Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Road trip in South Africa

When we drove last month through different states of SA, this is what we typically saw when we entered a new village in the Transkei region. Some houses grouped together, and children on the side of the street waiting for the school bus.

Here we are entering a village in the Transkei.

The Transkei region is a gorgeous region in the Eastern Cape, extending from roughly Durban to East London. Rolling hills, beautiful coast line and picturesque farmlands provide for a delightful drive through this area.
The former homeland Transkei - home of the Xhosa people - is still a very poor part of South Africa.
The past lies hard on the tribe Mandela belongs to. It's a bit of a violent area, so we didn't stop or rest here, but nature is just gorgeous! The Transkei has authentic village life, and the Wild Coast ranks amongst the best beaches in the world.

We noticed that this is a typical set up of a house, a round one with a straw roof and 2 other ones. I bet one is for the cooking, one for sleeping and maybe one for the animals?? If you know more about this set up TELL ME. Because mine is just a guess....

I also wonder if these houses have running water and electricity, since I don't see any electrical poles or other facilities around...

A group of youngsters waiting for the school bus.

What we also noticed is that most of the houses have a little green patch with veggies growing on it, mostly corn (they call it mielies here). And this was way out, so no big factories or office parks to work for. People must almost live off their own crops, goats, chicken and cows, since we saw a lot of these as well.

Maybe you can help me out a bit Emm, where do these people live off out in the country?? Am I right by the explanation above?? I read there is no economic activity there. And it is considered a success if an entrepreneur can earn R500 to R600 ($68-$81) a month - far less than the legislated minimum wage (between R1500-R2500 = $205-$340 depends on industry).

Life is so different here in SA than say compared to the USA or Europe. People have a lot less and live more back to basics. Which in a way is not a bad thing!! But living below the minimum wage is a struggle, that struggle you don't necessarily see when you are driving through the country, but it is there!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday! Do you like road trips, and what is your favorite part of your country to drive through?


Annie said...

It is certainly a different life. Probably more peaceful in some ways, yet more of a struggle in others. Cool pics, and an opportunity to see places that you may never have traveled to otherwise.

Wendy said...

Great photos, always. Love the shot of the kids waiting for the bus!

Maci Miller said...

Boy it sure is beautiful, but really makes you stop and think, huh? How very lucky we are to have simple things like electricity and running water. Love to see your pics and see both the fancy and not so fancy places. They all have their beauty.

Emm said...

Hiya, lovely photos! I would say that for the most part, they barely survive. There is a practice of men and women going to work in the city and sending money home. Children are generally brought up by the grandparents.


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