JoBurg from the Bus, Soweto, and on to Vuyani

Let me explain.  I haven’t been blogging for the past several days due to technical difficulties and time constraints.  I’m going to try to condense a lot of great material in order to catch up.

On Feb. 13, after our visit to the Apartheid Museum, we stopped at Constitution Hill for a look around.  There’s an old British fort and it’s the location of the infamous old “Number Four” Prison.  All but four stairwells from the “awaiting trial” buildings have been torn down and replaced with a memorial site.  Reclaimed bricks from the prison were used to pave the Great African Steps that run between the site of the prison and the new Constitutional Court to symbolize “a bridge from the oppression of the past to the hope of the future. ”

Preserved stairwell from Number 4 Prison

Preserved stairwell from Number 4 Prison

Bill of Rights carved into the doors of the Constitutional Court

Bill of Rights carved into the doors of the Constitutional Court

African Steps

African Steps

Flame of Democracy

Flame of Democracy

Constitutional Court entrance named in 11 official languages of S.A.

Constitutional Court entrance named in 11 official languages of S.A.

The next day, Feb. 14, we toured Soweto.  Soweto is an acronym for SOuth WEstern TOwnships, the location that blacks were moved to in the 30’s to separate them from whites.  There are very affluent areas such as Vilakazi St., the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, lived.  In contrast there are areas of such extreme poverty where there is no plumbing or electricity, to this day.

It is also the site of the 1976 student uprising where Hector Pieterson was killed by police precipitating the disintegration of apartheid.

Finally, we had lunch at a local restaurant for authentic African food, including tripe (don’t try it!) and oxtail stew (awesome).  Then we stopped off at a Shebeen to try the local home brew, a beer made from sorghum.

It was an amazing day with our wonderful guide, Sipho, from Themba Tours.

Our outstanding tour guide for Soweto, Sipho.

Our outstanding tour guide for Soweto, Sipho.

Nelson Mandela House

Nelson Mandela House

Home where Winnie Mandela lives today

Home where Winnie Mandela lives today

Desmond Tutu home

Desmond Tutu home

Poorest area of Soweto

Poorest area of Soweto

Women getting water

Women getting water

cardboard and tin home in Soweto

cardboard and tin home in Soweto

Hector Pieterson Museum

Hector Pieterson Museum

Iconic image of dying Hector Pieterson carried by another student with his sister alongside

Iconic image of dying Hector Pieterson carried by another student with his sister alongside

The restaurant where we enjoyed authentic African cuisine

The restaurant where we enjoyed authentic African cuisine

Shebeen

Shebeen

Home brew at a Shebeen

Home brew at a Shebeen

Now that I’m caught up with our time in JoBurg, on to Vuyani Safari Lodge!

 

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