We then came back to Cape Town, where Fred spent the next three or four weeks going on adventures, letting me tag along and/or drag him on other adventures, and hanging out while I freaked out over schoolwork. The poor dear spent a fair amount of time in Africa hanging out in malls while I ran to treatment centres to see sponsees or sat tearing my hair out over archaeological papers.
I wanted to get some pictures up of our time together, because he is a major part of my life and a wonderful addition to my time spent in South Africa.
On a clear, seemingly windless day we decided to brave long lines and load shedding to take the aerial tram up to the top of Table Mountain. Fred is not a fan of heights, the poor dear, but was a trooper.
|Our usual enjoying-ourselves look.|
On another weekend, we joined Mandolyn and Paarth and took the train out to Muizenberg to go to the beach. Well, I sat in a cafe to do my school work as I was typing a paper...beach sand and laptops are not the best of friends. Monkey came along as well.
Fred also took a township tour, which sounds amazing. I hope to go on it at some point soon.
Through Ida Cooper, we also got to go to Robben Island, the Alcatraz of Cape Town, where enemies of apartheid, such as Robert Sobukwe, Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the ANC were imprisoned. We went with Paarth and a couple other American students, but go separated from them when busses were loading to take us on the tour of the island.
The trip was very intense and highly emotional. It was powerful to see and hear about the conditions to which those who opposed the apartheid government in South Africa were subjected. At the same time, the tour was conducted by a former prisoner who talked about the healing power of being there as a guide rather than as a prisoner and how he learned to forgive. It was also incredibly powerful to learn that the sanctions and protests and boycotts that the rest of the world imposed upon South Africa during those times actually reached the inmates on the island. As a result, they received somewhat better conditions and took comfort in knowing that what they were doing would not be in vain. It was heartening to learn that those seemingly insignificant pieces of political action we took back in the day (and in some cases continue to take now) do matter and impact people in a very real and positive way.
|The quarry where ANC leaders were subjected to hard labour. The limestone dust coated their lungs, and the stone reflected the intense sunlight, which is why many of the former prisoners (including Mandela) had lung and eye troubles.|
|Upon his visit as president, Mandela encouraged all attending to create a pile of multicolour stones in the former quarry to symbolize the coming together of South Africa's people.|
|A former inmate takes us into the prison.|
|Many of the cells and group rooms had interesting bits of decoration.|
|An African penguin, oblivious to history, takes up voluntary residence in the prison.|
|The garden where the manuscript of Mandela's autobiography was hidden from the guards|
|Nelson Mandela's cell|
|Before the international protests brought int the bunks seen in other pictures, the prisoners slept on these mats.|
|It was a grey day returning to Cape Town.|