Day 2 – Chelan Padmoroff & Ashlee Martini

 

  • Aug 21, 2011

 

Everyone was awakened to the sound of Mikey whistling his imitation of a chirping bird.   We then had a wonderful breakfast which consisted of waffles, yogurt, bread, eggs and cereal.  Once everyone finished with their breakfasts, we all hopped onto our tour bus to go to downtown Johannesburg.  This was such a neat experience as we were able to see the diverse building structures and people.  During the tour of Johannesburg, we drove by the police station and learned that long ago, blacks were thrown off of the tenth story of the building as a death penalty.  This continued for quite some time until it was banned only twenty years ago. 

Later, we went to the Apartheid Museum which was located in Johannesburg. This museum allowed all of us to get a better understanding of what segregation meant between the black and white.  Upon entering the museum everyone was given a ticket that either classified you as a “white” person or a “non-white” person.  Depending on which type of ticket you were given, the two groups had separate entrances which allowed us to understand the racial inequalities that were occurring at the time.  The museum was split into two subjects; the apartheid and celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela.  With the dark images, sounds, movies and atmosphere in the apartheid portion of the museum, everyone felt as though they were moved back to the era with all of the political upheavals.  The Nelson Mandela portion of the museum allowed us to gain more knowledge of the extraordinary life that he lived.  This amazing museum was filled with the rich history of Johannesburg. 

Once we left the museum, we then toured around Soweto which was a symbol of township.  We visited a local school where we were told the amazing story of how a young boy gathered many children together to protest for peace, freedom and democracy. 

Later we visited a local market which consisted of many different vendors with each vendor having something unique of its own to sell.  After everyone bought some souvenirs, we then drove to where Nelson Mandela’s and Desmond Tuetue’s houses were.  We walked around the area and upon returning to our tour bus, we met some local children who were playing soccer.  We joined in with them, despite having most of the interactors against these young boys, they still managed to win!!  After our full day of being tourists, we made our way back to the Center For Africa where we were served supper.  This delicious supper consisted of macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, meat, salad and bread.  As we reflect upon today, it was as though we had taken a step back into history and had gained knowledge about the amazing roots of South Africa!           

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