After a 14 hour flight (my first international flight ever), we landed in Johannesburg. There wasn't much culture shock at first, because all the signs on the airport walls were in English and Kelly Clarkson was playing on the radio. Looking back, I'm thankful for this, because it helped ease me into the whole cross-cultural experience.
The first place we went was the Voortrekker Monument. I was a little too in awe of South Africa (or what little bit I'd seen from the bus window on the drive over) to pay much attention to what our tour guide was saying, but our professor (who is originally from South Africa) is distantly related to Piet Retief, a South African leader who is recognized in the monument.
|On the steps of the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria|
|Bobotie pancake and coffee milkshake|
We drove back to Johannesburg and spent the rest of the afternoon at the Apartheid Museum. I'd learned a bit about Apartheid in a theater history class my freshman year, but I still wasn't completely sure what it was all about. This museum told me everything I need to know. Every inch of the walls was covered in photographs, plaques, and TVs playing video clips of racial segregation in South Africa. So much violence and hate and anger, it was astounding. The museum was like a maze, and I meandered around with the rest of the group for a good two or three hours.
|The segregated entrances to the museum based on what your admission ticket says|
Outside the museum was a beachy setup with tall grass and dunes. Some of us finished looking around inside the museum earlier than others, so we took lots of fun pictures!
|The first of many South African sunsets|
After that, we headed to Shoestring Backpackers (Backpackers are South Africa's version of hostels), which looked like a huge house with lots of bedrooms. The owners cooked us dinner (South African barbecue) and I settled into my first ever bunk bed (top bunk!) and fell asleep in South Africa.
Hopefully this was interesting. More will come soon...this was only day one!