26 December 2013


The reality is that when you travel with kids you move slowly and sometimes you just don't move at all.  Today was a non-movement day,  I woke up at 4am, of course.  The kids woke up at 5:30, by then the sun is high and bright.  The first thing out of Dude's mouth was,"Mommy, can we go on safari again today?!" We had a good laugh at that, he was dead serious though.  I don't blame him for wanting to return, it was great.  By 8am we were all fed dressed and ready for action.  The only thing was the kids were having so much fun playing with the Legos and lego characters they brought with them that I didn't want to disturb them. I let them play.  My only plan for the day was to go downtown and catch the city tour bus.  At about 10am we went to the main office and Sibusiso was there.  He offered to drive us to a nearby pharmacy to buy mosquito bite ointment for Zane.  He has about 3 mosquito bites that are driving him crazy.  Luckily South Africa has very little malaria, only found way out of the cities.  Pilanesberg game park boasts that it is malaria free.  So I'm pretty sure that health wise he's just fine but annoyed by the itching.  During our drive in the neighborhood we found all the pharmacies were closed, today is a public holiday so most big businesses are not open.
The block that our bed and breakfast lodge is on is gorgeous.  The surrounding area... Not so much!  This part of JoBurg is the HOOD.  Allen, a Ghanian renting the  cottage next to us in 2B Happy, loves his cottage but hates the area.  He says it frightens him very much and he always makes sure he's in before dark.  He says that some taxis were even nervous dropping him off here at night.  In his comparison Accra, Ghana is much safer, practically crime-free, and he is not used to a neighborhood like this.  He is right, it's  grimy and rough.  There are waaaay too many homeless people in this area.  Most of them are women roaming aimlessly with their children.  Barefoot and wrapped in blankets they look desperate for help.  I told the kids to remind me of how hard their lives are.  I refused to pay $75 for a video game for Christmas and they were devastated. (Btw that game would have cost almost half our safari tour!).  "So Zane.  You don't have a video game to play in your comfortable warm house that's stocked with healthy food, and that kid over there doesnt have shoes and apparently not even a home or bed.  How bad is your life again?"  Both kids looked sick at the thought and comparison, they could only really look at me shaking their heads, they looked embarrassed.  My daddy always told me, "Dont be the type of person who complains in life.  Whatever problem you have someone else is worse off and they are making life work.  Look at a guy with one leg.  He's got all the same problems you have AND he doesn't have a leg!  Don't focus on that problem, be grateful you have two legs!" Boys, the reality is that our luxurious first-world problems are fake and don't deserve the anguish that they are given.  Swallow that!
This area is busy and grimy and since we really don't blend in I didn't want to be hassled by going into town unsure if anything would even be open, as it is a public holiday.  I asked Sibusiso to take us back home and we would chill at 2B Happy today, I was getting sleeeeepy anyway.  The kids were happy to get back to their Legos.  We played War, Dominos, and Monopoly.  They played outside, they even played their own game at the front office pool table.  I, on the other hand, could barely keep my eyes open.  Before I knew it, it was 2 o'clock and I was lifting my head off the table just waking up.  "Ok boys let's go back in" I laid on that futon and was out, dude fell asleep with me and Zane joined in.  We needed that rest!  By the time we woke up it was dark out, our bodies are all screwed up.  We leave tomorrow night but I hope we can do something fun and affordable before we leave.  Let's see what life gives us in the morning! 

Below a map of South Africa.  It takes 24 hours to drive from JoBurg to Cape Town.  South Africa is very big even though to me it doesn't look too big on maps

Sorry I'm not able to rotate it on my phone app! 

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