I always keep promises!Informational meetings: Experience Africa with Elsie and Daring Journeys‏

Ok so lets go to Africa because I got to go back and I want you to come and have your own Daring Journey

You are Invited

December 17th, 5:00 p.m.
December 20th, 2:00 p.m.
World Grounds Cafe

Join Elsie in Africa…Dare Yourself!

 

Who can go: Anyone  that  might want to go to Africa this summer or following summers.(educator, student, relative, friend, neighbor or colleague)

What the meeting is about: How you can experience a “Taste of Africa.”
3 weeks

 
4 countries (South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe)
Service work: Visit and interact with other educators and community members while doing service work at Orphan schools, local schools, old folks home, townships, and local villages.
Cultural Exchange: Learn about local traditions, experience music and dancing, and shop and barter with local merchants.
Activities and adventure: Elephant rides, walks with lions, boat rides, water falls, game drives, hikes, walks, river rafting and more.

Why Go to the meeting?
To learn how you can have an experience that will change the way you look at yourself, the world, and the communities  in which you live by bringing “Africa” back home to  your schools, families, friends, and coworkers.
  
How can I go to Africa?:  Elsie and Daring Journeys will suggest ideas on how to fund your Journey and will walk you through the process of preparing for your journey and guide you there and back safe and sound.


 
When are the meetings?:
December 17th, 5-6 or December 20, 2-3
 

 

Where are the meetings?:
World Grounds Cafe 
(go to the back kitchen area for meeting space)
3726 MacArthur Blvd
(between Loma Vista Ave & Brown Ave)
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 482-2933
 
Next steps
  1. Look out for the Evite that is coming soon.
  2. Let me know if you have any other people that you want me to send this email to.
  3. If you can’t make the meetings and want to talk more let me know because I CAN’T stop talking about Africa. Lets grab a coffee or talk over the phone. Let me know.
  4. Take a look:

        http://www.daringjourneys.myphotoalbum.com/

  • Daring Journeys website: Take a look at past journeys (website is currently being updated)

        http://www.daringjourneys.com
 

Love you alllllll and Happy Holidays
 The Soweto township World Cup Soccer Stadium. Its huge!
I have the video as well!
I am exactly where I want to be!
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Day 28-29: August 25-26: Leaving Africa: Ending with a 3 hour visit to the Apartide Muesium, Untill next time Sweet Africa, Ending this Daring Journey and begining a new one.

We ended the last two days roaming around Joburg and taking in the final moments. Me especially. Delton will be staying on and waiting for his real clients coming in a few weeks. This trip was a regognisence trip. One where he explores new areas, activities, accommodations, and gets the groundwork layed out for his up coming trip. I was definitely lucky to have been able to come along for the ride. I never thought this trip would happen considering everything that happened this summer but God’s Grace is amazing and he can do things that I never could even imagine for myself.

This trip was a blessing in SO MANY WAYS. 

Here are some shots of the Aparthide Meusium. The Meusium was absolutely genius in the way it educated the public. I have never been to anything like this in the states. We have so much to learn from Africa.

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I was taking pictures the whole time I was there. No one told me not to take pictures and I did not see any signs that said “no pictures.” I want to make and apology to the museum if I was not supposed to take the shots.

Here are some shots of the inside exhibits.

Tell it like it really is.

Tell it like it really is.

The truth shall set you free.

The truth shall set you free.

A part of our history

A part of our history

Sounds very familiar

Sounds very familiar

On the roof top of the building is a panoramic view. This describes what I am looking at.

On the roof top of the building is a panoramic view. This describes what I am looking at.

The Nelson Mandela exhibit was running

The Nelson Mandela exhibit was running

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Its good to know that Mr. Mandela and I share similar interests. 8) However,  I never boxed professionally

It's good to know that Mr. Mandela and I share similar interests. 8) However, I never boxed professionally

A wonderfull book that was exibited in huge posters. I can't wait to own it.

A wonderful book that was exhibited in huge posters. I can't wait to own it.

This was a huge room and this was what I looked up at while I was view footage on a wall accross the way. Very intense exibits that really brought forth significant emotion

This was a huge room and this was what I looked up at while I was view footage on a wall across the way. Very intense exhibits that really brought forth significant emotion

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The Scary details of apartide were pervasive, direct, and had holocost written all over it.

The scary details of apartheid were pervasive, direct, and had holocaust written all over it.

