I want to try and take the time to give my opinion on the trip and South Africa. I must admit the trip was off to a slow start. Our guide and driver in Jozi were incompetent, nice but incompetent. She rarely told us anything, much less saying that too much was planned so we would never get to everything. Then folks got upset cuz we skipped their favorite part. Plus there was the van with its lack or room for us, much less our baggage.
You need to understand that this trip was put together by Carrolle Devonish. She owns an art gallery in Anguilla, and travels to here every couple of years. She is quite enamored with SA, and wants us to see it as she does, hence the problem. There are so many fabulous facets to this country that one can’t see them in a short time. It would be like me hauling a group to my favorite haunts . . . OK for AXA, but not a country this big. But she’s trying, and it’s incredible what we’ve seen and experienced. I hope the pictures give you a taste, since we don’t have time to adequately explain all we have done.
As for South Africa, it has many problems, just like every country, but they seem to be trying and moving forward despite a few steps backward. When the locals complain about spending outrageous amounts of money on preparation for the World Cup next year, I think of the same political graft and corruption at home. When they worry about the increase in crime, primarily thievery, I think of all the crime in Montgomery that occurs. The unemployment rate here in CT is 50%!!!! All in all, SSDC. . . the C being “country”.
Yet there are differences that I’ve noticed. The people are so friendly and polite. They don’t hound you in the outdoor markets, the dollar stretches further, and they don’t expect tips. They seem overly interested in the US since they don’t get too many visitors from there. And we got the BEST avacados ever from the outdoor market!
We have spent a lot of time on the art trail, including handicrafts. The Zulus are well known for their artistic skills whether baskets, paintings, ceramics, clothes, wood carvings, beads, wire sculpture, etc. The Cape Town area on the western coast is famous for its clever recycling skills. We have been quite fortunate in having been at the right place at the right time. We’ve met famous artists that happen to be passing through just checking on things, we got to see original collections that just got back from world tours, we met the throwers and painters from the most famous ceramic company, etc.
Our luck has been so good, I’m thinking about buying some lottery tickets. It started with the safari, seeing the big 5 in one day. We arrived in Cape Town today with the rain coming down hard. It’s been raining all week. By the time we got to out first destination, the sun was out. I hope that continues tomorrow since an outdoor day is planned. I must admit we didn’t make it to Table Mountain because of the earlier rain.
Well, I’m tired and will try to write tomorrow. Twinkle