Friday, July 04, 2008

African Artist Village and Hartebeespoort Dam

Today was awesome, we left this morning in the car and rocked out to some of my tunes on the iPod on the way. We drove past the Zandspruit Township, which was really quite eye-opening. It's strange how 3rd world and 1st world Africa exist pretty much down the block from each other. Very unexpected.

We stopped at a Biltong store along the way and bought a ton of Biltong, including a Lemon Pepper one (pretty good) and a Chutney one (awesome). We also got some weird homemade crisps and some dried mango.

After that we got to the Chameleon Artist village, where we spent a good hour or two wading through the artwork and african goods, and fighting off super agressive booth owners claiming "We just want to look, and we'll be back." :) We finally found a nice lady who was not pushy like the rest, and we got most of our authentic souveniers from her. I got a beautifully carved soap stone mother and child sculpture and a wooden pair of an African man and and African woman. Very cool. Also I got a whole ton (about 12) Ebony wood carvings of leopards, lions, rhinos and elephants for some friends. I also got a reaaaally awesome Mandela-style African lounge shirt, probably more likely from Nigeria or Malawi rather than South Africa, but certainly awesome. I also bought a couple of beaded bracelets and I also got a SWEET drum!!!!!! It's nice to be supporting the artists a bit more directly than through souvenier stores.

From there we went to Hartebeespoort Dam. When you get out of the car you get rushed by many black men selling oranges, or cell phone car adapters. There was also a lady selling macadamia nuts. There sure are a lot of people sitting around, and you can definitely see the unemployment rate is very high just by looking around on the streets. People sell junk to people in cars, and this is how a lot of people make their living. It's really quite crazy.

From there we went to the dam and took some photos. Then we drove back to Jo'Burg and dropped off the stuff, then picked up Granny, fixed a few things for her, and then went grocery shopping. Then dinner, more grocery shopping, and some coffee. I got a bunch of the food that I want to take home to friends today, so that's great.

Now onto the photos.

Jimmy fixed my shoes with some glue

Zandspruit Township

Another one of Zandspruit Township

Cool tree

Biltong shop

Cool crazy thatched roof

Mmm... Biltong chips?!!!

Nice set of rusks


Lots of good Biltong

Nice mountains

Drive to Hartebeespoort Dam

Hartebeespoort Dam

James and I at Hartebeespoort Dam

Workers cleaning up some plants that got into the dam area

Another one of Zandspruit Township

Mmm... Vors

Helping out Granny with some of the new stuff we bought

Weird things called "Polony"?! Apparently it's like sliced turkey.

Funny, these chocolate bars say "Local n' Lekker" - these are "local" SA flavours. Lekker means tasty.

Haha, "Maize Flakes" :)

Granny ran into her friend while shopping

Biltong flavoured cheese spread?! Are you serious?!??!!

Nice melktert (Milk Tart)

My new drum!!!!!!!!!! With cool Zulu carvings too.

Awesome shirt

These bracelets are cool

All the stuff that I bought at the store

I love these deoderant flavours, and you can't get them in Canada

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