Explaing the removal of PEOPLE

explaining the removal of PEOPLE

Last Sunrise in Johburg

Last Sunrise in Johburg

Last stop before going to the airport

Last stop before going to the airport

The willow tree is what attacked us as well as the sunrise over this little lake in the middle of Johburg.

The willow tree is what attacked us as well as the sunrise over this little lake in the middle of Johburg.The second we started taking photos here security drove up and asked us to leave. Its good to know they are on the lookout.We got to the airport in plenty of time. Delton had about 45 more minutes before his flight and I had about 10 hours. I would have done another tour but I only had 40 Rand on me which would pay for my coffees and diet cokes for the day if I rationed it out. I had not planned my finances as well as I could have but hey, its my first time and I learned a lot about how to travel in Africa and just oversees in general.Having one last Whimpy's mega coffee with Delton my travel buddy.

I was now hooked on Whimpy’s coffee and we had one last one together before we parted ways.
Last shot taken in Africa. Thank Delton 8)

Last shot taken in Africa at the Johburg Airport. I have approximately 10 hours before my flight. Delton is off to Victoria Falls in one hour to wait for his guests who will arrive soon.

Delton.
You showed me Africa.
I am forever grateful.
8)
Its now time for a new journey. I am home now and am working on trying to get a cohort of educators to come with me to Africa next summer. Thanks to Daring Journeys the ground work has already been layed. Now its what you make of it. SO if you have read this and are at all interested in going to Africa next year or in future year, let me know. I will be doing my best working towards getting back there and if I can help anyone else who wants to go I would be honored.
A dear friend that I just spoke to asked me to name three things that I learned when I was in Africa. Our conversation inspired me to finally finish the blog so that I can come to a completion and begin the new journey with the past in tact.
The three things are:
1. Africa is not only the cradle of civilization for humanity, but I now think of it and know it as the cradle of  human progress.
2. Elephants can see directly into your soul
3. Heaven is not as far as you think.
Just  open your eyes, heart, and soul to this gift of a day
and
YOU
ARE
THERE
Love always,
Elsie

World Cup Fever: All of the stadiums except one! (I was there!)

We made it a point to visit as many of the World Cup 2010 stadiums that we could. We visited 4 out of five of the stadiums. All of them were being worked on and behind schedual but almost there. We were at the Durban stadium, Soweto Stadium, Cape Town Stadium, and the Nelspruit Stadium. The only one we could not visit was the Port Elizabeth Stadium, which happens to be the only one that has been completed. 8)

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Because World Cup fever is so pervasive I took pictures of cool billboards and other soccer structures.

This is a soccer ball crashing into a building in Johburg. Brillient!

View crossing the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johburg

View crossing the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johburg

 

They  did this cool thing were they covered old big abandoned buildings with a big worldcup advertisement cover. It looks like a building but its really a covered building with an ad.

So cool. The building is completely empty.

So cool. The building is completely empty.

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Enjoy the pictures. I am keeping my fingers crossed for next year.

Exciting signs like this everywhere you go.

Exciting signs like this everywhere you go.

What is cool is that in addition to all the stadiums the cities will be erecting huge veiwing screens all around town as well as in the townships. When we were there one of the many conversations that the media was having was how each statdium will have seats reserved just for the construction workers that helped to build the stadiums.

Its amazing what the world cup is doing to Africa.

 

 

 

 

Coke is a huge advertiser of the WC 2010

Coke is a huge advertiser of the WC 2010

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durban

This stadium has a trolly that will move over the stadium during the game!

This stadium has a trolly that will move over the stadium during the game!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brillient!

Brillient!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 We stopped at this stadium on the way to Kruger national park. Its just  massive. Imagine this at night.

Nelspruit is close to Kruger. Go look at Game all day and stop off for a soccer game. Not to shabby!

Nelspruit is close to Kruger. Go look at Game all day and stop off for a soccer game. Not to shabby!

There was a little soccer field right next to the stadium. I am glad they left it in tact.

There was a little soccer field right next to the stadium. I am glad they left it in tact.

 The Cape Town stadium looked like it was the most behind. Cape town has been busy working on other things to be ready. I think they will be done soon.

Cape town stadium

Cape town stadium

The only thing left standing around this stadium was a McDonalds. It was still open and the stadium built around it. Can you believe how lucky that McD's is?

The only thing left standing around this stadium was a McDonalds. It was still open and the stadium built around it. Can you believe how lucky that McD's is?

