Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Election Day - SA 2009

Today was election day here in South Africa. You may have heard about some of it.. we only get liberal news networks here, so the only network I've heard mention the elections here (other than the SA news) was CNN. Most people believe that the ANC (African National Congress) will win this year's election.. again. Their leader, Jacob Zuma, has been accused of rape and 783 counts of corruption. Many of these accusations have been dismissed so far, but he is still under investigation. Most of the population will vote for the ANC because they were the most influential party (or organization then) that put a stop to Apartheid. Aparatheid oppressed the black population of South Africa for many years. For this reason, many of the people here will turn a blind eye to what wrongs Jacob Zuma has done and still vote for the ANC.

There are 42 parties on the ballot, including: the DA (Democratic Alliance), COPE and ID.

All over town on every single lamp post there are tons of campaign posters. Below is an example.

Memory Vacation 2009 (part 2)

This post concludes our vacation... We came home after our trip to the Drakensburg so that we could be at our church for Easter, then we got to go camping at the beach! It was the prettiest beach I have ever been to. We left Monday the 13th and it took us pretty much all day to get there because there was a lot of road construction. But as we are missionaries... we are very accustomed to looong road trips. We all had a good time on the way there.

The place we camped at was in an animal park, so we had to go through that animal park where they have cheetahs and leopards, etc... to get to our campsite. They had a cattle grate where we drove in and I guess there was an electric fence around somewhere, but I never saw one.. so, in my mind, it's a wonder we weren't visited by any large cats. :)

Gordon took the picture above on our first morning there... I, on the other hand was still sound asleep in my tent. No way am I waking up at sunrise on vacation! But I am glad that he did, otherwise we wouldn't have this gorgeous picture!

Our lovely campsite. Thanks to Gram for the gazebo. :)

Our campsite was visited by several animals, not including leopards or cheetahs. There were a ton of monkeys trying to snatch up oranges and chips every chance they could get. This trait being where they get the adjective "cheeky" from. And above is a picture of a bushbok that came right up to our campsite... not many of them came so close, but I guess this one was used to being fed, even though that was against the rules.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Memory Vacation 2009 (part 1)

Finally! We are back from our vacation. We all had a great time and in this post I will explain to you the many things that happened to us and the things we got to see for the first part of our vacation to the Drakensburg Mountains in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Our trip started off with a bang (literally) because before we even stopped to eat breakfast one of the tires on our trailer burst. Hence the picture below.

Gordon and I took our ACT tests at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg on the way to the Drakensburg. We left Friday morning (April 3rd) and visited with missionary friends of ours-the Howards. Saturday morning we took our test where I was supposed to meet up with my friend from Penryn, Chabi, afterwards. She couldn't make it because she didn't have anyone to drive her there... :(

Sunday morning we went to Antioch Baptist Church with the Howards. Pastor Somzila (pictured below) was trained by Bro. Howard. Because I didn't get to see Chabi on Saturday, I invited her to church and lunch afterwards. We went to pick her up and on the way to church our car blew a head gasket. When we stopped to see what was wrong, dad opened up the hood of the car and all of this rusty water exploded out and onto his nice Sunday shirt! We weren't very far from the church at this point, so we rumbled on the rest of the way there.

While we were waiting to figure out what to do about the car (we were supposed to leave for the mountains after church) Gordon, Chabi and I played around with some kids from the church.

The two on the left are Pastor Somzila's kids. They were so wild!

We couldn't get our hotel room that we had been staying in again, so the Howards graciously let Gordon, mom and Anne stay with them at their hotel apartment which has 2 bedrooms and a living room/kitchen. Dad stayed with Pastor Somzila, as the church is built onto his house. We couldn't get anyone to fix the car on Sunday, so we just had to wait around until Monday.

I got to stay with Chabi and her aunt... then Monday I went to school with her. She attends Witswatersrand University--same place I took the ACT--where she is studying law and linguistics. Dad came to pick me up around 11:30. Here's a picture of Chabi (second from the right) and her cousin, Kini (first on the left--she was also in our class) and another guy from our class at Penryn, Zubhair, and his girlfriend (forget her name, but she's the one on the far right).

So, after all of that mess... we finally arrived at Cayley Lodge in the Drakensburg!
Here is Anne with the owner's children--'If' and 'N'... not sure why they wouldn't tell us their real names, but that's what they told us to call them.

The 2nd day we were there, Wednesday, we went to go see Tugela Falls, the second tallest waterfall in the world. We were under the impression that you could just drive right up to it, but when we got there we found out that it was a 7 km hike, so we just used the binoculars to see it. :)

This is a picture of the Amphitheater. Tugela Falls is on this mountain (somewhere) I can't remember where and I doubt you could zoom in enough on this picture to find it.

The lake by Cayley Lodge from up where the cabins were.

Gordon and Anne on the dock at the lake by Cayley Lodge.

Another view of the lake by Cayley Lodge.

Here is the one picture from our horseback riding adventure on Thursday. This was one of our guides who helped mom at the back of the line. It wasn't a small horse-walking thing either.. we were galloping and stuff and had to post so that we weren't bouncing up and down like crazy... so between all of that I couldn't really take any pictures on the horse I was riding--his name was Mahog. Yeah, so with all the bouncing I got a bruise on my elbow from my camera.. urg, that part was not fun. I still had fun and would do it again.. just with out my camera hanging around my neck. :)

Here's a pic of the whole family before we left Cayley Lodge.

And lastly, a picture of us kids on Easter Sunday.