Saturday, June 6, 2009

Robben Island

A couple of months ago, our friends Amber and Jeff came to visit with their son Benedict. One of our outings was a trip to Robben Island Prison, where political prisoners were housed during apartheid.

We saw the lime quarry where the prisoners were forced to spend their days digging lime by hand. When they could, they gathered into groups, and the older prisoners taught the younger ones about South African history, economics, and the history of the freedom struggle. Partly because of this, Robben Island was sometimes called The University.

We also saw Nelson Mandela's cell and the place in the exercise yard where he buried his autobiography in order to hide it from the guards. It was found and destroyed, but the prisoners had already smuggled another copy out of the prison, so it didn't get lost.

The boat trip to and from the island was lovely, although it was very touristy. We had a great view of Table Mountain from the bay.

We also saw whales, even though they were out of season. I know readers of this blog (if I have any readers left after so many months with no posts) are fond of my fuzzy shots of whale tails, so here's another one:

Sorry about the long gap between posts. I'll try to be better. I think Andy is planning a post or two, too.


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