Category: Travel

Why We Travel … Observations about Lives in South Africa

Where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean!
Cap Agulhas, where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic.

It’s the end of three months in Darling. Our goal in living here for a year (in addition to some Burkat Global planning) is to LIVE as close to the lives of locals as foreigners can. To me, that means having a routine. To Howard, that means having none. So, “How’s it going?” as everyone asks in South Africa.

Our last month was anything but routine.

We were both treated for allergies to all the plants – 600 of the 6000 plant species in the province of Western Cape grow during August and September in Darling. Who knew? After antibiotics, nose sprays, cough meds, and visits to the physiotherapist, and two weeks away, we are back and mostly recovered but coughing again. Allergy season supposedly ends in December … but with the drought, anything can happen.

And not-routine but pre-planned, the owners of our rental house arrived from Holland for two weeks (which they will do again before Christmas). So we began a two-week road trip (not to be confused with the two weeks on the road when we first arrived from New York) … adding maybe 5000 ks to the 16,000 ks we covered on our last three trips.

With that, here are some observations about people’s lives here, including ours.

When we returned to the house after two weeks away (thankfully there were no security issues), of course we ran out of data again – so I’m not sure if running out of data now belongs in the routine or the non-routine category. What makes it not routine is that Standard Bank, our local bank, has decided to follow new government regulations barring foreigners from using online banking, which for some reason includes buying data at the ATM …

So routine or not, yesterday we drove 30 k/18 miles to Malmsbury to the Vodacom store to buy more data … and while we were there, on to Riebeek Kasteel to buy coffee (hey, it’s only an hour away, and there’s a place there that roasts its own beans, and grinds them for us for the French Press, which we are slowly getting to use without spilling it all over the floor each time).

And while we were in Riebeek, we tried a place for lunch, which instead of hoped-for salads, served pork belly in a heavy plum sauce, with the yummiest potatoes, and thankfully, lots of fresh vegetables. The pork belly and potatoes were amazing, but can’t imagine how much cholesterol was contained in each.

To keep things simple, and reasonably accurate, let’s start our closer examination of our routine and lives as local South Africans …

The basics – housing, transportation, jobs – and divide our observations into two groups: whites and non-whites, which typically include blacks and colored. In apartheid days, colored also included Indians and a few Chinese – most Chinese having arrived since then.

Housing

We live in the cute little village, near one to two hundred year old cute historic houses, all occupied by whites … Non-whites live, literally, on the other side of the tracks, in relatively new, one or two room residences that look like railroad freight cars or shipping containers …

The white government moved non-whites to settlements around the country under the Native Areas Act during its time in power under apartheid. Later the ANC government (Mandela’s party) moved more people of color to places like Darling to influence voting before the first Democratic elections (1994).

There is finally electricity in the township (since we are at the top of a hill looking down, we can see the straight rows of street lights from our bedroom at night). If you’re lucky, there’s plumbing. Outside every town, village, or city we have passed through, there is a township like this. Typically, 10 times larger than the white portion of the town or city.

Transportation

Now, let’s talk about basic transportation … to get where one needs to go (of course over simplifying and generalizing to make the point)…

Whites drive – in new model cars and bakkies (the South African English and Afrikaans word for pickup truck); non-whites walk or drive old beat up cars.

Whites ride bicycles – mainly mountain bikes – or run … for sport or exercise. Non-whites walk, too – to get where they are going.

Non-whites hitchhike – or wait in groups for the ubiquitous vans that make pickups along the way. I’ve never seen a white person waiting for one of these.

Jobs

And let’s look at jobs – with a population of 5 million whites and 50 million non-whites, and of course I am simplifying … and many of the non-white jobs are in new positions in government, jobs which travelers rarely see …

Here goes:

Since the end of apartheid, and the ruling ANC, labor regulations favor non-whites in hiring. It’s called Black Empowerment here. This includes government, industry, and education. As a white person, it’s hard to get and keep a “normal” job. Many white people have become entrepreneurs in businesses like restaurants, technology, tourism or other services – opening guesthouses, wilderness game camps, or even becoming tour guides. Non-whites work for whites in these businesses. They are cleaning people (minimum wage about $1 per hour), housekeepers, waiters, cooks, dish washers, gas station attendants, bathroom cleaners (South Africa has the cleanest bathrooms we’ve ever seen anywhere, with even fresh flowers in some…), game trackers. Wages are so low, that even if twice as many non-whites are hired to do a job, it is still cheaper …

