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Robben Island

-The journey to Robben Island can only be made by ferry, from the Cape Town water front area (ie. V&A).
-The water front is beautiful and vibrant, with shops, restaurants, markets and much more. Strangely enough, this is all watched over by a giant figure, made out of coco-cola cases (see pic below).
-I find it strange to be surrounded by all this beauty, knowing full well the history behind South Africa. I guess I had an expectation, despite this luxury experience, that SA would appear less appealing.
-The tour itself was informative, but... It lacked any sort of emotional impact for me. Perhaps it was the tour guide, or maybe it was the format of the tour, which took you on bus which led you around part of the island (ie. it would take you around 3hrs to fully walk around the island). We were introduced to a small town, various wild life and prisons houses outside of the main facility. We were shown the lime stone quarry, where many of the former prisoners (including Mandela), were forced to dig without the use of tools.
-When we finally reached the main prison we spent about 20mins touring the facility. But, only 2mins were allocated to Mandela's jail cell, where we could look and take pictures.
-So, like I said, it was informative, but in terms of conveying the emotional component of what this prison represents, I've had more compelling conversations with the people that work in the hotels, and transport services. In fact, the most disturbing insight I picked up was from Kenneth. He explained that the black South Africans, after years of oppression have been conditioned to perceive white South Africans as physically stronger, even if the black South African is bigger... let that sink in and marinate for a bit.

Random Facts About Robben Island:
-Did you know the island used to be a leprosy colony? There's 1500 graves currently on the island. The colony was closed in 1931
-Mandela was only at Robben island for 18 of his total 27yrs of imprisonment. The remainder of his incarceration had him located within 2 other prisons in SA.

(No pics of the island on this one. I used the real camera for this experience)
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

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Posted by Dwayne Ashley 14:36

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