Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Elvis, Football, and More

Hi everyone! I hope you are doing well. I am fine here in Johannesburg! But, I was WAY TOO tired from that jet-lag stuff to write a big story last night. So here are some photos of my first day in South Africa. I will fill in the blanks later.

Here are photos from the future site of the 2010 World Cup. It's the biggest soccer tournament in the world! Kristin says it is like the Super Bowl and the World Series...but MUCH bigger. And here, they call soccer "football." Very interesting.

Here I am with my new friend, Eben.

There were several of these mountains near the World Cup stadium. But Eben told us they are not mountains. They are called "mine dumps." Who knew?

I don't need to explain what this is!

Here you can choose a cup of corn or french fries with your Happy Meal. VERY strange!

There are many, many poor people here in South Africa. Some live in metal shacks.

Others live in new housing. These houses are being built for poorer people. The people with more money live in houses surrounded by tall walls....so you can't even see the house.

We visited a placed called Soweto. It used to be the poorest and most violent part of Johannesburg. Today it is much nicer. Keith was shocked when we visited Soweto. He was here in 1994 and said it was more like the shantytowns I saw in Brazil.

This is the house Bishop Desmond Tutu used to stay at in Soweto.

And this is the place where Nelson Mandela used to live. He is a very famous person that was once president of South Africa. I'll have to tell you more about him when I have time. The house in Soweto is being renovated for a museum so we couldn't see the house. But I can at least say I was there!

We ate lunch in Soweto....something Eben says would have been impossible 5 years ago. The restaurant lets people sign their menus. So Kristin helped me sign mine. I had grilled cheese. YUM!

Here is the Maponya Mall....a brand new mall in Soweto. It has a huge elephant outside of the main entrance.

Here are some more photos of Johannesburg.

And this is Elvis. He hangs just below the rear view mirror in Eben's car. :)

Bye for now.....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Greetings from South Africa!

Hi everyone! I have safely made it to South Africa.

I am currently in Johannesburg...or "Joburg" as the locals call it. See if you can find it on the map. If you read my twitter updates, you will know that King Tut was mad at Kristin again. Our plane was delayed 90 minutes in London. But once we were on our way, I slept most of the flight.

King Tut was still mad when we landed, however, because the equipment bag didn't show up with the rest of Kristin and Keith's luggage. After many phone calls, Kristin has finally been able to confirm the bag is on its way to Johannesburg now. Whew!

Our local "fixer" is a journalist named Eben. He is very nice. He picked us up at the airport and took us to our hotel, the Hyatt in Rosebank. It is very nice. Here is the view from Kristin's window.

I was really tired when we got to the hotel just before noon....but Keith and Kristin were trying to stay awake in order to keep that jet-lag stuff away! It was Sunday here (we are 7 hours ahead of Iowa time). So we went to a nearby mall that has a Sunday market. It was a lot like other markets I have seen on my many travels with Kristin. Kristin bought some wooden masks and a painting and Keith bought this really cool hat.

They didn't have a hat in my size or I would have gotten one too. :(

Keith and Kristin have lots of people to interview tomorrow and I know we have to spend a lot of time in the car to get to the interviews. So I am not sure when I will check in again. But keep you eye on the twitter messages.

Bye for now!