South Africa, which we have renamed the "land of the clean bathrooms," even has fresh flowers in the gas station rest rooms along the highways. On the counter was a gorgeous vase of native fynbos. Jersey Turnpike stations have so much to learn...
South Africa, which we have renamed the “land of the clean bathrooms,” even has fresh flowers in the gas station rest rooms along the highways. On the counter was a gorgeous vase of native fynbos. Jersey Turnpike stations have so much to learn…

… and it’s cheaper to hire cheap labor than buy machines. Even at the famous stop and go’s at all the road work spots, rather than using a traffic light (or robot as it is called in SA), people are employed to hand-turn a sign back and forth from stop to go…

Many non-whites are beginning their own businesses … and hire other non-whites … it’s coming. An example, this month’s trendy House & Leisure Magazine writes about 100 up-and-coming young business stars – roughly one-third are non-white … that’s a good sign in a country where 90% of the population is non-white.

Who has a better life here, whites or non-whites?

Of course, now that non-whites are starting companies, getting hired by companies, thousands of non-profits, getting government jobs, many non-whites have moved into the middle and upper classes. They can afford big houses and expensive new cars, just like the whites. And if merit doesn’t help earnings, it is said that corruption does. The remote Kwa-Zulu Natal new house of President Zuma (said to have cost millions of rand) is actually a relatively inexpensive house that should have cost only thousands … where has the rest of the money gone?

Whites say they have a wonderful life – better than they could have anywhere else they can name. But ask a white person how long that great life will last? Most don’t answer … or if pushed, suggest maybe a generation or two.

Everyone is relieved that the country didn’t erupt in violence when President Mandela passed away. All are watching as non-whites begin to get equal education (during apartheid non-whites purposely received lesser education to prepare them for menial jobs), and continue taking over jobs that whites used to do. If people we talk with were really pushed to tell the truth, they would probably tell us they have their suitcases packed for when the time comes …

But no matter what white person you meet (and already we discover that person knows someone we know) and wherever you go … there are whites enjoying themselves.

Whites drink wine – and probably non-whites, too. It is affordable by all. And it doesn’t make sense to buy wine by the glass in a restaurant because a bottle is so inexpensive. Restaurants are used to replacing the cork for leftovers for the trip home. It’s almost sinful NOT to buy a bottle. And for far less than half of what you would pay for a glass at a NY restaurant, you get the absolutely best wine we’ve ever had.

By the way, there are tributes to the man who saved the country everywhere (Mandela). At the museums, the botanical garden, guest houses, village squares, the opera … I will start a list … remember when portraits of JFK were everywhere?

And moving beyond the basics … Granted we have been traveling in largely white areas, but here are some observations about lifestyles of whites vs. non-whites:

Restaurants

We almost never see non-whites in the restaurants we visit. And many of those are simple roadside establishments or local hangouts – the equivalent of the Long Island diner. That was true 10 years ago, and that’s still true today. Perhaps in Joburg, where there is a higher concentration of non-whites, we have seen a few more non-whites … but not many. Even in Darling, where the non-whites also make up 90% of the population, we have never seen a non-white in a restaurant we have visited. On a recent trip we had dinner with the former owner of 6 KFC franchises – that’s still where you will see the non-whites … practically every dorp (small town) throughout the country – except Darling – has a KFC … the place of choice for non-whites on Sundays, and throughout the week if funding is available.

We have been looking for non-whites in what we would classify as cultural places –

We saw only whites at Kirstenbosch Gardens, first planted in 1562 when the first Europeans came to the Cape

We saw no non-whites the other day at the galleries and workshops of a very hip Design Center in Cape Town.

We saw a hand-full of non-whites in a musical at the Fugard Theater called Orpheus in Africa, about a black singing group from the American South that toured South Africa in the late 1800’s.

We saw a few non-whites at Fugard’s Heart of Redness, a contemporary look at a famous 19th century Zulu legend.

We saw one non-white couple at West Side Story at Artscape, Cape Town’s Lincoln Center equivalent

We saw only a hand-full of non-whites attending Voorkamerfest, the three day performance festival of some of SA’s top professional performers in everything from opera to stand up in living rooms throughout the Darling community (even though more than half the living rooms were in the non-white section of the village … and the majority of performers were non-white).

