The Africa Diaries Entry #2: May 20, 2010

First day in Cape Town, South Africa!! I’m so happy to be here. It’s really cool. Today I went on a day tour of a township called Langa. It is a really poor area in the Cape Flats. It was an eye opening experience. A lot of people live in squalor and garbage and there are animals everywhere. The government does provide fresh water, so that is good. I saw a pre-school there and got to meet some children. They were so happy and they loved having visitors. Even though I’m generally not fond of children, the kids were so happy that they made me smile and they made me happy too. They liked to pose and to get their picture taken and then look at it on the camera screen afterward. I gave a tiny girl my sunglasses.

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After visiting the township I went to an apartheid museum and it was quite sobering and interesting. Then I went to visit Robben Island, which was also very interesting. People were isolated on the island for having diseases like leprosy and prisoners were also kept there. Nelson Mandela was a prisoner on Robben Island for 18 years. I got to see Mandela’s prison cell. The tour of the island was led by ex-prisoners and it was a really interesting tour.

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Mandella's prison cell

Mandela’s prison cell

Inside Mandella's Prison Cell

Inside Mandela’s Prison Cell

 

I met a girl named Alex who did the same overland tour as I am about to do, only starting in Nairobi and ending in Cape Town, she loved it, and told me it was amazing. I’m excited.

I’ve been trying to determine if water truly does circle the drain clockwise instead of counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere. I can’t tell so far. The toilet water doesn’t really circle the drain so much as go straight down in my hotel room. Yesterday I took a bath and tried to watch the water go down, I still couldn’t tell. Again, it just seemed to go straight down. The water that comes out of the tap here is yellowish. It felt a little strange laying in a tub of yellow water, but the temperature was nice and I just ignored it. Before I let the water out I peed just to see if I could even tell there was urine in the water. I couldn’t tell. It was fun.

Tomorrow I will go on a hike and bike tour and I signed up for cage diving with sharks the day after that – yikes!!

The weather is really good and I like it here.

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10 thoughts on “The Africa Diaries Entry #2: May 20, 2010

  1. One can find both counterclockwise and clockwise flowing drains in both hemispheres. It depends on the structure of the drain. The norther/southern hemisphere thing is a myth. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    As for kids, yeah… they love to have their picture taken. In Soweto, they were everywhere, demanding “shoot me!” (i.e. shoot them with the camera). So cute!

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  2. so you did the whole overland tour from Cape Town to Nairobi? I want to read more about it!! I was in different African countries several times – all the time travelling independently. But now I am looking for some new ways to go to Africa and thinking about doing a tour, but the Cape Town-Nairobi tour seems to me to be a lot of driving and maybe a few highlight-sights, but in general not a lot of time for experiencing other things? what do you think?

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    • I loved it! It was the best trip of my life. I made a lot of friends who were also on the tour. There were probably a lot of things I missed because of the speed of the tour, but I was too ignorant to know that I missed them. I think the friends I made were well worth it. I also did get to see a LOT of great things. I thought it was wonderful. I kept a detailed journal and I need to keep writing it into my blog so I can share it. I did do the Cape Town to Nairobi tour, but I actually “got off” the tour in Arusha and did not go to Nairobi because I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Thanks for your comments. I think you’ve just inspired me to keep writing up my “Africa Diaries”

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      • wow – you climbed the kilimanjaro?!? was it very exhausting? which route did you take? how many days did it take you? I would like to do it, but i honestly wonder whether i am fit enough to do it… lazy me!

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      • I did! It was hard, but more challenging emotionally and altitude-wise… the theme for hiking is “pole-pole” which is swahili for slowly slowly.. which I excel at, haha. I took 8 days for the whole thing and did the Machame route, which is more scenic, and ironically a more difficult route, which I didn’t know and wouldn’t have tried if I knew, but it worked out. I did write a blog about it, if you want to read it it should be in my archives somewhere. I’m very glad I did it, but quite honestly it was my least enjoyable part of my African adventure. My guide for the trip, Abdi was so excellent and he is basically the reason I made it to the top, he is still running hikes and I would definitely recommend going with him!

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