Celebrating Freedom

Today is a national holiday in South Africa, celebrating freedom and commemorating the first post-apartheid election, held in 1994. Fittingly, we spent our day learning the history of South Africa. We started off at Constitution Hill, where the Constitutional Court (the highest court in the land) was built partially from the bricks of the Old Fort Prison complex. One section of the prison, the notorious Number Four, held non-whites, such as Mahatma Ghandi, Robert Sobukwe and students involved in the 1976 Soweto uprising. The Old Fort Prison is now a museum, a reminder of the country’s past. As we traveled from Joburg to the township of Soweto, we glimpsed the unique culture of this county. Driving through neighborhood streets, children waved at our bus. Merchants lined some of the streets, selling everything from fruit to maize to trinkets. In Soweto, we had a buffet lunch featuring South African cuisine and watched people on the street dressed in tribal garb perform traditional Zulu dances. After lunch, we headed to the Apartheid Museum to learn about South Africa’s rich and painful history. Tonight, we’re looking forward to some Freedom Day fireworks!

–Rachel Stone