Friday, February 9, 2007
A Birthday Party and a Beach Weekend
The computers in Tweeling were down for a bit last week, so I haven't been able to update in a few weeks. As soon as we came to Tweeling, our friends Danny and Thokozile Motale invited us to their nephew's birthday party in Sharpeville, outside
Johannesburg. The party was two weeks ago and we had a wonderful time with the family. In Sotho culture, the first birthday is a very big deal and the family went all out for little Carabello (including the slaughtering of a sheep - done Friday before we arrived - and the erecting of a jumping castle).
We were very welcome guests and it was interesting to see the site of the Sharpeville Massacre, when the police opened fire on protesters who were protesting the Pass Laws, which required Black South Africans to carry a pass to leave their town and to enter white areas.
Kate finally finished peeling from her first sunburn, so last week we felt the beach pull. We visited one of the coolest beaches we have ever been to, Zinkwazi Beach in
KwaZulu Natal. It was a 5 hour drive to get there, but worth it to spend some time at such a gorgeous spot. KwaZulu Natal is the province just east of Free State and, with huge mountains and beautiful beaches, is a great spot to be close to.
On the way back we had our first bit of what will hopefully be rare bad luck. We stopped for gas about 2 hours from home and the car would not start after we filled up. The gas station attendant gave us a lesson in push starting the car, which kept us running for about 15 minutes, when evrything electrical in the car came on and the car stopped completely. Luckily, South Africa has a service very similar to AAA
(called AA) and a membership came with our car insurance. They came to pick us up at 6pm and were able to replace the regulator on the alternator by 8pm. Very unusual since everything closes here at 5pm during the week and 1pm on the weekend, but we were able to be back in Tweeling by 10pm and Kate was able to make it to school the next day.