Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I think I may have finally won the jet lag battle. I actually stayed up until after midnight and didn't wake up until 0730! We woke up to worse weather today than yesterday-fog everywhere. In the interest of calories and money, we eat downstairs around 0930, stuff ourselves, insuring we won't be hungry at lunch time, then push through the hunger at 4 PM, and wait to eat dinner around 7 PM. The fog seemed to be breaking up around 1030 so we walked back downtown, browsed around for an hour, then hiked back up the hill to the B&B. It sprinkled on us a little bit, but not bad, and after hiking up the hill we were hot and sweaty. The sun keeps trying to peek through the clouds. This afternoon we are going on a tour of the townships. It will be a humbling experience I am sure. Until then...

The townships are shanty towns that were created during the apartheid era. Most of the shacks are 200 square feet or smaller, made of wood and corrugated steel roofs. They don't have any electricity, running water, or sewer systems in them.

There are outdoor communal running taps every 500 meters and cubicle type toilets set up.

There are buildings called hostels that were originally set up for single men, but now one area will house several bedrooms, some of which will have multiple families sleeping in them. The picture shows one of three beds in one bedroom. This bed held a couple and one child, the bed across from it held one couple and two children, and then one bed perpendicular to it held a single man-eight people sleeping in one small bedroom.

The irony lies in the fact there are some people who make a decent living who are able to build nice homes with electricity, running water, and sewer. The house to the right is directly across the street from the shacks shown at the top.

Many of the people buy discarded cargo containers from the shipping companies at the port and use them to house their stores and businesses.

We stopped at an after school day care to meet the children. They are full of love and affection, and sang a few songs for us. English is taught starting at age six in the schools, before that they speak their tribal language.

Our guide lives in this township of Lango. She told us that the people who live here do not want the tourists to focus on the extreme poverty and living condition which they live in, but want us to know that they are full of rich African culture, making the most of what they have, and would like nothing better than the opportunity to gain a higher level of education that would enable them to find jobs. I have had the opportunity to visit other third world countries and have known for many years that we take so much for granted when it comes to living conditions and the worldly possessions we have. As I thought, this was truly a humbling experience.


  1. It looks the types of houses they live back in the West Indies...

  2. You look so in your element with those children! :)

  3. One issue that some people have who have only stayed in hotels is that of privacy.

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