I have been traveling through South Africa now for just about three weeks now and have made observations and am starting to draw some conclusions. Here a few:
-Wine is oftentimes cheaper than water$$$
-The education system seems to be messy from all accounts. It is half way through their academic year and some classroom teachers, albeit temporary teachers, have not been paid their salary by the government.
-Braais are the country’s favorite pastime.
-There are seemingly two directions in which South Africa is moving: One that is attempting to move forward from apartheid using a more black nationalist theory of self-determination. The other is one that is still stuck in the daily conventions of the system of apartheid of living in and working in “one’s place”, or a de facto segregation.
-Meat pies are tasty, especially those of the curry variety.
-The country seems to be nearing a turning point with the government and subsequent future of the country.
-There has not been a day that I have entered a public space and not heard a Whitney Houston song playing.
-Animals are real here. Monkeys and tarantulas have joined my colleagues at different points in this trip in their accommodations.
-President Jacob Zuma is a favorite focal point of the media, which in turn, makes the court system a favorite of Zuma’s to take them to court for slander and defamation of character.
-Nandos is delicious.
-Free condoms are everywhere…even the stuffy Stellenbosch museum had a supply. However, the education component seems to still be lacking as evidenced through President Zuma’s actions and words. He apparently testified in court after having unprotected sex with a HIV positive prostitute that he took a shower to cleanse himself of the disease.
-The scenery and landscape is beautiful.
That is all for now.