Friday, June 20, 2008


Today our group is heading to the market theater where there are a bunch of informal shops set up and run mostly by illegal foreigners. They're pretty used to tourists around there so Kenichi ensured me that it would be safe to have my cameras out and ready and most people will be fine with having their picture taken.

I usually keep my gear in a backpack because theft is so common here.

My group has been pretty successful thus far. Yesterday we drove to Pretoria to meet with one of Jenna's contacts, Eddie, from the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum. We assumed we'd just get some good background information and maybe some audio to use somewhere but then Charlie jumped in and asked Eddie where we could go to tell a visual story. So Eddie ended up taking us to the Home Affairs building in Pretoria. Zimbabweans literally camp out around the building, waiting for papers. There was a squatter camp across the street so we walked through there and talked with Zimbabweans. There was a group of them cooking chicken heads. One of the Wits students later told us that, if cooked just right, they're actually pretty good.

Eddie also took us to this old tire shop that was an informal home for Zimbabweans whose homes were burnt during the xenophobia attacks. We met a christian South African who, instead of getting a job, makes food and cares for the muslim Zimbabweans who live there.

We got lunch at this American restaurant that was called Ohio...well...I don't remember. But it was pretty awesome. Pretoria is different from Jo'burg. I felt more secure there. And there were a ton more Afrikaaners there. The place where we got lunch was right by the university so it's the college hangout.

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