We hope you’ve all gone for a wee and have your water bowls close by because today is Part 1 of The Visit!
Now, as many of you may recall a few days before Christmas mom
decided to launch herself accidentally fell down a single, solitary step and sprained her ankle:
NOT great considering that Uncle Bill (UB) and Aunt Marianne (AM) were arriving in less than a weeks time and there was much sightseeing and walking to be done. In all honesty, the less barked about this tiny matter the better.
(NOTE: Click on the words in BLUE if you want more information and on the photos if you want a closer look)
30 December 2015: The Arrival
So, UB & AM arrived the day before New Years Eve. A 16 hour, non-stop flight is no joke, so we instructed the peeps to give them some time to settle in and acclimatize to sunny,
heat wave experiencing summery South Africa, which AM was 100% into!
31 December 2015: Soweto Tour
The day started with a 9am pick up for a tour of Soweto (SOuth WEstern TOwnship).
The first stop en route to Soweto was at Nelson Mandela’s former and final home in Houghton, Johannesburg. The house is a private home, still occupied by Mr Mandela’s children and grandchildren butt people like to visit it and take photos of the memorial stones and messages that have been left outside the property.
The route the tour guide took into Soweto took the peeps right past Soccer City (FNB Stadium), one of the main venues during the 2010 Soccer World Cup and now a popular venue for international acts to perform at (mom, dada and Auntie Kym saw Bruce
Stringbean Springsteen play there last year), soccer matches and other big events.
The stadium is also often referred to as The Calabash because it was designed and built to resemble a calabash or African gourd.
The first official stop on the tour was at Vilakazi Street, one of the most famous streets in all of South Africa as it housed not one but two Nobel winners: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Mr Mandela’s home has been turned into a small museum: The Mandela Family Museum which the peeps visited.
On the way back to the tour bus AM asked the tour guide about the house they’d parked in front of, the owner appeared to be running some sort of business from it…a shabeen to be exact, called The Shack.
The inquiry led to an impromptu visit to The Shack, where the tour guide quickly organised a clay calabash and some Joburg Beer (a traditional sorghum beer or Umqombothi) for everybuddy to try.
Let’s just say UB and AM didn’t take any home with them BOL!
From here the next stop was at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum. The museum commemorates the role South African school children played in the fight against apartheid. Being an ex-history teacher, mom was really excited about visiting the museum and was not disappointed.
After the museum the fantastic tour guide announced that he had arranged an extra stop for everybuddy, a guided tour through Kliptown, one of Soweto’s oldest suburbs and a true example of shack / township living.
On arrival the tour group was met by a Kliptown resident and member of the Kliptown Youth Programme, who took them on a tour through the “streets” of Kliptown, a visit to his own home (shack) and to the KYP centre
Back on the bus the tour was coming to an end with a drive past the Orlando Towers, two former cooling towers which have been re-purposed and are now the location of a very popular bungee jumping / abseiling / zip line adventure operation.
Finally the tour passed by the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the 3rd largest hospital in the world and the largest hospital on the African continent. It is also a teaching hospital butt don’t expect any Grey’s Anatomy-esk fun and games here.
After the tour the peeps all came home
to fawn over and play with us and we spent a relaxing New Years Eve together. Auntie Kym made a delicious (or so we are told, because we didn’t get any) lasagna for dinner, butt she was SUPER nervous cooking an Italian dish for AM.
AM gave the lasagna a BIG thumbs up…needless to say AK was very relieved *BOL*
Tune in next week for The Visit – Part 2: Johannesburg & Shopping