Johannesburg

After a 10+ hour flight from Frankfurt,we landed in Johannesburg and met up with A’s uncle, D. We sorted out our rental car for the next day, caught the hotel airport shuttle, and checked in. We arranged to hire a driver for the afternoon to take us to the apartheid museum, and thru the Soweto township. Soweto, by the way, stands for SOuthWEst TOwnship, one of the townships that people were relocated to as part of apartheid.

We were hungry after our long flights, so we had Jonathan stop so we could get a quick bite. Quick, but “not McDonald’s” — we ended up at a Nando’s chicken. Fast food ish, but tasty chicken that hit the spot. Then we were off — first to the Regina Mundi church, where we had an informative tour from a local man telling us a bit about its significance in the anti apartheid movement. He was a charming guide, and had a way of pulling us into the history of the place — having us each stand in certain places & tell us whose footsteps we were standing in. He also pointed out bullet holes in the ceiling that were intentionally left unrepaired as a reminder of the violence that occurred there. He also showed us the guest register with entries from Bill & Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, and of course Nelson Mandela.

After the church, we stopped by Nelson Mandela’s old house for a quick tour (led by a friendly but rat-a-tat-tat tour guide who recited her nonstop spiel of dates and events before asking if we had any questions). Around 3pm, we got to the apartheid museum. It was nearly empty (most of the tour groups must have already passed through) so we could go at our own pace. It was really interesting, but with just SO much information I couldn’t take it all in, in just 2 hours.

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