Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Johannesburg Part II

Two sweet sales girls I met after the one on the right heard me say to George,
"This store has a hundred times the choices in any store in Kinshasa."
Turns out she is FROM Kinshasa.
So, we had a very fun talk about the differences in the two cities & why we are living there.
A couple days later, I came in again and they hurried over to visit.
They were very appreciative of the Pass Along cards I gave them
and expressed a belief in Jesus Christ.
This blouse fit me!
I know I've gained weight, but hopefully this sizing is a typo... or based on VERY tiny Thai women. 
Our apartment building in Jo'burg shows up to the right.
But, I missed getting the picture of the VERY old lady who feeds these guys every day.
The apartments have open interiors & the pigeons fly inside there.
The "cooing" is a pleasant and frequent background sound
Some folks wish she didn't encourage them because of the residue they leave behind everywhere. 
This tower can be seen from miles away on any side of Johannesburg.
It serves as a post office and communications tower.
The pink ball commemorated the World Cup Soccer games in 2010.

This is the very first LDS chapel in So. Africa and I believe in Africa (circa 1970).
Our friend, Sue, from the S.E.Africa Area office, attends this ward.
The Bruma outdoor African market was so neat... just a long line of vendors on the sidewalk.
(They had been across the street in an enclosed area, but the Chinese bought it & kicked them out).

I bought some cute grandchildren & g-grandchildren gifts,
but sadly left behind a black & gold necklace and bracelet that I really wanted.
The only franchise restaurant from So. Africa that is represented in Kinshasa.
It's been in the process of remodeling for about six months, so we can't even try it!

My first Pina Colada (non-alcoholic, of course) since the U.S.
It was delicious.
So. Africa, like America and other parts of the world, has economic problems.
Expensive mansions can't be sold, so many people try to rent them.
Memorial to the miners.
Most of the mining is gold and done not far from Johannesburg.
I believe this is a coffee house billboard ad.
So. Africans in general, and their ads in particular, use a LOT of slang.
Another favorite, which didn't "take" on my camera was a sign that warns,
"NO HOOTING!"  Can you guess what it means.
Just had to capture a picture of this bustling business.
You see so many expensive Mercedes Benz models, it's almost boring.
The same with Jaguars.  But, we spotted a Lamborghini or two
and more fancy cars than we've seen since our last visit to Las Vegas.

Another tribute to the fun Voo Voo Zelas.
Hope Sue can get someone to bring us one, since I neglected to buy one before we left.
Approaching Pretoria, the capital of Johannesburg.
We drove with Elder & Sister Curtis to attend their assigned ward with them.
He is the Executive Secretary for the Area Presidency and a former dentist in Utah.
They were delightful to be with.
An example of the ultra modern architecture that we saw on the outskirts of Pretoria.
The Aloe Vera plants are sometimes very large and very tall.
I love the red "blossom" at the top.
I took this picture as we sat near the back of the chapel prior to the meeting.
By the time Sacrament Meeting began, the chapel was filled to over-flowing.
The members were all warm and friendly, with about 20 white members.
Africa is the fastest growing area in the Church, but as Dale LeBaron wrote,
"The major challenge is no longer to gain converts, but to prepare local priesthood leadership." 
Like most LDS congregations, the members like to stay and visit afterward.
Elder & Sister Curtis.
He and Elder Renlund, our Area Seventy, served together
 in the High Priest Quorum of their ward in Utah.
They thought they would be serving a mission in the U.S. :)
The Curtis's invited George & me to join them, along with the Larsens & the Greens
for dinner that night.  Their table setting was beautiful, the food delicious,
and the company was so much fun. Elder Green was formerly an accountant,
so he & George had a lot of laughs telling accounting stories.
Elder Larsen was previously a lawyer and made sure with my former IRS husband
that certain tax deductions while on his mission were correct.
I really wanted some of their beautiful African artifacts on the table to show up in this picture.
A beautiful African Kuba cloth wall hanging.

This picture ALMOST captures the wonderful hand-painted beauty of their table cloth.
Can you see the shimmers of gold  paint that accented it?

Soooo weird to drive on the "wrong side" of the road.
Especially when making turns at intersections!
We had the use of a car the whole time we were there,
and it was more than a little frightening to have to say a couple times,
"George!  You're on the wrong side!"
(Mostly he did well, though)
Let's see, Brooklyn or Pretoria... which shall it be?
Proclamation Hill is So. Africa's largest property site.
Always fun to see a familiar name so far from home.
Isn't this beautiful?  And it's  not even a Jacaranda tree, which is bright red ALL over.
Last week I had a picture of a woman in a certain tribe that paints their faces white.
But, this man is not white-faced for that reason.
It is not rare, on the streets of Johannesburg, to see mimes.
They go through several antics and hope for a bit of money for that entertainment.
Although clowns don't bother me, as they do some people, the mimes sort of freaked me out.
But, at least they are doing SOMETHING for the money & not just begging,
which is a common occurrence at almost every stoplight.

And I thought the cell phone "trees" in Utah were funny looking.
No Floridian would ever mistake THIS for a palm tree.
(Admittedly, we did see one later that was a great deal better)
Another cell-phone "tree" there such a thing as an Evergreen with that shape?
Just one more red-tipped Aloe Vera & I'll stop.
Surely the South African flag is the most colorful in the world and I love it!
South African President, F.W. de Klerk introduced it in 1994.
The colors represent principle elements of the country's flag history,
using all the colors of the previous flags.
The only symbolism in the flag is the V or Y shape, which can be interpreted as
"the convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity."
We have heard a lot lately about the "culture" of countries determining success.
South Africa, despite some problems, is a good example of cooperation between cultures.
Every person I spoke with in South Africa, whether black or white, was grateful for that.


  1. Those tributes to the fun Voo Voo Zelas look like big golf tees to me.The tablecloth is beautifully detailed. So if it's hand painted how do you wash it? I would put a clear plastic tablecloth over it. (That's coming from someone who feeds kids all the time I guess) I also find the mine a little freaky. Sis you tip him? Well I know at least Janice and I celebrate our freedon of speech today by eating at Chick-fil-a...not that I really need an excuse to eat there. I hope you also got pictures of the kids getting their new beds. I bet you got some big smiles for that!

  2. I love EVERY single picture! I can't get enough! I thought of Mary Poppin's with all those pigeons! Love you Mom!

  3. Whew, I need to proof read next time....the mime is a little freaky. Did you tip him?

  4. Juli, I agree about the voo voo zelas and also re: the tablecloth. Frankly, like you, I thought about how it could be cleaned... I'll email her & ask if she's thought about a nice quality clear layer over it. Unlike Kinshasa, most of those who are begging in So. Africa are older and don't usually have any visible handicap. No, we didn't tip this guy. The light was changing by the time he turned to us anyway. Pictures of the cute kids at the orphanage will be next week, for sure.. AND a rather expensive, but great meal at an authentic "African setting" restaurant! But, sure wish I could have joined you guys & the thousands who ate at all the Chick-fil-A's Wed.)

  5. Janice.. I'm like the fisherman always thinking about "the one that got away!" It could have been an even better picture..The old woman was a real character, and it was just a few minutes before we went around the block again, but by then she was gone. You'll love next week's blog. Lots of cute kids and some that will tug at your heart. Love you, too.

  6. As I looked at these pictures again I find it amuzing that they are concerned enough to make cell phone towers look appealing yet they are surounded in poverty and trash...seems like they could try to improve the lives of the people instead!