It’s been a very long while since I’ve written anything about my continuing adventures, but, as I’ve mentioned before, things don’t seem quite so interesting once you are living a scheduled life again.
Things have been going great for me here in
I got to go on my first business trip as well! FTTSA Executive Director Jennifer Seif and I took a trip to Mthatha for meetings with two Local Coordinators and government tourism officials for the projects I am assisting on as well as a visit to the community of Qunu to discuss a potential tourism development project.
Qunu is where Nelson Mandela was born and where he now as a vacation home. A museum has been created as well on a hill overlooking the community. The interesting thing is, that the community of Qunu has had lots of folks, especially government, come through to offer them training or empty promises of developing tourism in the region. So far no real delivery, and the Qunu residents haven’t substantially benefitted from any of the tourism development in the area. Most tourists drive through, stop to take a photo in front of Mandela’s house and maybe visit the museum. They don’t even bother to actually stay in the any of the traditional guesthouses, take a tour of the township or meet any locals. Perhaps it’s not everyone’s idea of a holiday—to actually experience the culture of the place they are visiting.
It’s strange to start to learn about and care about politics in a country that I was determined to leave behind me a few months ago. It’s addicting here; the more I get to know this country and the people, the more I am simultaneously frustrated, heart broken, and hopeful. What a strange mix of emotions!
I’m happy to be here now, though, for the holidays. It will be nice to spend it with Aunt Linda, Uncle Allan, Tisha, Tucker.