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South Africa

Bilan Afrique du Sud

Log Book - South Africa

There are no translations available.

On a aimé :

• Nos séjours au sein des 2 communautés sud-africaines (Schoemmansdal et Macassar). Nous avons été touchés par l’accueil, la gentillesse et le travail de Jade, Joshua, Lewellyn et John. Ils ont de beaux projets sportifs et solidaires et nous espérons les aider au mieux afin de faire de leurs idées une réalité. • Notre excursion au Lesotho.

• Nos 3 jours au Kruger National Park.

• Les oranges juteuses d’Afrique du Sud et les champs d’orangers à l’infini que nous avons eu le plaisir de longer tout au long de notre périple dans le pays.

• Passer des soirées à regarder les matchs de la coupe du monde avec les supporters de chaque équipe. • L’hospitalité des gens et la fierté qu’ils ont d’être Sud Africains.

• Notre première soirée en Afrique du Sud, à JO’ Burg, pendant laquelle on nous a fait gouté tous les cocktails sud-africain ! Pas facile de trouver l’ouverture de la tente après tout ça !

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On n’a pas aimé :

• Le froid glacial des nuits lors de nos 10 jours passés au centre du pays.

• Voir l’équipe française ne pas se donner sur le terrain lorsque nous étions au match Afrique du Sud/France, à Bloemfontein.

• Les prix exagérément élevés des auberges de jeunesse et même de la nourriture à cause de la coupe du monde 2010.

• Certains vendeurs d’artisanats qui ne voulaient pas négocier leurs prix.

 

Meilleur souvenir :

• Pour Delphine : la randonnée équestre dans les montagnes de la région de Semonkong, au Lesotho.

• Pour Maxime : les entrainements avec les enfants de la communauté de Schoemmansdal.

 

Notre coup de cœur :

• Pour Delphine : lorsque nous étions entourés d’une troupe d’éléphants se désaltérant et se douchant autour d’un plan d’eau. Superbe souvenir… J’espère de tout mon cœur revivre ce moment en Namibie !

• Pour Maxime : l’Afrique du sud toute entière ! Je rêvais de découvrir ce continent et tout m’y a charmé ! La population, la coupe du monde 2010, les paysages, les fruits et les animaux !

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Ca nous a fait rire :

• Les touristes qui s’attendaient à croiser des lions dans la rue… !

• Faire cuire nos pates dans une bouilloire électrique (qui normalement ne sert qu’à faire bouillir l’eau) !

• Nous servir d’une chaussette (propre, je précise !) en guise d’éponge et de notre savonnette pour faire la vaisselle.

 

Ca nous a fait moins rire !

• Les taxis qui nous klaxonnent tous les 10 mètres (ça nous a rappelé des vieux souvenirs sud-américains).

• Arriver dans une ville inconnue à 2h30 du matin.

• Les histoires d’agression des touristes ou des locaux …

 

Ca nous a étonnés :

• Les prix pratiqués !

• L’optimisme, l’énergie et la foi en l’avenir des habitants des Townships.

• Les stades à moitié vides.

• La place de la religion dans la société sud-africaine et leur tolérance face aux différentes religions.

• Voir les Princes Harry et William au fin fond du Lesotho ! Quelle chance.

How is En piste pour le monde going to help Helderberg Sport Academy?

Log Book - South Africa

If you want to discover what we did to help Helderberg Sport Academy, do not hesitate to click on «I'll run with you» button dedicated to the actions made by En piste pour le monde.

The Macassar community and Helderberg Sport Academy

Log Book - South Africa

We are really moved to write the last article about the last community we visited to provide help during our world trip… Once again, we met very noble people and learnt a lot from them.

Lewellyn and John work for their Helderberg Sport Academy in the township of Macassar. This is the only sport academy in the Helderberg basin. They work to keep the children busy and provide them with sports or other kind of activities. They help the children to stay away from the drugs and other criminal activities. They also help disabled children who are often left over.

