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GQEBERHA South Africa

Elephants and more settlements

sunny 82 °F


Off to Gqeberha.... That city's name is pronounced click-bear-ha. The click - remember the film The Gods Must be Crazy? - involves making your tongue a suction cup that pulls down from your hard palate. Attempts at the elocution of Gqeberha make most people giggle and then swear. So we ended up calling it by its old name: Port Elizabeth or even South Africa slang: PE. PE was named in 1820 after the wife of the Acting Governor, but she died before she ever got there, so the Governor brought her heart along and buried it in a monument on top of a hill and then committed suicide. Well, 200 years later, the Commission for Renaming of Public Places (something like that) replaced Elizabeth's name with the unspeakable Gqeberha. Many people (mostly those with poor clicking skills) objected, but the Xhosa rejoiced and that settled it.

From PE to Addo Elephant Park, many acres of scrub traversed by dirt paths, along which we drove for hours. South Africa is experiencing a long and significant drought, and elephants drink a lot of water, in addition to cooling off/playing in it. Addo has no rivers, just pipes trickling water into holes bored into the earth. We would make our way to one borehole and find it empty and then go to the next. This has given us a new phrase for our vocabularies: going from one borehole to the next. When we did encounter a huge herd, it was amazing. Elephants huge and small rolled around in the water, came right up to out 4x4, and tussled with each other (these were adolescent males, we were told).

Finally, on our return to a lovely city, we began to see townships again. 300,000 live in the one pictured. South Africa is making a brave attempt to find beauty and success and joy in diversity, but it is sometimes very hard going.

Posted by HopeEakins 16:36 Archived in South Africa

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So many physical, geographical, and political problems. And yet people continue to live their lives. Yet here there is rioting about masks? What a desolate world we have made out of Eden.

(feel free to not post this, Hope. It is hard to not despair as citizens of Ukraine fight to live))

by Seabury

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