Monday, August 10
On Monday, we checked out of the hotel early and drove to the Soweto Township. Soweto is an abbreviation of South Western Township and is perhaps the best known community in the history of the anti-Apartheid movement, due to activism and the fact that it was the home of both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. No where else in the world can you find the homes of two Nobel Laureates on one street!
We drove into the vast area that is home to more than 1 million black Africans. One noticeable landmark are these old coal burning towers, now used for bungee jumping and painted colorfully. The living conditions ranged from tents and shacks to modern brick homes.
We first stopped at Regina Mundi Catholic Church. During the 1976 Soweto Uprising, students protested the poor quality of Bantu education and the new move to teach the Afrikaans to black students. Police attempted to disperse the crowd as it grew to thousands, but then open fired on the students. Many students took refuge in the Regina Mundi church. By nightfall, there was a horrific death total: approximately 700 youth had been killed.
|raising the SA flag|
|Two girls pose next to the iconic photo|
|plaque commemorating the uprising.|
We next visited Nelson Mandela's home, where he lived for some of his adult life, and where Winnie Mandela raised their children while he was in prison. The house is now a historic site and many documents are on display. We were intrigued by a letter from the Michigan legislature apologizing for the role of the CIA in the capture of Mandela.
chakalaka. We did a little shopping for souvenirs, and then it was off to the airport for a long flight home.
|This beautiful lady makes jewelry. I bought several necklaces.|