For the last day, we spent most of the day in Soweto.
Soweto has a lot of history. The name is an abbreviation for ‘South Western Townships’. A township was an area that the Government mass relocated Black Africans during Apartheid.
Soweto grabbed the worlds attention on June 16th 1976- an event took place known as the ‘Soweto Uprising’. Students led a protest against the new instruction of schools to be taught in Afrikaans, which in Desmond Tutu’s words was labelled as ‘the language of the oppressor’. Basically, when the students protested in large numbers, the police shot fire. The first child to be killed was a 13 year boy called Hector Pieterson, whose image shocked the nations. That day over 176 people were killed, including women, men and children.
It’s heart breaking to even imagine what took place those days. Thankfully those days are over, and the kids there seem to be real happy. I am sure there are some tough areas still, but at least those sign posts are gone and the restrictive outright racist laws!
Hanging out in Soweto, I felt a real sense of community.. something we lack in most of the Western world.
We were picked up by some members of the choir, and taken to Mary’s place (also a choir member) She cooked us up some real South African cuisine! :-)
Mary lives right next to a park where loads of kids were playing. They were so happy and loved having they pictures taken! So while Mary cooked up a feast we played with them and took lots of photos :-)
When food was ready, we all got stuck in. We washed out hands in a bowl full of boiling water and then ate the traditional way, with our fingers. We grabbed the food from the bowl then ate it with our fingers. They told us to try a bit of everything, and afterwards revealed what the contents was..
Well, guess what– I ate cow TONGUE (!), intestines!!! & cow liver.
Admittedly, none of them tasted that bad. It was all stewed and flavored with spices. Just the thought of it! :p
[I was keen to show off to my fiancé that I tasted cow tongue, of course forgetting for a moment that the Lebanese love to eat sheep tongue!]
After our meal we popped to Sandton and took a look at the Nelson Mandela statue and the mall.
Then we went to Newtown to a bar/ restaurant called ‘Sophiatown’ for a few drinks and some food. Good vibes.
Ahhh, so that’s it! for now ;-)
And what an experience…! A week to remember forever.
Tears and laughter, music, beautiful people, incredible energy, nature… I feel extremely grateful to have had this experience.
Life is about making it happen!
The Soweto Gospel choir blew me away… and I can’t wait for you all to hear the song!