Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Time in Pretoria, ZA

I think it’s been a week since I posted to the blog, and what a week it’s been.
But I’m going to make up for it over the next few days!!!

Sneak Peek….
Went to a party and met a prince,
Flew to Pretoria, ZA
Played with Bengal Tiger cubs,
Got a kiss from an elephant,
went shopping, acquired a new family,
took 1000 pictures, (really 1000)

and much much more!!! all of this in 4 days!!!

I don’t know where to begin. Let’s start with Wednesday July 1st. Not that anything really exciting happened… I don’t think I really took any pictures… Just the morning photo. cr-sunrise 7-2

I spent most of the day either preparing to go to the US Consulate Generals July 4th Celebration party on Thursday or to Pretoria on Friday. Preparing for the party was pressing clothes and getting ready for Pretoria was doing laundry.

I went into town to find a dressier pair of black sandals, no luck there and to get my nails done. They aren’t much every day, short, thin and not very long, and they certainly weren’t much more after… just even, clean and shiny.

On Thursday, July 2nd, we were to be at the Consulate Generals between 10 and 10:30 am, to assist with the setup. But when we arrived, all the work had been done.
The party was outside in the garden of the Consulate Generals home. The weather was spectacular, about 76 degrees. It is winter here, so many of the plants were not in bloom, but there were a few that were. I took a camera, the point and wait, with me to the party, but I don’t have the means to get the pictures out… oops. The house is an older very spacious home, with a few interesting modifications… for larger functions. She had a nice collection of quilts hanging on the walls (I have pictures).

While we waited for the party to start… I met many of the staff of the Consulate, we chatted until the party started at 1:30. I met some really interesting people including the Durban Consulate General Jill Derderian (I would hope so since we were at her party at her house) and
Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who is also the leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, (I was photographed with him for the local newspaper). I wanted to post pictures of the CG and the prince, but I don't know how to post pictures from the internet to my blog, yet. My party duties were to assist with the guest circulation and conversationalist. I had an interesting discourse with a gentleman that was curious about ‘Chili’… we decided that Chili was a region dish in the states and the ingredients varied by taste. Then I met the Director of the University of Durban Libraries and many of her friends. We talked about lots of things including a really odd bird here (an Ibis) otherwise known as the dodak bird because of the sound they make, Wildlife parks, ‘the go away bird’, the Ibis, bugs and of course books. I also met many other folks including the CG’s neighbor and they invited us to dinner before I leave… They also invited the CG, this is going to be very interesting. There was lots of food, served by waiters, provided by McDonalds. The foods were on a theme of Durbans Sister Cities, Chicago and New Orleans,. There was President Obamas chili, perogie, a jambalaya, shrimp and rice balls, Mc D chicken strips & apple pies, bananas foster packets, beignets, NO style fish, and much more. There was a cake for desert that was absolutely the best sheet cake I have ever eaten!! A Tira Misu style cake, with espresso in the layers. We of course had some speeches and a bit of entertainment; a native South African Soprano (for the life of me I cannot remember her name and worse yet what I do remember I can’t spell), she sang both the South African National Anthem, (in both Afrikaan and English), and the US National Anthem -a cappella!

The guest stayed until about 4:30 and then the party was over. We helped clean up a bit and then we were done for the evening. We grabbed a quick bite in the village, and then home to pack for an early morning flight to Pretoria. Like up at 4, to catch a 7 a flight…

Next Bengal Tiger Cubs and our hosts!

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