February 28. Goodbye Africa.

Our flight to Dubai is late at night, so we use the day to do some writing in the same seventh street we remember from our last visit to Joburg. We have a delicious lunch in a French place and I write a few dull paragraphs.
And then we say goodbye to Etienne and Abi, hop on a minibus to the airport (sorry Yeon for being stressed-out), and wait for our flight to Dubai. We spend our last Rands on something I’ve already forgotten.

Anything happens? Dialectics: this is a day to make other days appear spicier.

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February 28. Goodbye Africa.

Our flight to Dubai is late at night, so we use the day to do some writing in the same seventh street we remember from our last visit to Joburg. We have a delicious lunch in a French place and I write a few dull paragraphs.
And then we say goodbye to Etienne and Abi, hop on a minibus to the airport (sorry Yeon for being stressed-out), and wait for our flight to Dubai. We spend our last Rands on something I’ve already forgotten.

Anything happens? Dialectics: this is a day to make other days appear spicier.

#

February 26-27. Soweto.

Soweto was just a word associated with danger and death. I’ve heard many warnings not to enter there and I expect the corresponding danger. Soweto! But it’s not dangerous at-all. We take a bus to Nelson Mandela’s place, a boring concrete museum, and ask for some NGO operating in the area. They send us to the Ikageng Centre a couple of blocks away. By the way we are with Rodrigo from Argentina who is interested in our way of traveling.

The Ikageng Centre serves a large community in the Soweto area (South West Township). It is located in a part of the township that has been substantially reconstructed and has paved roads. They explain us the biggest problems the people here are coping with on an everyday basis. Lack of education, AIDS, teenage pregnancies. And they introduce to us the programmes they run to tackle these issues. We decide to support Ikageng and hope to incorporate it in our future initiative to send spontaneous volunteers, individual low-key travelers who just want to help out. There is more they can do than we realize.

The next day we visit the place again but there is not much going on. Judging by all the facilities and programmes they are offering, they do have accumulated a great amount expertise. We hope that one day, other start-up NGO’s can benefit from sharing this expertise.

Have we made our point? This was Charity Travel Africa for now. We’ve seen some countries, we’ve missed some other countries, we definitely want to come back to this continent, we want to do more to encourage YOU to go there and help setting up any sustainable activity, help individuals strenghtening their African spirit while their corrupt leaders keep sucking in Western loans and wrong dependencies that drain creativity and a pride identity that is ready to venture beyond post-colonialism.

February 26-27. Soweto.

Soweto was just a word associated with danger and death. I’ve heard many warnings not to enter there and I expect the corresponding danger. Soweto! But it’s not dangerous at-all. We take a bus to Nelson Mandela’s place, a boring concrete museum, and ask for some NGO operating in the area. They send us to the Ikageng Centre a couple of blocks away. By the way we are with Rodrigo from Argentina who is interested in our way of traveling.

The Ikageng Centre serves a large community in the Soweto area (South West Township). It is located in a part of the township that has been substantially reconstructed and has paved roads. They explain us the biggest problems the people here are coping with on an everyday basis. Lack of education, AIDS, teenage pregnancies. And they introduce to us the programmes they run to tackle these issues. We decide to support Ikageng and hope to incorporate it in our future initiative to send spontaneous volunteers, individual low-key travelers who just want to help out. There is more they can do than we realize.

The next day we visit the place again but there is not much going on. Judging by all the facilities and programmes they are offering, they do have accumulated a great amount expertise. We hope that one day, other start-up NGO’s can benefit from sharing this expertise.

Have we made our point? This was Charity Travel Africa for now. We’ve seen some countries, we’ve missed some other countries, we definitely want to come back to this continent, we want to do more to encourage YOU to go there and help setting up any sustainable activity, help individuals strenghtening their African spirit while their corrupt leaders keep sucking in Western loans and wrong dependencies that drain creativity and a pride identity that is ready to venture beyond post-colonialism.

February 24. Guy the beekeeper.

Dobermann puppies cuddle on the couches as we enjoy a “farm” breakfast in the guesthouse. It will keep us going for a while and we walk back to the main road. The 15-minutes rule does apply today: Guy the beekeeper picks us up and takes us to Johannesburg via Pretoria. We go shopping for equipment for his bee-hyves and learn about it. It’s quite interesting. Guy turns out to be a friend of Abi’s, who is living with Etienne, our couchsurfing host. The world is small.

February 24. Guy the beekeeper.

Dobermann puppies cuddle on the couches as we enjoy a “farm” breakfast in the guesthouse. It will keep us going for a while and we walk back to the main road. The 15-minutes rule does apply today: Guy the beekeeper picks us up and takes us to Johannesburg via Pretoria. We go shopping for equipment for his bee-hyves and learn about it. It’s quite interesting. Guy turns out to be a friend of Abi’s, who is living with Etienne, our couchsurfing host. The world is small.

January 29. Whiskey cocktail?

Now we walk along the highway to Kempton park, take a minibus to downtown and swoosh up the 50 floor Carlton center tower to oversee the city. Square blocks, highrises. Only the distant African landscape reminds us we are still in Africa. We see buses meandering around Ghandi square, and being fans of Ghandi we decide to go there and sit down in the shadow of his statue.

We do some shopping. The purchase of a South African SIM card and we connect to Etienne, our couchsurfing host. He is available at night so we spend a worry free afternoon in downtown Joburg. The purchase of a nailclipper further removes some rough edges. And the purchase of a banana keeps me going until we arrive in Randburg, a quiet neighbourhood north of Johannesburg that makes both of us feel we are in Los Angeles.

We eat out in a Vietnamese restaurant that serves a good, yet westernized version of Vietnamese porc chops and noodles. After dinner, in a nice cocktail bar, we have a watery whisky cocktail whose description tastes better than its actual ingredients.