Darling Music Experience (classical music with a South African twist) in its 11th year, we are guessing attracts only whites … even though heavily promoted throughout the village and throughout the entire Western Cape.

Actually a good sign – We did see some non-whites on the historical tour to Robben Island where President Mandela and his associates were locked up for 18 years.

Needless to say, we saw no non-whites in three museums we visited recently, the historical Darling, Outdsthoor, and Swellendam Museums.

We didn’t even see non-whites at the southernmost tip of Africa, Cap Agulhas, where we went last week – just to say we had been there.

What we did see, was mainly only non-whites working in all these venues.

 

Searching for whales in Walker Bay near Hermanus. Howard's favorite saying was "thar she blows" for days.
Searching for whales in Walker Bay near Hermanus. Howard’s favorite saying was “thar she blows” for days.

Sports

Rugby is for whites, and football (or soccer as we would call it in the US) for non-whites.

Mandela used a big rugby game against Australia to unify the country … even though rugby had been a whites-only game. If you saw the World Cup Rugby finals last month in London, third place South Africa finally had a few blacks on its team. My guess is you won’t see many non-whites abseiling, shark cage diving, bungee-jumping, surfing … or even hiking, one of the biggest sports in South Africa. And we already spoke about biking – mountain or motor – big sports here.

Language

13 official languages here, including sign language. The majority of non-whites speak Xhosa or Zulu as their first languages. Whites speak only English or Afrikaans, although some schools teach whites a tribal language … like American schools used to teach French, and now Spanish or Chinese. The majority second language for non-whites is Afrikaans, although everyone agrees that English is what will help move people ahead economically.

Friends

I’m afraid to date they are all white, and with our allergy attack, we haven’t had much time yet to reach out to more. We’re blessed to have Simeon and Lee Stoch, who watch out for us every day, even when we don’t know we need it; Barbara and John up the street from Durban, who delivered us Durban Curry while we were sick; and Alfred and Jutta Legner, who are our main connections to Darling’s cultural life; and soon we hope, our just discovered across-the-street neighbors, Hendrik Hofmeyr, perhaps the most famous classical music composer in South Africa and his partner, a wonderful painter. And then there are my new yoga and Pilates friends, with whom I really haven’t had time to make playdates with but will soon. And my walking buddies, whom I also never followed up with since I learned about the snakes … AND jUDDE, originally FROM BROOKLYN, who teaches yoga at the nearby beach, and is THE ONLY OTHER AMERICAN HERE.

Travel

Sorry there have not been a lot of non-whites wherever we’ve gone. In Kimberly there was a business group talking about emulating WASPS, at the Big Hole, the Great Karoo, the West Coast, Namaqualand, Hermanus, Agulhas, Wilderness, Oudtshoorn, Swellendam – non-white service people, white tourists.

TV – eh, we haven’t been watching much …

Before I forget – 3000 Years of Jewish India 2017 tour page is now fully updated. And you’ll find this blog (and much more) on my Facebook page.

Hope you will let me know what you think … and Share it with your friends if you like it.

Thanks so much to Richard Schaye, Howard’s pal since grade school, for inspiring our “routine vs not routine” theme. Please email us with more questions and comments – to inspire future themes, posts, even South Africa tour planning for 2017 – iburkat@burkatglobal.com

Relatively new and only remaining visible shipwreck at southern most point in Africa, L'Agulhas. Hundreds of ships were lost up and down the South African Atlantic and Indian Ocean coasts over hundreds of years, the worst being the Arniston, where 375 perished in 1815. If only the ships had been using GPS!
Relatively new and only remaining visible shipwreck at southern most point in Africa, L’Agulhas. Hundreds of ships were lost up and down the South African Atlantic and Indian Ocean coasts over hundreds of years, the worst being the Arniston, where 375 perished in 1815. If only the ships had been using GPS!

Why We Travel … Life in SA … Routine or Not?

It’s the end of two months in Darling. Our goal in living here for a year (in addition to some Burkat Global planning) is to live like locals. To me, that means having a routine. To Howard, that means none. So, “How’s it going?” as they ask in South Africa.

Let’s look at what’s become routine (and later – what hasn’t).

Every day everywhere is beautiful. Jaw-droppingly. Throw open the shutters of our little holiday house at the top of the hill every morning and from every window we see farmer’s fields on opposite hills and more fields stretching out toward the sea.

A view of the veld above Petunia Street.
A view of the veld above Petunia Street.