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coachs Lewellyn and John and few athletes

We were really surprised in Macassar to see all the people working for the same goal: provide a future to the children. Different kinds of organizations are working together for this goal: NGO, Catholic organizations, Muslims organizations even the local police is helping doing some amazing preventing work. No matter where you are form or who you are working for, you give your hand to help in your community!


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Coach Lewellyn and one of the disabled athlete

And it works! The number of domestic violence, abused children, crime is dropping.

For example, during the holidays all the organizations are working together to provide the children with all different kind of activities: sports, theatre, art, life skills work… They also feed the children!

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We now could say we know why South Africa is called the “Rainbow Nation”. In this township, no matter who you are, which color your skin is, no matter in which god you believe, you share the same human values and desire to help.

Once again, people were really generous with us! They offered us soup and oranges (that helped me a lot to heal my flu! Thanks!) and South African wine. And off course we won’t forget Marlon and his beautiful car that drove us everywhere!


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From our heart, a big thanks for everything. It was not easy to say goodbye. And again, thank to all the people who are donating and making our help possible!


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Marlon!


When the luck is in the air!

Log Book - South Africa

Sometime, when you are traveling, you have the bad feeling that we are cursed and only bad things are happening to us (for example when we were attacked in Buenos Aires with all the problems that we had after that). And, sometime, it’s the contrary: you are very lucky, you meet good people and you have good surprises. But every time you’re lucky, you can’t stop to think “why are we so lucky? When will we get a bad surprise ».

These are a few examples of the nice experiences that we had for these past few lucky days:

A lunch offered by French journalists

We were sitting in a cybercafé the day before the « Big » game (France vs South Africa), when we met two journalists from I-TV (a French chanel). They asked us if we agreed answering two or three questions about the French soccer players. We hesitated a fewseconds, but then we realized that i twas a good way to say hello to our families and friends after these seven months of travel. Laure, the journalist, spoke about us at the TV French explaining that « we were a French couple traveling over the world and we were ashamed sometime to introduce ourselve when we arrived in a backpacker because all the travellers laughed at us as soon as they know that we are French!”

Then, the journalist invited us to have a great lunch offered by iTV! It so different from the pastas we are eating all days. And it’s also good for our backpacker budget!

 

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Camille andKalim, we met them in our young hostel before the match.

Second interview by TF1

During the lunch another journalist called Laure (the iTV journalist) because he was desperately searching for French supporters. So we gave him a hand and went to answer few questions for his channel too.

Nice meeting in the stadium

We were in the stadium in Bloemfontein and met some South Africans supporters. They wanted to advise us on our upcoming trip to Namibia. Because it was hard to communicate with all the vuvuzelas and stuff they decided to invitate us to their house to have dinner and talk about Namibia. We had a great time! We had some South African dishes and learnt a lot about South Africa. We really are looking forward to welcoming them in France. The defeat was much more acceptable thos way. Tania even offered us her vuvuzela (from the match!).


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From left to right :Cornel's brother (we are sorry, we don't remember his name :( ! too many names in the same evening !), Rita, Cornel, Naresh and Tania.

A room in Capetown for a very competive price

Thanks to Terry, the owner of Navan Hill Backpacker, we found a very good accommodation in Capetown (not in a tent!). We had, again, a good time in this backpacker and had good food thanks to Philippe & Terry talents. We even had an Irish coffee at the end.

We hope this will go one until the end of our journey, which is coming up quickly! Anyway, we can’t stop being surprised by such generosity from people all around the world and especially here, in Africa. We’ll never get enough of this!

 

Lesotho - Part 2

Log Book - South Africa

The end of the afternoon quickly arrived and when we came back from our horse riding trek we heard one helicopter and realized that the guests expected were important. We couldn’t wait any longer so we asked the hotel owners and they told us that Prince Harry and William were expected! What a surprise!

Later in the night, we went to the restaurant with our mate from the dorm. Australians and one Japanese who had no idea who the Princes were!

