in the Anglo-Zulu war. This was when the Zulu people came and attacked the British and burned their buildings and hospital. Many British were killed and wounded, however, they were able to somewhat successfully defend their positions. The small stones near the tree were the places the the British piled up rocks in order to hide and defend themselves against the Zulu attack. So several of these rock pathways were present around this site. Again, it was very surreal to be standing in the buildings and going through the museum that once was burned and attacked by the Zulu. 

After a long day traveling in a bus, squished between luggage and Andrew (football player), we finally arrived at our hotel. It is not the typical Hilton hotel, if anything it was a very cute and large version of a bed and breakfast. It was extremely cozy and the walls were decorated with South African history. On top of that, the room that I shared-with Meagan and Mallory- was extremely large! It was a private suite with two bedrooms, a bathroom with a bathtub, and a small couch. Basically a huge upgrade from what where have been living back on campus. It was definitely a great weekend getaway.

Not only was the rooms great, but dinner was probably the best part about this hotel. It was a three course meal with starters, three main courses, and dessert. And let me tell you, I had all three main courses, mmmm :) It was chicken, roasted pork, and Bobotie. Bobotie is a famous South African dish, and the best way I can explain it is that it looks like meatloaf. I have never really had meatloaf back at home, but even if I were to compare, Bobotie would probably win. It was my favorite out of the three main courses, and it tasted somewhat sweet because of the raisins. Not only was the main courses amazingly nice (they say "nice" here when talking about food), the dessert was so incredible. Just thinking about it right now is making me crave all this food! Pudding, tiramisu and ice cream. For those of you who do not know, I never have ice cream. Not because I do not like it , but because I prefer other sweets. So I usually have ice cream about twice a year.. but being here in South Africa, every opportunity there is for me to have ice cream, I EAT IT. It is creamier and richer and tastes way better than the one back home. So if you ever visit.. get ice cream!

The third battlefield site was the Battle of Blood River. The battle was fought between 470 Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius, and an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Zulu attackers on the bank of the Ncome River on December 16, 1838 in what is today called KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The Voortrekkers stationed themselves inside a ring of wagons and stationed themselves between a river and a Donga (sorta like a big ditch). This position made it very successful for the Voortrekkers to defend themselves against the Zulu attack, which eventually led them to victory.

The 64 wagons you see here are casted in bronze and are circled in the same way that the Voortrekkers circled them. We may have gone a bit crazy and climbed onto them... I guess history does that to you, makes you go a little crazy. 

More adventures soon. Word.

Always, Allex


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