Our little house is beginning to feel routine. I find I’m no longer looking at what it lacks, but looking at what it is; a beautifully designed Greek-style, not typical of Darling at all and perfect for easy living with one great room and bedrooms wrapping around a patio with braai and pool – all positioned to maximize the views.

Our house on Petunia Street, Darling, Cape Town, SA
Our house on Petunia Street, Darling.

I found Monday, Wednesday and Friday Pilates and yoga classes at 8 AM right in our village. Blessed with fantastic teachers, and totally fit and supportive classmates. I can even walk to class, so Howard can take the car to the big new Virgin gym near Cape Town. By the way, walking down our hill is easy (confession … I’m still struggling back up!).

I’m routinely messing up on hikes. Getting to the first one, I donned my new hiking boots and skipping down the hill to the meeting place, tripped on my untied shoelace! I arrived bleeding to the Spar parking lot, only to learn I should have been at the Spar lot in the next town. So much for hike #1.

I dropped out of the second, too, before I even went. Someone who knows me well already told me I was unfit for a 16k up-and-down challenge. Ella, our leader, offered to train me – I’ve yet to establish enough of a routine to seize her wonderful offer.

Now I’m told it is snake season. I hate snakes! Do I want to hike badly enough to do battle with a puffader or a cobra?

There’s always the gorgeous Yzerfontein 18k beach. It’s only 15 minutes away, and we can hear the waves break all the way to Petunia Street where we live.

Spring is festival heaven – and if not festival, a market at least. Weekly visits are routine. Everyone is so relieved to have gotten through winter. Did I forget to say there’s no central heating? And yes, we can now make good South African fires to warm up, just like the locals.

Festivals are my time to routinely track down local treats … why wait for visitors? Wonderful local products – all carrying the Darling name, of course! Olives. Wines. Beer. Cheese. Yogurt Milk. Granola. Locally roasted coffee. Roibos chai. Flying Pig Saucisson. Fresh mussels. Toffee. Pomegranate juices.

Even bumping into Darling’s most famous resident and benefactor Pieter-Dirk Uys is becoming routine. We see him as often as possible at his world-famous Evita Se Perron dinner theater down the street (even though we sometimes miss an Afrikaans punch line he throws into an English show).

Wine is definitely routine with 6 local wineries! Darling vineyards are everywhere. And served everywhere. Even in the morning! Darling Brewery has an uphill battle, no matter how good. Darling has long way to go before becoming Williamsburg.

Our anniversary lunch at a favorite winery in Franschoek.
Our anniversary lunch at a favorite winery in Franschoek.

Routinely, complaints are made about the government – how the ruling ANC is messing everything up. But ah, our land is beautiful. Just hoping it won’t get too messed up.

Routinely, I greet my growing number of friends in Darling. So glad officer Satie’s family will be coming from the eastern cape soon! So thankful for the help from the Engen station team who help me buy more data and select our daily newspapers. (No paper delivery in Darling! And SA papers on not yet much online. Hey, this is a real small farm town – it took us six weeks to learn that the PO is inside that very Engen gas station we go to nearly every day.)

Our favorite viewpoint on the road to Cape Town!
Our favorite viewpoint on the road to Cape Town!

Weekly drives to Cape Town are part of our routine. And we’re initiating occasional overnights – just like if we were tourists! We look for reasons to go – anything new, locally written and produced. Operas. Musicals. Traditional bands. African. Jazz. No Cape Town Symphony yet, but some classical chamber – and a West Side Story that was better than Broadway! And thanks to Susan Werbe’s coaxing, we got off our butts yesterday and bought front row tickets for Rodriguez!

Meeting our new community is so easy. We just show up at a local event like Sunday’s classical guitar concert at the San Cultural Center to raise money for the music outreach program that keeps kids off the streets. People know us right away. We’re the Americans. The ones with the accents. Hey, I thought they were the ones with the accents.

Routine are my regular visits to the Darling butcher! What should I braai tonight? Sirloin Steak for 4 for $6. Rosemary fed Lamb? Beef boerwors? What kind of Biltong? Kudu, Springbok, others we’ve never heard of. Why not sample them all?

And we’ve found the Best Pastrami in Cape Town! On homemade rye yet. And in the next block, the best chocolate store – chocolate and caramel covered pretzels with sea-salt.

