Today’s Blog Writers: Katje Knoblauch & Willow Quine
Today we boarded the bus from ALA to the town of Soweto (South Western Townships) for our second visit. When we arrived, we were greeted by local guides who welcomed us by singing traditional songs. Soon, we were on our way to a 4-hour walking tour that provided us insight to the communities of the towns and the history behind them.
On the tour, we got to visit the home Nelson Mandela lived in for roughly fifteen years and where his family lived for over forty years. Our guide provided us with information about his historical importance and we learned a lot!
Next, we saw the memorial site of Hector Pieterson, who was the first student to be shot in the Soweto uprising in 1976. We also were treated to ice pops called ice lollies.
Then we were provided with an amazing meal at the camp sights! We got to feast on traditional South African food, consisting of corn, meats, bread and vegetables, all made with organic homegrown food from their own garden!
We then got to stop at a local mall and buy ourselves South African snacks to try. Then we went out to dinner at Mozambik, a restaurant serving Afro-Porto (African-Portuguese) cuisine. We all laughed a lot and had a great time!!!!!!!
Overall, today was a complete cultural immersion and filled with eye-opening aspects tied to both the historic and present societies of this town. From the outside, Soweto is very different than the sheltered oasis that is ALA. However, our tour guides and the many other locals that we interacted with today helped us understand the historical importance it has to the culture of South Africa. Seeing it from the inside helped us appreciate this even more! Finally, exploring the local supermarket and enjoying a delicious dinner added a relaxing end to our day.