Once again, with more feeling. - 04 September 2006

A week around Gauteng, South Africa, with Lindsey: how I risked my life on a canopy tour in the middle of the Magaliesberg Mountains.

Soweto and the sheep's intestines

Soweto alll aroundOn Friday it was Colin's turn to take me out on a tour. Colin is Jill's boyfriend (and Jill is Lindsey's older sister) just to clarify the family connections.
He decided to take me to Soweto.

Now, like any other European, I didn't know much about Soweto. I thought was some sort of South African Bronx or shanty town, where criminality, drugs and poverty were everywhere. I was (almost) wrong.

I won't try to explain you the history of Soweto (South West Town by the way, and I thought it was some kind of Zulu name), because I know that wikipedia would do it better than I can. But I can try to share my experience.

To hell with afrikaansHector Pieterson MemorialSoweto is massive. Few millions people are living in this part of the city. Yes, you can see very poor houses from time to time while driving inside the city.
But the rest of the houses are perfectly normal and some of them look quit expensive.
You see, even now that people are starting making money (and the government is investing heavily in the area, creating more and more jobs), they have a chance to leave and move to some other place, but instead they usually decide to stay.
Soweto is the symbol of their rebellion (the riots in 1976) and I guess they are very proud of it.

Me and MandelaOh, by the way, when I say "they" I refer to black people. Nothing racist here, it is just the way it is now.
The Hector Pieterson memorial and the not distant museum are places where someone can start to understand what apartheid was and how it ended after so many years.
Nelson Mandela was born and lived there, and obviously his house is like a shrine for the locals (as soon as I entered the small house, full of gifts from all around the world, I was surrounded by an incredible number of kids from Soweto's schools chanting Mandela's name)

Me and ColinAfter a morning visiting Soweto Colin took me to another local institution: Wandies. This place is an incredible restaurant in the heart of Soweto, with a friendly atmosphere and the walls completely covered by the visit card of people who ate here.
The food, cheap and good, was available from a long buffet.
I tried everything that my eyes liked included sheep's intestines.

They tasted good, by the way (once you forget what they really are).

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