 

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everyone has cattle in Lesotho

 

We talked a bit with the King of Lesotho’s brother and he invited us to London (he leaves here). HE was such a cool guy. We couldn’t really talk to the Princes as they were very busy answering journalists’ questions. So we didn’t want to disturb them more than they already were.

We missed the opportunity to get a picture with them on the next morning as we went early for a guided walk on the waterfall.

We had one of the biggest fears of our lives walking down to the waterfall! The path was frozen and it was very slippery. We were very happy to arrive safe.


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A typical “Basotho” house

During our last days in Lesotho, we discovered a very impressive dam, part of the “Higland Water Project”.


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Here it is

We also walked in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. There were only the two of us! What a sensation of freedom! We felt very small in front of the immensity of the mountains.


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Our unadapted car for the wild road

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The impressive road

We went back to South Africa, happy to find normal temperatures and happy to have gone visit Lesotho!

Lesotho – Part 1

Log Book - South Africa

We arrived to Bloemfontein to see the soccer match on the 22nd of June (France – South Africa). But as we had a few days before the « big game »  we dediced to rent a car and discover the area. So we went to Lesotho for a week. Lesotho is a small country located in the heart of South Africa. The inhabitants of this country are named the « Basothos », they have their own language (called Sesotho), their own king and their own money (the Maloti). We wanted to discover this country because it is very wellknown for its wild landscapes and its huge mountains. We really loved this week in Lesotho, it was just fantastic.

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The Basotho landscapes.

Day 1: A visit of hand craft workshop

Our first day in Lesotho was really short, we only had time to collect our rental car, pass through the border, do some food shopping for the week and discover the capital of the country, Maseru. We had the time as well to visit “Lesotho Design”, a hand craft workshop where women of a small village make weavings. This was really interesting to visit this workshop and gallery, we could learn the all process of Basotho weavings. We loved their work. Apparently, it can take them more than one month to realize a weaving! It was really impressive.

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The exhibition room.

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A woman working on the workshop.

Day 2: A stressful road trip from Maseru to Semonkong

We had been told that the road between Maseru and Semonkong was difficult to drive on with a small car like we had rent. But we tried anyway to go to this place (lots of people told us it was a wonderful place, we wanted to see it!). Actually the road was really stressful and tiring, it was a real adventure to arrive to Semonkong without damaging our rental car: we drove 70 kms on an unsealed road under the snow. We took one hour more than the estimated time to arrive to our lodge. We were relieved to arrive to Semonkong Lodge without damages.

We spent the rest of the day walking around to discover the village and buy some stuffs agains the cold like pairs of gloves, coat for Maxime and a blanket for Delphine (Basotho people protect themselves against the cold and the wind with a blanket, their blanklet is part of their culture, it’s a real social symbol).

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The small village.

Day 3 and 4: Horse riding and trekking around the Maletsunyane falls
The Lodge where we slept organized evreyday horse riding and trekking with a guide from the village. We did the both! We spent a good time in the middle of the mountains, we met a lot of people working on their fields, looking after their cattle or simply doing their daily tasks (laundry, cooking, etc).It was interesting to be guided by local people who could explain a little more about their culture and habits. We learnt as well a few words of Sesotho (Hello is « Dumela »). The falls were really impressive. These guided tours in the middle of Basotho landscapes are, once again, unforgettable for us.
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The Maletsunyane falls.

Our evenings spent in the restaurant of Semonkong Lodge were very good as well: seated closed to the fireplace, we watched the world cup games at TV with our neighbours of the dorm (Australian people, Japanese and American, they were all very friendly). The owner of the lodge told us when we arrived to Semonkong that she was fully booked on Wednesday and that we will have a « Big surprise » on Wednesday night if we go to the restaurant for a drink. She seemed really stressed and busy preparing her lodge for the « Big Day ». We supposed then that she was waiting for an important guest. We tried to guess who was supposed to come and sleep in Semonkong on Wednesday with our roommate: a president? A soccer team? Shakira? …
Maxime will reveal you the name of the mysterious guest hosted by Semonkong Lodge in the next post!

