I think it’s about time I talk about the wonderful country of S. Africa again. I’ve been in country for almost 2 1/2 months, and it’s been great. My kids have had a great time. We’ve had no TV or Wii which has been fantastic to get them outside more and playing more.
In my last post on SA, there were a few questions that I thought I would answer…
Is the local economy driven by tourism?
Here in White River, the local economy is most certainly driven by tourism. With Kruger National Park nearby, many beautiful waterfalls, and amazing lookout points, you’ll find a lot of tourists floating through our area of S. Africa. We were recently at a popular pancake restaurant about 45 minutes away and watched as at least three tourist buses came and stopped in the tiny town.
What’s the most surprising item you can find there that you wouldn’t expect would be available?
This is a hard one to answer. I’m always surprised at how cheap macadamias are here. There are lots of macadamia orchards around making the price much lower than what you find in the U.S. I guess, though, if I could say one thing that I’m always pleasantly surprised by is how well just about anything grows here. You can throw papaya seeds outside and eventually a tree will start growing. The gardens are beautiful and I love all the flowers and vegetation that just grow so easily.
We are about to enter the Summer season here which means the rainy season. There are two benefits to this, one, everything turns a beautiful shade of green (great for flowers!), and two, it cools down the hot Summer temps.
Since wood is expensive, what do people burn for fires? Why are the houses built in cement, rather than wood frames?
Wood for building homes is expensive compared to the U.S. so that’s why homes are build in cement. However, wood for fires you can find pretty cheap. Interestingly enough, Johannesburg (about 3 1/2 hours away) is home to the largest man made forest in the world and Graskop (a mere 45 minutes away) is home to the second largest man made forest in the world. Most of that is used for exporting.
How far are you from the Indian Ocean?
The closest ocean to us is in Maputo, Mozambique which is about a two hour drive. I’ve only been to Maputo once and didn’t even make it to the ocean. I like to call Mozambique Latin Africa. It is indeed Africa but that Portuguese speaking nation definitely carries a Latin feel!
I hope you’ve enjoyed a little peek into White River, South Africa. It’s a beautiful place to visit if you ever get the chance.
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