Hi All! Sorry I accidentally lost my whole post from my day out and about in Johannesburg. I'll try to reconstruct it a little bit here. It was a great day in which I got to see some of the Soweto Township where people of all classes actually live, from the very wealthy, down to the poorest of the poor. It was the site of the 1976 riots which really set off the fight against Apartheid. I felt very privileged after a day walking (with a guide) around houses made of corrugated tin and scraps.
We were invited into one house that was about the size of Riley’s bedroom which housed a family of seven. How that’s possible, I don’t know, because the bed couldn’t have been big enough for 2 skinny people.
We also got to see Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu's houses. Amazingly, they're on the same street. What's the chance that two Nobel Peace Prize winners would come from the same street?
So, now I’m in Lagos, and it is a world apart from Johannesburg in terms of the standard of living. The hotel is kind of odd, but not a bad place. It’s just really basic, and made entirely of cement with tile floors, so everything anyone does in the building echos throughout the whole place. The racket that began around 5 a.m. woke me up and kept me wide awake until I had to get up. I took a cold, cold shower this morning because I could not figure out the water heater. And I’m really glad I’m taking anti-malarial medication, because there are some mosquitos seriously out to get me. Dave, my beloved mosquito magnet, where are you when I need you??
This morning I spoke to a classroom of med students at the University of Lagos about Public Health programs in the United States, how to choose a university, what to expect in a U.S. classroom and so on. This is what a lecture hall at the University of Lagos looks like:
After that, we amazingly had the afternoon free and we took an amazingly nauseating ride to a museum that was very run down, but which had amazing items from Nigeria’s pre-colonial days. All in all, it was amazing. And I was not allowed to take photos.
By the way, we are being escorted everywhere by a U.S. embassy driver in a fully reinforced bullet-proof van.
We also visited the EducationUSA office here in Lagos. The advisors at that office are the ones who organized the Lagos portion of our trip for us. Here is a photo of that.
And now, the most exciting part of the day…washing my panties and socks in the sink so I don’t have to pay $2 each to have them done by the hotel. Bye!!