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Published: March 12th 2018
In previous blogs of our last trips to South Africa, we wrote about an evening at the Starlight Concert on the bucolic grounds of Vergelegan Winery. It has been a tradition for us when staying in Gordon's Bay. This years event was very enjoyable with a wide variety of musical genre featuring mainly South African entertainers. Before the concert, our group sat under the shade of a magnificent Camphor tree and shared food, drink and conversation. What a civilized evening!
If you drive by open fields or parks on Sunday, you will often see groups of people dressed in white conducting an open air church service. They are Zionist!! It is estimated about 40% of South Africans belong to this religion. The South African Zionist religion began as an “off shoot” of Catholic Christian Church which was established in Zion, Illinois (thus the name Zionist). A follower established the church in South Africa which eventually separated and transitioned to a congregation that adopted some Pentecostal doctrince and incorporated some African Cultural traditions.
The drought situation is somewhat stable and “day zero” has now been cancelled. The combination of successful water conservation and finding new sources appear to have aborted
the drastic measure of turning off the taps. The restrictions of 50 litres per person per day are still in place and will likely be until the winter rains arrive. Many of the golf courses are now being impacted and we look forward to playing a round on grass fairways!!!
There appears to be a lot of cautious optimism and relief with the resignation of President Zuma and the election by the ANC of his replacement Cyril Ramaphosa. Certainly the foreign exchange markets are displaying confidence. The exchange rate on the Rand is now 8.90 to CDN $ versus 10.8 when we left Canada. South Africa has a lot of potential to achieve greater economic prosperity and thus a higher standard of living for the population, particularly the impoverished. Hopefully the political changes will herald in a new era of competent and uncorrupt leadership which will be key to a brighter future!!
We are in the final few days of our stay in South Africa. Activities included a play ”West Side Story” in Cape Town. This was a very professional production at the Artscape Theater which is a large world class venue. This week also included an elegant
lunch at the Terroir restaurant(rated one of the best in the area), wine tasting at Waterkloof which has a fantastic, panoramic view of Gordon’s Bay and surrounding area, a dinner at Rita and Philip’s (friends whom we met through Jim and Jane), a couple of final rounds of golf, a celebration of Jane and Jim’s anniversary at Bens Restaurant in Strand Beach and a visit with Antoinette and Wolfgang a German couple who have a fabulous house in Strand. A very busy week full of enjoyable entertainment and socializing.
We head home on March 20th, stay for a few weeks and then off to France from May 10th - June 10th. We look forward to sharing our travel experiences with you on that trip through our blogs!!
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