June 16th is Youth Day in South Africa to commemorate the tragic deaths resulting from the 1976 uprising of youth against apartheid.
There is a lovely 15-year old girl that waits for the bus with me in the mornings. She indicated she had never been to the famous Apartheid Museum here in Johannesburg, so I thought it would be appropriate to enable her to learn more about her heritage. I made a point to meet her mother the day before, to assure her that this public holiday outing was with good intentions.
Her mother works as a domestic in my neighborhood. Her grandmother lives in a township about an hour away, as does her 22-year old sister with her 5-year old daughter. Her sister also works as a domestic, since she did not graduate from high school, according to Angie. The grandmother chose a private school located in the heart of Jobug for Angie to attend, and her mother's employer pays the fees for her to attend. The grandmother and Angie both seem to be keenly aware of the importance of education. She likes science and wants to be a doctor. I hope she will be able to fulfill her dream.
Angie has not been to numerous places in Joburg, such as the nearby Botanical Gardens, or the Zoo. She had never ridden on the Gautrain, which is a high-speed train running north-south from Joburg to Pretoria, but had often seen the red tour busses when walking from the bus stop to her school.
So! We left at 8:30 and walked the 30 minutes to Rosebank Mall, got on the Gautrain, which was a special thing for her. We traveled to where the Hop On Hop Off bus departs. She was excited and insisted we sit on top in the back where it is open (and brrrr, a bit windy and chilly!). She was able to show me her school, and acted as a guide when we went past places she saw regularly. She had fun seeing them from this new perspective, as well as viewing many new places along the way.
We brought our lunches and ate in a nice outside area at the Museum, then toured. She really enjoyed reading/learning more about the history of apartheid. It ended five years before she was born, so there was much she didn't know, and was happy to be able to take her new knowledge back to her teacher and class. As you'd expect, there was a great deal of information on Mandela. She was aware of the famous rugby match and the movie "Invictus." Since I have it on my computer, I invited her and her mother to come to my place sometime to watch it; she readily accepted.
We then hopped on and went to the Origins Centre at Wits University, which focused primarily on Rock Art as history of human origins. There is more in-depth information at a museum called the Cradle of Humankind about an hour from the city, which I will be visiting some other weekend.
We arrived back at Rosebank a bit later than anticipated, and it was nearly dark by the time we walked home.
I do wish these photos would show her charming smile. It was delightful to spend a day with someone so interested and appreciative of this little adventure.