Our morning was fairly relaxing because our wake up call didn't come until about 7am. Our breakfast consisted of broiled fish, chocolate cake, beef stew, eggs, and other breakfast items. The hotel we were staying in put all leftovers out from the night before, then also put some breakfast items out. We did try the chocolate cake though.
Today was a day of touring Johannesburg and learning more about Nelson Mandela and Apartheid. It was also the last day for some of our group members because they would be going back home. Others will be traveling on to Zimbabwe.
Our bus ride took us around Johannesburg and through Soweto, one of the poorer parts of town. Don, our tour guide grew up in Jo-Burg (as the locals call it) so was able to tell us of Jo-Burg when he was growing up, the politics and take us into specific parts of town where other tours don't venture into...
|Power plant not in use anymore...now used for bungee jumping|
Don toured us through Soweto where many homes (shacks) are built out of tin roofs and plywood. It's very dirty and trashy in a lot of the parts. The South African government has built 3.5 million homes for the poorer families and moved people from the shacks into those homes, but many other families from other countries or parts of South Africa move into the shacks. In South Africa in order to go to school, you must pay for it, so many of the poorer residents are uneducated. also, the unemployment rate is very high...around 50%.
|Soweto, very poor|
We toured the area where Apartheid marches took place near Mandela's house when he was younger. We learned about riots, killings and all of the horrible Apartheid policies that were placed on black people around South Africa.
|Street where marches took place|
|Mandela House museum|
|Mandela's old house...a little different from his last house|
We drove into a nicer neighborhood and saw Mandela's last house that he owned. It was protected by a concrete fence and it was very large. Our guide said that when Mandela was alive, he was sitting on his back porch one day and Don took a tour group by the house, and Mandela waved at the group.
|Mandela's last house|
|Matt was so surprised!|
|Our group too|