Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Early observations of South Africa....rh

It has been very rainy this summer (I know, it’s winter where you are) and so things are verrrry green.

Taxi drivers run lights and especially anticipate when a red light will turn green – many times well into the intersection before the light changes.

Street vendors and/or beggars on almost every busy street corner.

Amazing rainstorms.

Many species of birds that I have never seen.

Beautiful flowers everywhere. Great diversity in living conditions – of course the mission home is in one of the nicest areas. But in the townships, living conditions range from decent to deplorable. If anyone has ever been to Guadalupe, Arizona – that is about mid-range in the townships. The worst are tin shacks about 10’ x 10’. Many have no power or water to the “houses”.

Fences around most of the businesses and residences with very sharp things on the top. Everyone in the nicer areas have alarm company signs on their fences and most of those signs say “ARMED RESPONSE”. These alarm companies are a private police force in South Africa.

Very friendly and knowledgeable people in the branch where we are assigned.

Driving on the left is not too bad, but shifting with my left hand is crazy. And, I feel like I’m driving without a rear-view mirror, it’s just in the wrong place. Every once in a while, I look up and to the left and I’m amazed every time that there is a mirror there.

Traffic lights are called robots.

Hard working, dedicated missionaries in the mission.

Lots of things to learn in the mission office.

Groceries seem to be just a bit more expensive than at home, but most things we have at home are also available here – even peanut butter. Good thing that we sent that three pound jar home before we left.

Gorgeous red stone steps leading into the temple from the underground garage.


  1. Thanks for the little insight! A lot of it sounds similar to Paraguay. Especially the rainstorms, different seasons and extremes of living. I for one am thankful that you sent home the peanut butter! Love you guys! HUGS!!!

  2. Sounds like Dakar, Senegal when we visited Carina. It's HARD to see such POOR people but as my son in law pointed out to me, they are happy or unhappy in their own relm just as we are. We all do want the same things i.e. loving relationships, shelter, enough to eat. But, it was overwhelming to see the terrible conditions so many people live with!