Blogs from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, Africa - page 46


Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg December 5th 2006

Ive finally got a chance to do this travelblog thing. I don’t think it will be as exciting as Russ and Debs, so sorry in advance. Mainly, the past 2 weeks have been spent getting used to this place and the various unique aspects to living in Joburg. Everywhere you go you are fully aware that you are not living in a normal place. I am actually staying in a flat in Benoni, about 50k’s from Central Joburg, which is probably a bit better than Joburg itself. The flat is seperate to a house owned by Dave’s uncle and is on the same property, in a housing area with guards at a boomgate. We have a pass on our car which lets us through. There are 2 gates like this, and the rest of the roads ... read more
Dave & I with his nephew Ethan

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg December 2nd 2006

Today we attended a lecture at the National Bahá’í Centre that was given by a public health nurse named Abdia. Abdia was speaking on the subject of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. She was one of a small number of health professionals who had formed The Bahá’í Health Agency of South Africa (BHASA). The BHASA was an organization that the late Dr. Shamam Bakshandegi had hoped to form. In 1994 Dr. Bakhshandegi was one of the Bahá’ís who were killed in Ciskei. Other health professionals eventually formed the BHASA as a memorial to the young dentist’s concerns for the health of the people of South Africa. We had for some time believed that we needed to know more about the subject of HIV/AIDS, particularly as the disease is so much more prevalent in Africa. Abdia initially asked ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg December 2nd 2006

Yes I really did leave Sydney, barely. I went to check in and Thai Air said I couldn't fly without an onward ticket from S. Africa. I had to go over to Quantas and buy a fully refundable (minus fees) ticket back to Sydney. But I made the plane and I am currently in Johannesburg, S. Africa. I've been here since Thursday morning. Amazingly I'm still jetlagged. I don't have any trouble staying up until 10 or 11 at night, but I keep waking up at 2AM and am ready to be out of bed by 4AM. That is ok, I'll adapt here shortly. I haven't done much either. Mostly just research and planning for where to go next. We will talk about that later. What have I done. Well I went to a lion park ... read more
Entering Soweto
In Memory of '76
Apartheid sign

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg November 30th 2006

We have visited a number of the shopping malls here in Jo’burg, some quite large. Rosebank Mall had the usual shops and boutiques, but it also had a crowded collection of small booths that are called the African Market, and one Sunday a month a much larger African Market takes over the entire top level of a large parking garage. Here we found some wonderful arts and crafts objects. There was the usual tourist stuff, but there was also a lot of remarkable wood and stone carving, beadwork, metalwork and textiles from all over Africa. Many of the artists and craftsman who had made these objects had very little to work with. As an example, we saw some wonderful baskets that were made of electrical wire and others that had been woven out of plastic shopping ... read more
carved stone
carved wooden chairs
Bob checking pottery

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg November 29th 2006

Hi all, First of all, thanks for your heartfelt sympathies at our distress at sea, it really warms the cockles to know how much you all care and didn't find any of it amusing at all. After our antics at sea, Vikki decided water wasn't her thing (at least until 4pm for the ferry, but we'll talk about that later) and would be camerawoman instead as Rik took the plunge into the Cape Town Aquarium with some 3.5 meter Ragged Tooth sharks (with permission of course). Vik got some great footage and Rik survived the encounter and even brought back a tooth (a shark one, not one of his own) from the bottom of the tank. When we get somewhere you don't have to carry the camcorder in your stomach to keep yourself safe from muggings, ... read more


Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg November 28th 2006

I managed to lose Fi last night, because the bed was just THAT big (and comfortable to boot). A lazy day was called for, so we grabbed some breakfast and went to lie by the pool. The hotel is like a Vegas themed hotel. It’s supposed to be Italian, and by and large it succeeds. You could almost imagine Lake Como where the dual carriageway is. We lay back until we had to go and shower and get a limo to the airport at around 2.15pm. We got to Jo,berg airport only to find that, we had to get on another South African Airlines flight. Bugger. We thought it would be Qantas, but it turned out to be a code share. So we had to endure that crappy airline again, this time for nine hours. At ... read more
Fi by the pool

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg November 27th 2006

Hallo meine Lieben Meine letzten Stunden in Suedafrika sind angebrochen. Ich kann mir noch gar nicht vorstellen, dass ich in weniger als 24 Stunden wieder daheim bin. Puh. Und wenn ich die Mails von allen der Gruppe lese, die jetzt schon seit ein paar Tagen zurueck sind, es wird nicht einfach. Wobei, die letzte Woche ohne all die Leute von der Tour war halt nicht mehr ganz so toll wie der Rest, deshalb faellts mir wohl ein bisschen einfacher, dieses tolle Land zu verlassen. Also, auf einer Skala von 1 bis 10 finde ich es jetzt nur noch 10-schlimm, heim zu fliegen. Letzte Woche waere es noch 20 gewesen... Ausserdem, ich sitze hier im Gefaengnis. Das ist Johannesburg. Wir sind in einer schoenen Lodge etwas ausserhalb untergebracht, sehr sichere Gegend und so. Trotzdem sind meterhohe Zaeune, ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg November 25th 2006

Today we have moved into our flat! As a tribute to the National Baha'i Centre of South Africa, here are some parting photos from our stay there. From September until the end of November, we were resident at the NBC a total of about a month. We came to know and love the volunteers and staff. ... read more
Main Hall at the NBC
Bob in our last room
Tobela and the jade plants

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg November 24th 2006

Today we made another trip to Pretoria to check on the accreditations I need for my work permit. Before a person can accept a job in South Africa, that person’s credentials must be certified by SAQA (South African Qualifications Administration). This is another organization that has efficiency issues. After visiting SAQA, we had lunch at a small café called Café d’Oro. A very soft-spoken and attractive young woman named Midah waited on us and misunderstood me when I asked for a glass of tap water. Instead, she brought me a can of Tab and a glass. She apologized and we kidded her a little and asked how old she was. She indicated that she was 21, and I said, “Ah, I have a son that’s 21.” We told her that we had a lot of unmarried ... read more
one of the 3 pools
our parking area
kitchen and lounge

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg November 19th 2006

Bob is doing fine now - there may be a stone in there somewhere, but he is feeling fine. We have been seeing a doctor of Chinese medicine, who told Bob he isn't drinking enough water. It has to be water that "a fish could live in," not just liquid, so Bob is drinking more plain water, and we are both taking herbs. We go back again tomorrow. The doctor is a white South African with a calm, peaceful demeanor who became interested in Chinese medicine while he was a merchant marine. He studied on his own extensively for a number of years and several years ago took the Chinese government’s certitifcation exam for acupuncturists; he was surprised to pass with 85 percent correct. He now practices in Jo’burg, with a small office and consultation room ... read more

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