Over the course of 2 months in Southern Africa this summer, Alisa and I strove to blog about our experiences everyday to provide friends and family a look into our daily adventures but also as a way for us to document the journey. Hopefully this will allow us to look back in the years to come and get a clearer picture of all that we did and where we went. The blog helped serve as our motivation for keeping track of things we did, as we also felt a responsibility to pass on the insider information we acquired throughout the region so that future travelers would have smoother sailing.
Blogging from the iPad exclusively in Mozambique was difficult as it was our first leg of our adventure, and the least amount of data coverage we would come across. While we sought to review each place we ate and stayed, we quickly realized that our nomadic lifestyle wouldn’t allow for hours of writing each day. Thus days were back logged and reviews were left in drafts. Moving back to South Africa we retrieved Alisa’s Macbook Pro from safe keeping and we were able to write in a speedier manner and catch up to just a day lag for our blog posts. However, we’ve found that days that were written about were not posted, or they were deleted (thanks to the glitchy WordPress app for iPad, which has by now of course recieved many updates making it a much more reliable app). Over this holiday season, Alisa and I were able to pour over our writings together for the first time. We found that our memorable 30 hours in Kimberley never got documented at all, the day before and day of the France-South Africa match had been lost, and that our days of driving back into South Africa were of such tedium that they were never written down.
While back in the US, the blog will primarily shift back to postings articles on African studies and news, but it will fire back up for the preparation for the next trip back to the African continent!
Below are links to the ‘lost’ posts:
Kimberley Day 1
Kimberley Day 2
Bloemfontein Day 1
Blomfontein Day 2
A quick update from here in California:
Our site URL has become simply theafricanfile.com, taking over from our World Cup site, which will receive a make over and become better stocked with out videos and photos. In the meantime you can check out the YouTube channel and MobileMe gallery which contains the media from our two months in Southern Africa this past winter. Check out these links below:
As a result of the URL change, some of our links are broken and don’t properly link to the blog posting they should. The search bar on the right hand side has been updated and you can also search for specific topics by clicking on either of the two tag clouds on the right.
Alisa has made it to her final village in Kenya, near Kitale, which is just a few hours north of where she was before near Kisumu: Continue reading
Another fine night’s rest at another splendid B&B (based on the pricing of backpackers and B&Bs, the outrageous exploitation of the backpackers means the difference in cost is less than normal, and the amenities and hospitality at the Afrikaner B&Bs have been top notch). We were up early as we had to return the car to OR Tambo as our booking had run its course. However, with our change in venues for the Round of 16 match for the US match, we now needed another car as public transportation would not be feasible for getting to Rustenburg. After experiencing the organization of Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, and the stadium in Bloemfontein, it made much more sense to us when South Africans refer to Rustenburg as a small town. I wonder how games at Polokwane and Nelspriut were taken in as they are both small towns compared to the big cities of Durban, Cape Town, and Joburg. However, both of those towns had brand new stadiums, and looking at the layout of the security on our booklet from FIFA with our tickets, it looks like the design makes much more sense in terms of getting in and out. Rustenburg has hosted four more matches since England and the United States opened up on the second day of the tournament, thus hopefully they will have gotten their act together, as making the front page of a national newspaper for having fans walk 3k+ (like we did) to get transport must have not gone down well with organizers.
Since the announcement of Apple’s iPad, I knew it would provide the perfect solution to not owning an unlocked iPhone for use in South Africa. My original plan had been to route my trip through one of the few countries that sell unlocked iPhones, and then sell the phone before my departure from Southern Africa. However, with the iPad 3G being sold as an unlocked device and a full GPS, this offered a better alternative than having to go the first route.
Having a device that could use Vodacom’s telecom network and also function as a GPS device led to research into which iPhone/iPad apps were available to use as a GPS in South Africa. A quick look through iTunes brought up the following apps: NDrive South Africa, Navigon Southern Africa, TomTom Southern Africa, CoPilot Live South Africa, and Nav4D South Africa. I immediately dismissed Nav4D simply by the screen shots and in their description of the app, it was simply the generic wording, no dedication by the developers to even type up a custom description. Then there were four, let’s compare the challengers below: