South Africa

South Africa
The Rainbow Nation

Thursday, October 4, 2007


After the conference in Lesotho, we were on our way to Bloemfontein. A few of the Rotarians who attended to conference were nice enough to give us a ride to their city. The first thing we did was to take a tour of Bloemfontein with Richard, the president of the club. Bloemfontein is a wonderful city with an opera house, a game reserve in the city limits, lots of shopping, etc. After the tour, we had dinner at Catherine’s home with salmon, pasta, cheesecake – really good food.
The next day, we woke up to a vocational day. Elizabeth, Will, Annie, and Andrea went to the Sunflower House; a place that children with incurable disease could go to spend quality time , and be looked after. Joan, a very knowledgable nurse, had a dream to provide this service, and she made it come true. We also went to the local hospital for a look at the pediatric areas, and the “kangaroo program” which enables new mothers to spend time with their infants rather than the infants going to an isolette without bonding time. Loretta went to the criminal sexual magistrate court that issues protection orders against criminal domestic violence. We came home for lunch, and then did some shopping for souvenirs in the city. That night , the Rotarians took us out to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant; the only Mexican restaurant we have ever been to that didn’t serve chips and salsa at the beginning of the meal.
The next morning, we actually woke up to a thunderstorm. The area hasn’t had rain for months and months. We went to a game reserve, Emoya, despite the rain, and took a walking tour of the reserve with a guide named Jacques from Botswana. The tour was fantastic – we had a great time. We saw lots of wildlife, including zebra, eland , springbok, duiker, a cat named a caricol, snakes, cheetah, including 2 little playful baby cheetah, and giraffes. We even got to play with the baby cheetahs and pet them, as well as the snakes ( whoever wanted to, that is ). We went home to rest for a while, and then that night, we gave our presentation to the 2 rotary clubs in the area. We gave our usual presentation, followed by our picture program that was seen at the conference with a few new pictures thrown in from Bloemfontein. Another day; next we are headed to Welkom.

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