1) A story about my Kruger trip has been published on travelgurus.co.za. Please check it out.
2) 2Summers turned one today! I wrote my first 2Summers post exactly a year ago, six weeks before moving to Jozi. If you want to know how it all started, click here.
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On to Part 2 of my hiking adventure in the Kruger Park: the vegetable installment.
I experienced some pretty incredible (and adrenaline-inducing) animal sightings on my four-day hike through the Pafuri Triangle (see Part 1). But as I sat on the flight home and thought about it, I decided my favorite sightings in Pafuri were plants, specifically trees. Continue Reading
Joe’s brother Jim lives in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. I’ve been looking forward to visiting Jim as I’m a huge fan of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels, which are set in Gaborone (“Gabs” for short). I started reading the series after my first trip to Africa and have been hooked ever since. I think Mma Ramotswe, Botswana’s number one lady detective, is a total bad-ass.
Jim and his family are moving to Maun, a town several hours northwest of Gabs. It will be much harder to visit them after they move, so Joe and I cleared our schedules last weekend and made the four-hour drive to Gabs to say goodbye.
We had a great time visiting with Jim, his wife, and their adorable 18-month-old daughter. Continue Reading
There’s a big immigration story in South Africa this week. It’s not getting much international attention but it’s important for this country, and the story is timeless and universal in many ways.
Zimbabwe, South Africa’s neighbor to the north and once one of Africa’s most prosperous countries, has fallen on very hard times in recent years, and millions of Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa. Estimates vary, but there are between two and five million Zimbabweans here. Most of them are what American immigration officials call “undocumented.”
A few months ago the South African government announced that by December 31, all Zimbabweans (or “Zimbos”) living in South Africa must submit paperwork to become legal residents. Those who don’t comply will be deported. December 31 is tomorrow, which has created a fair amount of panic. Continue Reading
If you’re a regular 2Summers reader, you know by now that I’m a big fan of South African street art.
For the last few weeks, the bead guys have really stepped up their game, cranking out all kinds of holiday-themed creations and other generally cool stuff. I’ve been looking for photo ops but have discovered that photographing wire bead art is extremely difficult. It’s always displayed in the middle of a busy sidewalk, with cars parked in the background and people constantly tramping by.
Plus, when I — an American woman with a camera — convey even the slightest hint of interest in a display of bead art, I am immediately engulfed by eager salesmen shoving beaded animals in my face. It’s hard to capture anything photographically under such circumstances. This is an especially serious obstacle on 7th Street in Melville, a bead artist hotbed. Continue Reading
My shopping adventures continued this week. (Read about last week’s shopping adventures in An Honest Living, Part 1.)
Beadwork is a specialty craft in South Africa. Everywhere I go, I see men sitting on street corners bending wire into animals, trees, keychains, etc., and decorating the wire with beads. Seventh Street in Melville is a particular hotspot for these artists, perhaps because there is a bead shop at the corner of 7th Street and First Avenue.
Joe and I are going to D.C. for a visit next week and I have many gifts to buy. So I’ve developed a business relationship with Simon and Silas, two brothers who sell their beadwork on the sidewalk in front of Nunos Restaurant. Simon and Silas (I’ll call them S&S) are in their early 20s – they came to Joburg a few years ago from Zimbabwe and this is how they make their living. Continue Reading
This post was originally going to be about rain. It rained this week, for the first time in six months, and everything is crisp and green and beautiful. Here are a couple of photos I took with that topic in mind.
Jacaranda petals litter the street after a rain storm. Continue Reading