Precarious Laundry Days!
The last few days in Durban were spent just hanging around. We did go for a drive up to Howick Falls, just past Pietermartizburg and spent a morning in Hillcrest. Howick falls are amazing. The falls are quite high and the sound thunderous. Unfortunately, the top of the falls has become a local laundry for the people living in the huts in the rural areas of Howick. After all they do not have running water or washing machines so where else can they do their laundry? Howick Falls of course! Actually I couldn’t think of a more dangerous yet more beautiful place to wash my clothes. Unfortunately the laundry at the top does detract from the spectacular view of the falls, but hey, they have to wear clean clothes!
We also spent a morning in Mitchell Park, where we came across the most amorous of tortoises. Have you ever seen tortoises mating? Well, we did! It was quite a funny sight! The male tortoise took an age to climb up onto the female, gave out two or three surprisingly loud GRUNTS and then it was finished in about 10 seconds! So much for that! We should say that the female tortoise was really upset that her slow walk was so rudely interrupted!
We spent the morning in the park. They do have a small zoo so we entertained ourselves by looking at the array of small animals. It was great.
On the Sunday morning, three weeks after arrival, we finally left Durban to go spend a few more days with Aunty Pam and Uncle Wally. It is always sad leaving loved ones, especially when you do not know when you will see them again.
In Johannesburg our friends Wayne and Michelle took us to a luxury African themed restaurant where they had the local cuisine of many African tribes on the menu. It was a wonderful time to spend with our friends. We do miss them a great deal and we always remember the moments we spend together with them. Hopefully one day they will be able to come out to Asia to visit us.
On the Monday morning it was time to leave. We had a deep heart to heart discussion with Aunty Pam and Uncle Wally about our time in China. They were encouraging and loving. They are always so positive about people and always so caring to all those around them. We love them and miss them.
Final Thoughts and Reflections
Yes, going back to South Africa is always good. We enjoyed seeing my father again and getting to know Yvonne better. We enjoyed seeing many of our friends not mentioned here. We enjoyed seeing Aunty Pam, Uncle Wally, Wayne and Michelle again. We enjoyed reestablishing friendships and relationships with those in our past. They are all great and wonderful people.
Despite this, the reality of crime and AIDS was in our face the whole time. South Africa is filled with wonderful places, beautiful people, glorious weather and inept leaders! The leaders of our country need to apply the law and grow some sense about HIV/AIDS instead of lobbying for position and power as they are doing now (in 2007), they should lobby for the welfare of the country and its people.
The other day I (Paul) saw Albie Sachs, justice of the constitutional court in South Africa, waxing lyrical about the law on CNN (November, 2007) and how it was like poetry as both poetry and the law are about the human spirit! He should wax lyrical like that to those victims of crime, both black and white and see how they receive it!
Yes, poverty also needs to be addressed! To do this they need a plan. I always get the impression that this government doesn’t have a plan. When I look at Hong Kong and know that 30-years ago half of Hong Kong Island (from North Point and Fortress Hill) was a shanty-town and see how Hong Kong has developed and grown, I know South Africa can too. But to do so, the government must have a plan!
Don’t Fly SAA!
Remember that’s how we started this travelog, well it is how we have to end. Although the service was better, the TV consoles still didn’t work! Such was our suffering and fate!
Hope you all enjoyed these thoughts and reflections of our Return to SA.
Look out for the Pictorial that we will surely post soon.
Take care all,
Paul and Queenie
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