I didn’t post yesterday because I couldn’t keep my eyes open after we got back from a long day. Turns out when you combine motion sickness medicine with a long day, short sleep, and delayed jet lag you have an overwhelming need to sleep! To understand why I needed motion sickness medicine, read Laura’s post. ;-) As before, I spent time helping her select, crop, and down-rez pictures instead of working on my own posts. So look at hers. My own pics will have to wait.
1. The commuter train was fun. I met a 25ish guy on the train who asked about my HD video camera. It became clear quickly that he knew a lot about the subject. Turns out he works for a local TV station. Very bright and well educated. Asked me about the US presidential election: was I for Clinton or Obama? Thought it was significant that our next president will be either black or a woman. His question and comment were telling.
2. Cape Town is WINDY. I figured it was just a weather system moving through the first couple of days we were here. When I commented on it to the locals, they said, "You think THIS is windy? It’s like this all the time. You haven’t experienced wind until you’ve been here during a storm."
3. Robben Island is a special place, but the tour itself wasn’t wonderful. Regardless, the forgiveness and healing represented there are quite profound. Read Laura’s post for details.
4. Our tour guide for the first part of the Robben Island tour told us a bit of his own story. He has a college degree in electrical engineering but hasn’t been able to find work in that field in South Africa. When the tour was over I told him I’m an electrical engineer too. He asked if I could get him a job. I said, "maybe, if you are willing to come to the US." He asked for my e-mail address.
5. Had bobotie yesterday for lunch. The "national dish" of SA. Comfort food, basically, with a kind of Indian curry twist. Very tasty, although I kind of regretted my lunch choice when on the rough boat ride to Robben Island (again, see Laura’s post).
2. Raymond, our driver and tour guide for the day, is an amazing person. He’s an independent contractor for the US Consulate here. His job is to host visitors, mostly from the US, who come in for business with the Consulate – USAID, interns, FBI, etc. He picks them up from the airport, drives them around, tells them about the city, points out landmarks, etc. He told me about the turning point in his life. As a youth he was always in trouble, got into drugs, sailed the world on cargo ships, and was a complete mess. Then he met Jesus in a Pentecostal church and was instantly healed of his addictions and turned his life in a new and productive direction. He’s now a father and grandfather, not to mention a warm host for visitors from the US.
3. Cape Town is a beautiful city. I’ll post some pictures soon. I promise.
4. The contrast between the upscale areas of downtown Cape Town and the townships gives one pause. It may take me some time before I can explain what I mean by that.