Soweto is the place to be! The biggest and badest township in the world has the biggest and badest World Cup Stadium.
It really looks like a space ship when you come accross it. Its massive!

It really looks like a space ship when you come accross it. Its massive!

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Sun setting on the stadium

Sun setting on the stadium

Soccer balls line many of the major city streets in some way. Whether its how neighborhood steets are lit up or how adds are posted. Its everywhere.

Soccer balls line many of the major city streets in some way. Whether its how neighborhood steets are lit up or how adds are posted. Its everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My favorite World Cup memory will always be when Delton gave a villiage boy in Livingston a new soccer ball to replace his old hand made “soccer ball.”

Soccer is not only a game!

This is our ball now

This is our ball now

Delton giving out a new ball. He makes a mental note to check for a more durable ball when back in the states. The village kids will need the best made balls becuase of the terrain they will be playing on in the villages.

Delton giving out a new ball. He makes a mental note to check for a more durable ball when back in the states. The village kids will need the best made balls becuase of the terrain they will be playing on in the villages. We want the balls to last as long as possible.

Thank you's for the new ball

Thank you's for the new ball

The new soccer ball is the bomb! Kids ready to show everyone the new ball.

The new soccer ball is the bomb! Kids ready to show everyone the new ball.

 

World Cup 2010. Africa is almost ready.

 

 Are you?

Day 26-27: August 23-24th: The cool cats of Soweto and driving through a soccer game crowd.

airballoon ball

 

 

 In Joburg, one of the biggest and oldest townships is called Soweto. This township is filled with people and its amazing. This place has certainly had its history of violence but it is also a place of great strength, hope, life, and community. There is something about the people of Soweto that stuck me deeply. They have a pep in their stride, a strength in their spirit, couragous and fearless zest for life and I am sure they know something more grand, more authentic, more mysterious about life that we just don’t know because we don’t live and are not from Soweto.

This is a soccer air ballon that is lifted over their soccer stadium during a game.

Check out more on Soweto. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soweto

Have you seen District 9 yet? Its based in Soweto and the human connections to what is and what has gone on is amazing. The aliens in the movie make the conversation easier to have but if you look into what the movie is talking about you will see the truth.

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 This is an old coal plant that has been shut down. The towers are are painted with the colorful jazz vibes of Soweto. The man walking is wearing a hat that is so “SOWETO” I looked for it everywhere.

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 This is the massive new stadium being built for the world cup. It looks like a huge space ship.

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 We were caught in the middle of some traffic after the local soccer game. It was electric being around the people coming out of the game. SO much energy. I did not take an pictures because I was too scared. I did not want to offend any of the poepel of Soweto. It was a feeling I had and I just did not want to be disrepctful to them because they are awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

You can ride in this soccerball air balloon. We watched it susspend above the stadium during the game and when it was over it slowly made its way down to a nearby mall parking lot.SDC12736

 

Massive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its not done yet.soweto stad

Day 23-25: August 20-23: Camping in the magnificent Drakensburg Mountain Range, Kruger National Park and the Big 5.

I never thought I would be driving across this beautiful continent. An African road trip sounds like a dream and I am here to tell you that it is. What land. The cultural landscape is intriguing the physical land scape if awe inspiring and the spiritual connection  you feel to both are indescribable. My experience has been beyond what words or this blog can reveal. It must be lived. I am so grateful to have this moment.

Driving to the Drakensberg mountain range was like entering un uncharted territory of new and exciting towns, villages, people, and topography. This mountain range spans such a long distance along side of Lesotho.  Most of it can only be entered if you have an all terrain vehicle. A vw passat is not all terrain but it got us close enough for this trip.

Driving to the Drakensburg

Driving to the Drakensberg

countryside
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Beautiful scenery!countryside3
Reformed housing
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youarehere
What a landscape
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Cathedrall peak
Yes it snows in Africa. Lots of it. Our vehicle only could take us 40 km close. We needed an SUV or Hummer to got the rest of the way. Next year?Another peak
I can officially say that I went camping in Africa at the foot of the Drakensberg mountains. What a site. We got to the national park and were one of two people there. The other’s were camping here for 10 days. This couple has been coming to this one spot for 20 years. There are waterfalls, hiking, and tons of animal and bird viewing.A campers dream come true
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The camp site was fully equiped with outside kitchens an bathrooms. I could have stayed here the rest of the trip.A she 2
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Kruger and the big 5: I did not get many shots from the biggest game park in Africa because of low battery but I got a few. The Big Five are rhino, buffalo, leopard, elephant, and lion. All can be seen here!
A huge rhino
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This is a big old Rhino. Most Rhinos are becoming extinct in Africa. We were lucky to see this one.  The next is Kudu. A huge majestic animal with spiraling horns. They also make great bulton(a very health beef jerky)Kudu camo
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On our way to the area and leaving the area, fires are a familiar sight. Some are natural but most are man made. This is a refinery that has caught fire on the way to Johburg from Kruger.fire

Big African flowerDo you know what flower this is? I saw these everywhere.

