My dear friends and colleagues Traceye, Brian, and Andrea traveled to South Africa for the holidays, and I am sharing with you a very nice account of their experience.
Kudos to Traceye and her Blackberry.
I know it's been a couple of days since I last touched base. My last few days in Jozi (JoBerg for those of you that are like huh?) were spent doing the tourist thing. We went to the Apartheid museum where they gave me, Brian and Andrea entrance cards to designate which entrance we would have to use I got the Non-European/Non-Blanke or the Black card and Brian and Andrea got the Non-Black/Blanke card. Going through the entrance Andrea was like I want a black card but she had to go through her designated entrance to show how the separation of people were during that time. The museum was really powerful. It took us through the history of the politics of South Africa and how Aparteid came to be and was ended. It's hard to believe that 14 years ago South Africans were still effected by Apartheid.
We left the museum and went to the church in Soweto were Mandela and Tutu held meetings to fight Apartheid and learned the history behind those meetings as well as the church. We even saw the bullet holes from the police attack that occured during one of their meetings. They have a wall where visitors can sign and of course I signed mine with "Peace to Soweto". We then went to Wandies the famous restaurant in Soweto whose food was sooooo damn good. I even took a picture with Wandie himself.
After we left Wandies we went to the Morris Issacson High School which is one of the organizing schools of the student March against being required to learn in Africaan where over 2500 students were killed including Hector Pieterson. We left there to go to the Hector Pieterson Museum and then went to the street where both Mandela and Tutu lived. On that street was a restaurant called Nambitha that was jumpin'. It was packed with all local people and is said to be much better than Wandies. We stopped in for a drink to find that they were doing a tribute to Luther Vandross...that was all the music that they were playing.
We ended our evening with a great dinner at the Butcher Shop, a really good steakhouse.
So now were in Cape Town, (got here on the 30th) and so far so good. We had an amazing dinner our first night at a seafood restaurant called Bahia. It's won many awards for their food and after having the most succulent lobster I understand why.
New Years Eve was great!!! We spent it with my friends Lisa and Janie's boy Sid Money who is from the states but lives in Joberg and is sooooo damn crazy!!! Imagine DMX on 40 cases of Redbull!!! We went to his friends house who has an apartment on a hill overlooking the waterfront to bring the New Year in so we could see the fireworks and then to Hemisphere, the hottest club in Capetown which is Ironically owned by a guy from Chicago!
We met a ton of Sid's friends from Cape Town, Durban, Mozambique and JoBerg who were all so nice and kept the Champagn flowing.
So far we've been to Table Mountain where the view was amazing, Cape Point which is the Southen tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. We"re going to the Winelands Thursday and to Robbin Island on Friday.
I hope everyone is well and wish you all a very lucrative 2008 physically, mentally, spiritually and montetarily.
Miss you all!!!
Good thoughts, Good things
Traceye Y. Smith