Friday, July 15, 2011

Soweto Bike Tour Part 2: the people

So here is the final posting on the Soweto bike tour, and it's all about the people/culture. Once again, I'll just post pics and comment on them. Enjoy! :)

An, my co-intern.

So everywhere we went, kids just want to have their picture taken. They would say, "photo! photo!" or "shoot me!". All they wanted was to see their picture on the camera screen. They all are so sweet and so happy; what simplicity. Once again, I could help but feel amazed and heart broken, at the same time, for how joyful they are and for how little they have. 

One of the tradition things that was "included" in our tour was tasting local delicacies. Here,  people are tasting homemade beer. When you drink it, you are supposed to kneel down as a sign of humility/respect. Many of the men sitting in the background are leaders in community. 

An tasting the beer.

Me tasting the beer! To be honest, I was a slightly grossed out at sipping out of that sphere that everyone was drinking out of, but I just sucked it up and went for it. :) The beer was actually extremely mild, slightly watery. Don't worry, no one was falling off their bikes afterwards. ;)

One of the other delicacies we tried was ox jaw. Yes, OX JAW. I don't really know what else to say about it - it was not a highlight for me of the trip. 

Yep, I tried it. It wasn't as bad as I wanted it to be - just extremely chewy. That is my kind of scared face, not excited face. 

More sweet, sweet kids who just wanted their picture taken. 

You really would think we all knew each other. 

Two other girls on the tour. 

At first, I couldn't understand what this boy was saying when he came up to me, but I quickly realized it was the same request as every other kid: a photo. :) He is wearing his school uniform for an event for Youth Day. 

Our tour included a typical Soweto-ian lunch: "bunny chow'. Don't ask why it's called that, I don't know and I don't think anyone knows. It's 1/4 break, french fries, egg, meat, and maybe a little bit of veggies. (They made mine vegetarian because I'm trying to be one. I'm sure that mind sound confusing to you when you just saw a picture of me eating ox jaw; that's why I said trying. :) ) To be honest, the bunny chow was not my favorite.

I'm sorry this picture is so blurry but I had to include it. This man was at the monument with the Ten Commandments. Here, he is playing a recorder with his nose. 

We had to stop for a few minutes to fix one of the bikes; these boys found us quite entertaining. 

More kids just playing in the street. Most of these kids live in shacks. The girl on the right in the stripes caught on to the fact that I was taking pictures. (See next photo.)

She'll be famous one day, no doubt. :)

These boys live in the community of shacks that I pictured at the end of the part one post. 

Hamming it up for the camera. 

This kid would not smile for anything, and just sat there on the ground. 

And then I got him to smile. :) I love the contrast between the two pictures. A highlight in my day.

This is same photo that was at the end of part one, but I wanted to feature the kids again. They were so happy, singing and playing in the dirt. It reminded me of "king of the hill". Their joy and simplicity still cuts my heart and inspires me to just simply be, grateful.

So, that is Soweto in a nut-shell. If you ever come to South Africa (which I hope you do), you must visit Soweto. Comment if you have thoughts or questions to share. :)

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