South Africa 2017

ON MY WAY TO SOUTH AFRICA

“We all belong to South Africa, and South Africa belongs to all of us” Oliver Reginald Tambo.

Have you ever been to Africa? 
When was the first time you heard of South Africa? 
What have been the recent news about South Africa?
What attracts you to the African Continent?

FROM NEW YORK TO JOHANNESBURG.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Augustine of Hippo.

It was Tuesday, October 2017… The Captain of South African Airlines, flight #204, a few minutes before taking off, announced overhead: “Travel-O-Ganza, the Travel Club for physicians and nurses, have 110 members on board. They will spend 8 days in South Africa.

ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA.

“South Africa has all the tools to compete in the new global village.” Tom Peters

 Do you know that South Africa has 11 official languages?  Do you know that all of them figure on the legal tender (the Rand bill)?

The population of South Africa is about 56.7 million.  

SAFARI IN PILANESBERG

“There is something about Safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows” Isaak Dinesen.

 By 9:00 AM, we were already at Pilanesberg.  The drive from Rosebank took about three long hours. At most, we only had four hours of sleep in our first night in South Africa.

JOHANNESBURG, THE CITY OF GOLD

“Morning traffic in Johannesburg is like the democratic process…” Lauren Buekes

 Oliver Reginald Tambo International Airport, like the city of Johannesburg, seems to be in permanent mutation.  Inaugurated in 1952, the largest airport in Africa has the capacity to handle up to 28 million passengers a year. 

TOURING SOWETO

Vilakazi Street in Soweto is the only street in the world where are the houses of two Nobel Peace Prize winners.   Here is an African record.  Four South Africans have won the Nobel Peace Prize: Albert Luthuli (1960), Desmond Tutu (1984), JW de Clerk (1990) and Nelson Mandela (1990).  A fun fact now:  both Tutu and Mandela have their houses in Soweto, on the same street, Vilakazi Street, about

PRETORIA, JARACANDA CITY

The city of Pretoria proper is host to a population that is overwhelmingly white in a country that is 80% black.  This must be unique on the African Continent.

 

Since May 1, 1860, when it became the capital the South African Republic (formerly known as the Transvaal province),

PILGRIMAGE AT ROBBEN ISLAND

“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” Nelson Mandela.

Through the bars, we scrutinized the cell located in Prison 7. We were speechless.

CAPE TOWN, BEST CITY IN THE WORLD (?)

This cape is the most stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth. – Sir Francis Drake, on seeing Cape Town for the first time, 1580. In 2014, both the New York Times and London’s Daily Telegraph voted Cape Town as the “Best City to Travel to”.  For five times in a row, Cape Town received the “Best City in the World” travel award

APARTHIEID FOR DUMMIES

“We have to move away from the concepts of color and race, because this is what apartheid is.” Oliver Tambo.

“Apartheid” comes from the Afrikaner language (old Dutch); it means “separateness”.

The funny thing about racism, discrimination, segregation, apartheid and the likes is that they are based on…

CRADLE OF HUMANKIND

“We are just an average breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star” Stephen Hawking. Sunday was a rainy day in Johannesburg.  The group enjoyed a three-stop morning shopping trip ahead of the afternoon visit to the Cradle of Humankind. The day ended with the annual apotheosis of the Farewell Gala and Award Ceremony.   The Maropeng Visitor Center is the welcoming building at the Cradle

MOLEMO JUNIOR PRIMARY SCHOOL.

“In South Africa today, 51% of the youth (18 to 24-year old) are unemployed; but the literacy rate in adults is 94%. How does that bode for tomorrow?”

We reach the school late. Monday morning traffic, from Rosebank to Soweto, is no different from the bedlam on the Cross-Bronx Expressway.  The weather was terrific. Sunday’s rain left behind a blue and bright skied Monday.  In a way, it was a sad farewell gift from South Africa.

“WOMEN HEALTH ISSUES” SYMPOSIUM

“It is health that is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver” Mahatma Gandhi

Every year, in October (Columbus Week), the Travel Club invites members of the medical field to a 16-20 contact hour symposium, with CME and CEU awards.

NELSON R. MANDELA, MADIBA

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.  It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am willing to die.”  Nelson Mandela, Rivonia trial, 1963.

TRAVEL TIPS: SOUTH AFRICA

“A word to salvation…”

If you travel with a minor, even your own child, you need a second official ID, beside their passport. That would be the birth certificate. If you don’t have it, the child will not board the plane.

PEARLS FROM SOUTH AFRICA.

“Comedy is really getting popular is South Africa.” (Trevor Noah)

Miriam Makeba was born in Johannesburg in 1938, she is South African. She died in Italy, in 2008.

While crime rate is high, the wave does not touch the tourist industry.

GOODBYE SOUTH AFRICA.

“I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny.  I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”  George Wallace, 45th governor of Alabama.

South African Airways, SA203, took off at 9:00 PM, on Monday.  The group, 110-strong, was air bound for 16 ½ hours.