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Text by Patty Simon | Images by Dick Simon
South Africa


We just put Alex and Ben in a taxi to go home via Dubai. It is very sad to let them go. We had so much fun. Sacred time for me.

Cape Town is a cross between San Francisco and Boston set up against the sheer cliffs of Table Mountain and Lions Head, next to the Atlantic. We stayed in a private home that was cosmically a mix of my mother’s taste and mine. I felt like I had come home. Quite charming. We were lucky to be there Jan. 2 for the New Years Carnival Parade – brightly colored satin costumes and faces painted with glitter designs. Great band music. You can imagine how many pics Dick took while I have lots of video. We visited Robbins Island (like Alcatraz) where Mandela’s spent 18 of his 27 years in prison in a tiny cell. Our guide had been a prisoner himself. The highlight of our time for me was visiting many townships like Soweto where different NGO projects are happening. We visited a youth choir, women’s craft coop, organic community garden, tasted fried lamb fat and liver and watched a man making a living skinning cow heads piled up in a shopping cart (great video to share!). And, most importantly, collected lots of bottle caps – my new art material. (If anyone has any ideas on what to do with them, please let me know!)

So, I will end South Africa with this. Though I had a wonderful time and met wonderful people, I just could not shake the idea that though Apartheid has “ended”, the chasm between the rich and famous and the poorest of the poor to the tune of 1.6 million is still there. We heard time and time again that if it were not for the sanctions, Apartheid would still be existing. I spent my whole time trying to understand. Nelson Mandela was truly a miracle worker. I just wish we could clone him to continue his great work!

On to India!


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