Day 4, Johannesburg

Originally posted 1/5/18

Hello! Or, as I learned on Day 4, Sawubona! (Sow-boh-nah. Language: Zulu, one of the eleven official languages of South Africa)

I have loved the weather here so far. It's so sunny, warm, and breezy. The nights are cool but not chilly, and there's very little humidity. I have absolutely no complaints.

On Day 4, we first heard a speaker, George Mahlangu, who talked about South and Southern Africa's liberation struggle in the 1970's to the 1990's, and about the African National Congress, a influential political party. Afterwards, Antoinette, took us to notable locations around Soweto (So-weh-toh) and talked more about the Apartheid. (Apart-hide)

There's a beautiful Catholic church called Regina Mundi (Reh-jee-nah Moon-dee), known for being the only church in Soweto to allow student meetings during the uprisings in the 1970's and 1980's. The church sustained damage from police-student interactions, and many of the bullet holes and damaged stones have been left unfixed as a reminder.

Lunch was at a restaurant called Robby's Place, followed by another speaker, Dr. Dale McKinley, who is a political activist and writer. He talked about the political and economic situation in South Africa. He's very outspoken about his views and it was nice to hear an academic perspective to contrast with the personal perspectives from George and Antoinette.

My favorite ideas that Dale shared with us are: race and class are inseparable, economics and politics are inseparable, and that South Africa is a brand new country, politically speaking (the Apartheid ended in 1994). Because of this, South Africa is full of opportunity for positive change in many areas.

After that, we were introduced to our host families, who are hosting us in pairs for Night 4 through Day 6 My classmate Jackie and I were matched with a great family: our host mom, Makgotso (mah-coht-soh), dad Timothy, our sister Nkuli (Nn-coo-lee), and brother, Ayanda (Eye-an-dah).

We ran errands to the grocery store with our family and got dinner (pizza!) with them before heading to bed early on Night 4.