Port Elizabeth & Walmer Township

Log Book - South Africa

After being charmed by the Kruger National Park, we went back to Jo ‘Burg and we took a plane to Port Elizabeth, the friendly city.

We stayed 5 nights in Lungile Backpacker where the staff was really great and friendly. We would say that it was the best backpacker we’ve had (with “portal del sur” in Buenos Aires) in our whole trip. And it reminded us a bit of Dublin because, here, it’s raining a lot!

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The Walmer township

The best part of our trip in Port Elizabeth (boring city, apart from that) was the visit of Masifunde, a charity which is helping education in the Walmer Township. Masifunde is dedicated to assisting in the educational, social and personal development of motivated but disadvantaged children in the Walmer Township.

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'Picasso meets Walmer' exhibition

So we went to an art exposition organized by the children and we also assist a dance show! They’ve got talent, for sure!

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The dancers

We also watched with them, the opening ceremony of the World Cup 2010 and what an atmosphere! Some of them were crying and shouting when RSA scored! We had a great time.

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Go Bafanas Bafanas!

We would like to share with you a great quote from Nelson Mandela (who was from the PE area): « Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ».

Now, we are up to Bloemfontein.

Kruger National Park

Log Book - South Africa

When we arrived in this national park, it was like we entered the “Lion King” universe. We spent 3 days driving in the Kruger National Park to enjoy the African animals. We loved every single minute amazed by all the magical landscapes and the nature. We had the chance to see elephants, buffalos, blue wildebeest, hippos, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, warthogs and impalas. They were less than 10 meters from the car! It was unbelievable as you can see on the pictures and videos here.

 

The rhinoceros

The giraffes

 

The elephants

The monkeys

How is En piste pour le monde going to help Schoemansdal community?

Log Book - South Africa

If you want to discover our first solidary actions in this South African community, do not hesitate to click on « I'll run with you» button dedicated to the actions made by En piste pour le monde.

Schoemansdal community

Log Book - South Africa

After 17 hours of plane we reached Jo’Burg in South Africa. We stayed only one night in the economic capital. Just enough to tell that the people from this country are very nice. We met Sylvain and Loraine of the French TV who are going to make a documentary on our charity work.

The day after, we took the bus to Nelspruit and met jade & John, our 2 contacts here. It’s been one year that we are in contact and it was a great pleasure to meet them, finally. They helped us a lot in our mission here. Nothing would have been possible without them and their help.

Jade & John took us to Joshua, the children’s coach. He is doing that for free, just to help the children to do sports.

 

 

 

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A dream!

 

It was a great joy to be here in this community with Jade, Joshua and the boys. They all keep coming to training after school, even though they run without shoes and don’t have a track…Some of them are walking about 4 kilometres to come to training. They are all smiling and very devoted to what they do. They never complain about their situation. Those kids are admirable.

Then Delphine asked them all for their shoe size, but they didn’t really get why we were asking that.

 

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Delphine taking the sizes and the TV team.

On the following day, we went to the nearest city, driven by John on his Land Rover, in order to buy running equipment to the kids. Shoes, socks, water bottle and shorts. During the afternoon session we organised the session for the kids. They really loved it as we tried to do some games to make athletics funnier. Unfortunately, we had to postpone the shoes distribution because of the journalists. They didn’t have enough light to film the documentary. We were sad not to see their reaction.

During our last day in the community we went to the bank with Jade to open a bank account and we found a name for the club. And now thanks to Jade the club has a name and a bank account. Now we could help them pay the entry form for the competition and the transport. At the end of the day we went to the training and we distributed the equipment to the kids! Delphine couldn’t be here because she was really sick. It was a great moment to see them happy with their new shoes. It was just very unlucky for Delphine…

It was very difficult to say good bye to everybody. We will come back, for sure!

 

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All the team with new shoes!

Thanks to all the people who helped us in our charity work!


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