And we even know the routines for the local restaurants … Most are closed in the evenings, with one per day staying open for a special and very social evening meal. Briggs on Tuesday for local Afrikaans comfort food; Friday at the Marmalade Cat for oven baked thin-crusted pizzas – banana and bacon anyone? Or would we prefer the awesome Four Seasons?

We’ve welcomed our first guests and hope we passed the hospitality test. We’ve already got 10 more couples booked in through May!

Trips away from Darling have always been part of our planned routine. Exploratory excursions to the surrounding area are a reason we’re here, too. In four trips to South Africa (totaling 6 months over 10 years), we’ve now driven 20,000 kms. There’s so much to do – as much as we would like to stay every day in Darling, we just can’t … because there is too much to see!

Washing dishes by hand is now routine. And I finally learned how to turn on the washer and dryer. I may be the only one on the hill without daily help. Maybe I’m really not a princess after all.

Our first braii on Petunia Street!
Our first braii on Petunia Street!

And we make fires to keep warm, although spring really is on the way.

Patio braais to cook our food are fantastic, but we must remember to start early – wood fires take an hour to burn down low enough for cooking. Haven’t figured out how to turn on the oven yet.

Closing the latches are important activities in our daily lives. We’ve got 7 windowed double doors, 5 double shutters and at least 10 windows. Every door has a different key and multiple latches. Windows have latches, too.

Early to bed and rise. Good news is it’s light earlier now, and later. The primary schoolyard across street fills by 6:30 am. Rush hour to Cape Town begins before 6. This is a country without much electricity until now (and because it’s so new, there are continuing threats of load shedding and blackouts.) Another sign that people are up early is the church bells ringing loud and long beginning on Sundays at 8. Birds and animals begin squawking just before sunrise.

Soaking up sunsets. On Sunday afternoon, up on the hill at the San Center, there was not a cloud in the skyway; yet overlooking wildflower fields and the distant ocean, the sky was pure blue. Later back home, I looked up to check for the sunset – it’s actually raining! But storms pass quickly. And there is a huge drought – driest season since 1910 when recordkeeping began – crops are dying. Farmers can’t feed their animals.

Routine in Darling is volunteerism. Our interest now is to get sponsors for the local music festival, largely supported by old white people on our side of the tracks, who in turn run the free music school for the kids on the other side of the tracks. Also beginning to nose into Planned Parenthood needs here – although we aren’t even sure if it will exist in the US before long! Anyway, it’s easy to be involved.

I’ve discovered Anna at the bookstore, who will order anything and already knows my name. How great that we still have a bookstore here … better than Scarsdale. And she doesn’t make me cry (like owner Wallace did). I finally ordered a paperback version of Long Walk to Freedom to take on our upcoming mini holiday.

Routine … emails with friends. When there is time.

And we are all set for the next India tour, January 2017. Excited that we just decided to return to Brunton Boatyard again. It will add a few more dollars to the price, but it’s our favorite hotel in India (except perhaps Lake Palace, 30 years ago). Updating the web page and will announce soon.

So what’s left that breaks our routine?

We’ve had a break-in. Two guys broke in to house 10:30 at night while we were upstairs. We heard them and they ran away with my computer and Howard’s bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label scotch. Didn’t touch all our Darling wine! A private detective offered 1000 rand reward and got a tip that my computer was being offered on the street for 300 rand. Police caught the guys, who are now in jail. We’re waiting for the magistrate to release my recovered computer pre trial – I do have visitation rights. By the way, the break-in was the 8th in our neighborhood in week (very rare that it happens at all). But hey, two laptops were just stolen in our old neighborhood in Scarsdale, too. I’m typing with one thumb on my iPhone until I get my computer back– and/or get the new one working right.

Data black outs are the worst. “Sorry. Your prepaid Vodacom account is at zero left.” It’s a long story, but we don’t have unlimited internet here like at home – we’re renters … only here for a year.

Load shedding is no longer routine. (In case you don’t know, load shedding is an action to reduce the load on something, ie, the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant). Will there be more candle light dinners (like we had in the Oppenheim dining room in Kimberly on our road trip to Darling?) … Tune in to find out.

Falling on my face in the road in front of the old people’s home down the street? I know the old ladies were all watching from the windows. This will not become routine (these things are only allowed once).

Discovering that my local Standard Bank limits my use of services? Somehow, they think foreigners are money launderers. Me? Every time I go to the ATM, I pray I can still buy more data for my iPhone and WiFi router … now that I have finally figured out how to do it.

