Saturday, October 30, 2010

Africa Part 9

On the weekend in Joburg:

Stop #1? Apartheid Museum. These were a pretty emotional 3 hours for me, faced with footage, and photography, interviews, and posters. Coming out of the building was almost cathartic, walking on into the light of the afternoon. Although apartheid in many ways is still operating. Lots to think about, to be sure.

Stop #2 Lebo's Soweto Backpackers. A beach themed rastafarian type joint (those seem to happen to me a lot these days), it was a great place for pool and foosball in the evening. Before then, I had a short soccer stint with some 10 year olds at the field across from us.

Stop #3 We certainly painted the town-ship that night, stepping out to a dance club called Ozone. Danced right onstage after a girl pulled me up with her. I had no time to protest and so I didn't-- Reacted with the music and came down shaking after shaking everything I had. I am glad I got over myself and just enjoyed. Dance emancipates, man. 4 hours of it, especially. I felt thoroughly freed, albeit exhausted, climbing into bed that morning.

The next day, we went on our Soweto bike tour: four hours examining landmarks of such a politically charged area proved incredibly insightful and moving, literally and figuratively. I used to cycle with my dad on weekends for hours on end-- and it was wonderful getting my bike legs back. We went through Orlando West, and East, Meadowlands, saw the homes of Winnie Mandela, Nelson of that same last name, and Desmond Tutu, tasted sorghum beer from a surly looking shebeen, and had snacks that I won't easily forget. Chewed on some cow cheek, which other bikers found unsettling, but was of little issue for me since a year ago in China, I ate cow eyeball.

My 24 hours in Soweto felt so amazing and alive--I hope I get to come back at some point for some reason. Maybe I'll make a reason.


  1. Ms. Nanci! I loved reading about your adventures in SA. Truly inspiring; I'm now convinced I need to travel to South Africa some day :) I trust the fun continues in Ghana..

    P.S. Did I miss Part 9?

  2. AH. Good catch. I managed to overlook a draft, and mislabelled, but all is well now. Ghana-- definitely fun, definitely toasty to the point of being sweltering. :) But I'm amazed at how fast its gone by-- getting home on Tuesday!