Day 15-Day 21. August 12-18, 2009. Wednesday-Tuesday: Cape Town, SA, Backpackers lodges are the way to go, Camps Bay, Table Mountain, 12 Apostles, Simons Town, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, The Southwesterly Tip of the African Continent, World cup Mania, South Africa is not like the “real Africa,” Townships and Shanti Towns..

Cape town!

Its differnt than what I have seen and yet it is the same as where I am from. Its just like the Bay Area except a little different look. Its not like the “Africa” I knew and have come to know. Wow. The history, the culture. I am actually called colloured here. There is White, Colloured,and African

A hand painted collage of Nelson Mandella. Those are all hands!

mandellawithhands

Most of the Africans working here in town actually live in the surrounding townships and shanti towns. They travel into capetown on foot or by mini bus or taxi. One of the buses is called “the bus for us” meaning this bus will pick you up if you are an African.

The real Mama Africa restuarant! Awesome Murals.

mamaafricamurel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each mural was this cool

Each mural was this cool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The racism here is hard to explain. Its different yet the same. Nobody questions it to much here. Seems like everyone has a  “knows their  place” kind of a feeling. Like I said. Its hard to explain and understand. Don’t forget Apartide has just “recently’ begun to be “dismantled” Its amazing how much has changed here in such a short period of time.

There have definately been places and towns where the African resentment is felt clearly becuase you can almost cut through it with a knife and then there are places  and towns where everyone is happy. THere is a big difference between the feel of the places and towns where the majority of the business are black owned and run vs. towns that are run by white only.

I am not explaining this a great as I could because I could really do a few Phd’s on it all.

We are staying at a back packers lodge called Ashanti. Its awesome and has everything we need for  a low price. Hot and clean showers, Internet, Cafe, small heater, clean common use kitchen and its walking distance from every thing.

Cape town takes your breath away.

12 apostles in the background

12 apostles in the background at a place called Camps Bay. Beautiful ocean town. Reminds me of Sausolito.They are breath taking

I am calling this one Mathew. Doesn't it look like Mathew?!

I am calling one of the 12 apostles, this one ,Mathew. Doesn't it look like Mathew?!

Table mountain. You can hike it or take a cable extension car up the mountain if the wind is not to bad.

Table mountain. You can hike it or take a cable extension car up the mountain if the wind is not to bad.

On our way to table mountain. View of Cape town. Looks like the bay area.

On our way to table mountain. View of Cape town. Looks like the bay area.

 We took a drive down the coast to Simons Town. This town was over taken by the JackAss penguins. They are all over and their numbers have been declining but the people are working hard to make sure their numbers increas.
As we passed Simons town we made our way down to the Southwesterly most tip of the African Continent. We went to the Cape of good hope and Cape point.
  This was amazing. The south westerly most tip of Africa. ( I could not stop saying that when I was there) I never thought I would be standing at this spot. I look to the left and its the Indian ocean. To the  right the Atlantic.
Southwesterly most tip of Africa

Southwesterly most tip of Africa!

Can you guess what wild animal hangs out at the Southwesterly most tip of Africa. Can you? Well I had no Idea that I would get to the southwesterly most tip of Africa and run into, none other than huge, collassal, wild Oschtrages. Thats right. They were all over. Roming free and mad if you tried to close. I can’t find my picture!!!1
Yes its a gravestone that I am leaning against of one of the many shipwrecks that happened here.

Yes its a gravestone that I am leaning against of one of the many shipwrecks that happened here.

Whalespective!

Whalespective!