Not routine will be when all our guests learn that South Africa is a jungle! People are amazed when they see the awesome vast veld landscapes with colors changing with the seasons. No, it’s not a green jungle here. No Tarzan.

Our celebratory first picnic at the beach upon arrival!
Our celebratory first picnic at the beach upon arrival!

Never routine are walks on the beach … and picnics in the nearby national park on the rocks along the ocean. Lunch at a local winery. Returning home with the leftovers of the best $5 bottles of wine we’ve ever had.

This is important and not routine: Discovering the other side of the tracks. Where 90% of Darling residents live. Formerly “the township”. And learning how hard it is to integrate with folks in the hill! But efforts are always ongoing. At least half of the venues at the not-to-be-missed Voorkamerfest (South Africa’s annual multicultural event) were in homes across the tracks. Hosts are so proud and welcoming into their living rooms.

Will our uncontrollable coughing and runny nose every stop this week? Too many flowers. Can you believe we’ve developed allergies to Darling? It seems it is actually going around.

My new friend made chicken soup. She brings me fresh flowers from her garden and checks in with me in the morning to see if I need anything from her office at 6 AM! And she persuaded us to use her fantastic guest house after our break-in … before all the doors and windows got new invisible bars and all the latches were checked. I will never ever see this as routine, just thankful.

So much more to share!

Why We Travel … Today I’m not sure …

View from restaurant SA

“Ah, this is good”, so Anthony Bourdain likes to say. And yes, South Africa is good.

Beyond waking to pink-striped sunrises, a far-off tractor plowing fields, the sound of sheep in the distance, twice hourly church bells telling, warning me, not to be so lazy, and children playing excitedly in the school yard, I can easily and happily –
• Buy a bottle of amazing local wines costs less than a glass at home (and Johnny Walker is half-price)
• Walk to the cheesemaker for local cheeses
• Discuss with the local butcher the best cuts for a braai
• Snack on biltong
• Buy olives and saucisson down the road at the farm
• Find sample local toffee on every shop counter
• Enjoy the best chicken soup ever at the local café
• Design my own ultra-thin wood-oven pizza on Friday nights…
• And on Sundays, watch the funniest local performance by the only member of two chosen people after dining on the best local Bobotie

Indeed, Bourdain would be happy here, too.

It’s what I’ve grown to take for granted that has been most difficult –

• Finding dry wood for the fireplace to keep the house warm (yes, in Africa!)
• Knowing how much airtime to buy on our pre-paid local SIM cards (and remembering my local number!)
• Using our US ATM and credit cards — Dear Citibank – they don’t work…we should have known…
• Accessing our financial statements electronically – we went paperless, but now, our pins don’t work.
• Paying local bills online with our new Standard bank account – we can’t – because we are foreigners.
• Filling out a hand-full of forms just to exchange a few dollars for rand at the bank
• Explaining why we don’t have identity cards for every new relationship – even for wi-fi at the gym.

And then there are some even more basic needs unfulfilled –

• No window washing fluid for our ever-dirty car windows – how strange, no one has ever heard of it.
• Fresh local milk with more than one week shelf-life – doesn’t milk in NY last a month?
• Finding cream cheese for our hard-won bagels – “creamed cottage cheese” has the consistency and taste of sour cream
• Replacing the gas canister for the stove – which runs out just when we’re beginning to cook dinner.
• Fitting dirty dishes and pots into our small sink – where’s my Miele dishwasher when I need it?
• Getting all our electronics to work with those unwieldy three-pronged wall converters.
• And I nearly forgot TV – how are we expected to watch the Yankees and the US Open in the middle of the night? What, no TiVo!
• And finally- driving on the left has indeed become easier – even at traffic circles – but being a passenger is still a very scary story…for next time.

But I’m not complaining – just sayin’…

 

Why We Travel: A Year of Answers

South Africa Wildflowers

Today is a double big day.

Details of our next Burkat Global 3000 Years of Jewish India tour are posted here on our web site. And we’re nearly ready to depart for our big anniversary year … to spend it in South Africa, one of our favorite places on earth.

After the initial shock, friends and family usually ask “Why?” Over the next year, we’ll attempt to answer that question.

Follow our answers on our blog, “Why We Travel”.

Come visit! See South Africa for yourself. We hope that you will follow along and stay in touch with us by email. We would love to read your responses.

In the meantime, spring wildflowers are getting ready to bloom on the Western Coast, and soon, Howard and I will be chasing them again.