After leaving the Cape of good hope it was hard thinking about what this site meant a few hundred yeas ago. To think, someone could have been hanging out on the beach and look up to say “oh look, its a slave ship” This was one of the entry points for slave ships coming and going. To think about it is really immense. That it actually happened here, just one of the many places on earth.
Cape town is interesting but it is also conflicting. Real life here can be very different depending on WHO you are.
One day I did a Township tour in the morning and in the evening. We visited two townships. Langa and Khyleshia. Kyleashia being the biggest of over 2 million people.
I will shop pictures and add comentary. Again. You have to experience it your self. Being with the people that live in the townships and shanti towns. Talking to them. Asking them about how they live, what their hopes are for themselves and their kids and just listening to them talk about life was unforgettable. I went into hostels, shacks, and reformed housing. All of these were in the townships. Please don’t forget that the waiters at the restuarants, my guide on the town ship tour and most of the Black poeple that I see come home at night to there townships. When I say Cape Town is conflicting its because of this.
As far as the eyes can see.

As far as the eyes can see.

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THe shacks do not have toilets in them. You see rows of toilets along the outskirts of the townships.

THe shacks do not have toilets in them. You see rows of toilets along the outskirts of the townships.

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This is typical. Trash is everywhere you look and step. The burning of trash happens alot allong side of the townships or inside next to a shack. There is no garage service here.

One part of a 10 x 12 Hostil room that houses 16 people. This means three families.

One part of a 10 x 12 Hostil room that houses 16 people. This means three families in this one room.

This is a Grandmother and her Grand daugher. The Grandmother has been living in this Hostil for 40 years. A hostil is  a big building with many rooms. This one had on the first floor, 6 rooms.  Each room is about 10 feet x 10 feet and each room houses 3 families. So in each room there are three beds with belongings stacked in piles up, down, sideways and all around. The children usually sleep under the beds.

One outside sink is used by all families. Electricty goes to each room and that is where the one or two hotplates are used to warm and cook food for everyone who shares that room.

tThis is the other bed in that room and accroos from us is the third bed. Rememer 3 families live in this one room.

tThis is the other bed in that room and accroos from us is the third bed. Rememer 3 families live in this one room.

Another room that houses three families

Another room that houses three families

Here and her family have been on a waiting list to get a reformed house, (a small area that is not shared in a building) They have been waiting for 14 years.

Here and her family have been on a waiting list to get a reformed house, (a small area that is not shared in a building) They have been waiting for 14 years.

Ready for a picture at any moment

Ready for a picture at any moment

These guys followed me everywhere.

These guys followed me everywhere.

I am going to call this the goat place. Its a place of business. A popular spot in manytownships. Its where women get the goat heads ready.

I am going to call this the goat place. Its a place of business. A popular spot in manytownships. Its where women get the goat heads ready.

goatheadladies
If you have a sensitive stomach then you might want to turn away. These ladies boil, cut, scrape, ax, and eat and serve goats heads all day long.
As I left cape town I was glad to have been able to have a greater understanding of township life. I was also glad to leave because it just did not feel like “Africa”

Day 14. August 11, 2009. Tuesday: Morning game drive, Crossing the border back into Botswana and driving to Gaberone with 4 girls.

Woke up and went straight to the fire. Had my prepackaged breakfast and tea and we were off to go deeper into Hwange National Forest. 

Its freezing and we have blankets on in the Safari SUV.NPITSCOLD

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Morning

Good MorningThey are beautiful and everywhere you look.

HwangeNP
A typical scene when we come accross game on the road

A typical scene when we come accross game on the road

tons of monkeys at a watering hole

tons of monkeys at a watering hole

As we left Hwange we were not to happy with the game that we saw. There was something going on with the watering holes and the patterns that the animals have established in the area. We are thinking that some of the lodges are monitoring the water they let out into the manmade watering holes depending on how many clients they will have. The recession is affecting many places in Africa.
We will be going to Kruger NP towards the end of the trip so the game there should be abundent.
We left Hwange and went to pick up Olga’s girls. We are going to give these girls a ride into Botswana to their Auties house. (5hour drive)
We were sitting on luggage. Packed cars are a typical scene here. Especially when people need rides. Hich hiking is commen and accepted here as well. Its a part of life.

We were sitting on luggage. Packed cars are a typical scene here. Especially when people need rides. Hich hiking is commen and accepted here as well. Its a part of life.

We need to  spend the night at Auties because its late when we role in. Tomarrow is the  drive into Johburg (4 hours) and hopefully we make our flight to Cape Town on time tomarrow.  Another day is done and the border crossings are more interesting when you have 4 young girls with you. Before entering Botswana we all had to get out of the car and walk over this muddy solution that was a antibacterial solution for HOOf and Mouth Disease. Your tires roll over it and everyone walks through it.

Its gross but we lived through it.

Tomarrow is another day.!