Kevin’s Journal
for the
UC MBA International Business Trip
South Africa

(Thursday, March 20th through Sunday, March 30th, 2003)

Thursday (3/20)

Friday (3/21) Saturday (3/22) Sunday (3/23)
Monday (3/24) Tuesday (3/25) Wednesday (3/26) Thursday (3/27)
Friday (3/28) Saturday (3/29) Sunday (3/30)


Thursday, March 20th, 2003


3:30am (Cincinnati)

Vipul joined me on an 11pm excursion to find gifts for the guest speakers. We hopped around University Plaza – Walgreen’s, Kroger, and CVS – buying post cards, Bob Huggins bobble-heads, and UC t-shirts, respectively.

Although a little groggy around midnight, Vipul and I got our blood flowing over a game or two or thirty of indoor basketball (pop-a-shot). A few hours later, here I sit at the Cincinnati International Airport. Martha and I are waiting for the check-in counters to open. I think it will still be a while. Of course the war in Iraq has been all the talk. Will the trip still happen? No news is good news, I hope. Great timing Bush has. His “ultimatum” deadline coincides almost exactly with our scheduled departure. In fact, we’ve been bombing Iraq for hours now, I believe.

The airport is mostly empty of course, as Martha and I sit and wait for the check-ins to open. There is a group camped out by the domestic flights check-in counters. I found out later that they were Hamilton Cheerleaders on their way to national competition at Disney World. Coverage of the war plays live above the screens of scrolling Arrivals and Departures. At least we’re not traveling to the Middle East.


4:30am (Cincinnati)

Made it through check-in. Martha wasn’t able to come to the gate. She wasn’t too happy about that, but was understanding, given the increased security due to the war and all. I was also hoping to get to spend some time with her before we depart. She didn’t even get to see the security guy search me and make me take my shoes off. Well, maybe I can get some of this South Africa pre-reading material read.


9:30am (Atlanta)

Our plane is not as decorative on the outside as the one on the web site, but it certainly is nice inside. I’m on the upper deck with Vicki, Valerie, and D. The others are on the main deck. The upper deck is only about 10 rows deep with 3 seats on each side of the aisle. One notable difference is the storage bins between the window seats and the windows themselves. It’s just enough room to place my book bag to use as a head rest. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some sleep, as I’ve been up now since 7:30am yesterday. I did catch a wink on the last flight, but nothing substantial. It was just like falling asleep in class – one wakes up as soon as you’ve fallen asleep. Speaking of the last flight – about 30 minutes into the trip, we had to turn around because the cabin would not pressurize. We sat on the ground for about 30-45 minutes before they had resealed the door and got us back in the air. Thankfully, there was a 3 hour layover scheduled here in Atlanta, so we were still 2 hours early.


Friday, March 21st, 2003

7:30am (Cape Town)

Well, we’re supposed to land in about 20 minutes or so. What a trip. I slept off and on, maybe 8-10 hours total. Between lunch, breakfast, chess, and The Tuxedo, it was difficult to get more than 2-4 hours or so in at a time. Wow, great pictures of Robben Island and Cape Town on the way in. I’m already loving this 2x zoom lens.


1:42pm (Cape Town)

Our arrival in Cape Town around 8am was effortless. We exited the plane via stairs and walked a short distance to the door of the airport. The lines on the way in were very short, taking about 5 minutes to pass. The customs agents asked only if our travel was for vacation, to which we answered yes and it took only minutes more to collect our bags. Professor Salter and Johan were waiting for us with smiles. After renting a couple of cell phones for the group, we headed outside to board our bus. After a few jokes about whether we would be packing into the VW that sat curbside, we headed for the hotel. While most of the scenery was beautiful, we did pass a village of shacks. While my initial reaction was to consider it depressing, it occurred to me that those with monetary and material wealth are no more entitled to happiness than those living in shacks.

The City Lodge - Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is beautiful. A few of us went down to the cafe and grabbed a bite to eat while we waited for our rooms. I only tried a bite of Dave's (I don't recall the name of the food), but it was great - a curry/beef dish. There were tons of choices, including Guava and other fresh fruits. I finally got a room around 10:30 and unpacked. Of course the first thing I did was get on my computer and figure out how to log in here. It took some monkeying with the settings because there is no dial tone on the phones. I had to insert a couple of pauses after '0' to dial out. When I finally got through, I checked my email, sent a "Hi" to Martha, Erin, Mom, and Dad, and then checked on the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, UC had choked. Oh well – until next year.

For dinner, 7 of us (Daniel, Tao, Dave, Pat, Melissa B, Luana, and I) went down to the waterfront and got a table at Morton's. I had the filet mignon and half of us shared 2 bottles of wine - R175 bottles of Shiraz. I also had cheesecake for dessert, of course. Still, the tab for all 7 of us only came to R790 (about R110 per person or $14 each) - R970 after tip. Not bad, eh? After dinner, we perused the bar scene until we found one we (they) liked. We hung out for an hour or so, just talking and watching rugby. We were looking for a place with live music, preferably jazz, but the only one we found had a R40 cover, so we passed.


Saturday, March 22nd, 2003

11:45pm (Cape Town)

What a busy day. I'm beat. We all met in the lobby at about 9:15am and loaded onto the bus for a tour of the western cape. We started out in downtown Cape Town, getting off the bus for an hour to browse Greenmarket Square - a bevy of vendors selling all sorts of souvenirs. I wanted to buy something - I really liked the baskets carved from solid wood - but Johan ensured us he would take us somewhere less touristy and thus more reasonably priced on another trip. You've definitely got check out the pictures from the square. They're pretty cool.

The next big stop on our trip was lunch at the Harbor House Restaurant in Fish Hoek. I had the curried calamari for a mere R65, including tip. Although, I started to feel nauseous this evening and didn't end up eating dinner. Not sure if it was the calamari or something else.

Our next main stop was a penguin colony in The Boulders - an area of Simon's Town and part of the Cape Peninsula National Park. It was pretty neat, so of course I took a number of pictures there. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for wildlife. After some more driving and wetting our hands (and some feet) in the Atlantic at the Cape of Good Hope, we stopped near Cape Point to check out the lighthouse, and also the views. The view of Diaz beach was especially breathtaking. Completely enclosed by a semi-circle of cliff walls, one could easily imagine it to be the type of beach pirates or nobleman used to fight over. Of course, the trip up to the lighthouse in order to achieve this view wasn't an easy one. Although the path was great, it was pretty steep. My legs will probably be sore tomorrow. It was good exercise.

When we finally got back to the hotel around 7pm, everyone was ready to eat. This time, all 11 of the 12 students went together (Daniel stayed behind to catch up on sleep). Even Jeff (my roommate) joined us, having arrived earlier in the day by way of Paris, but not in time to catch our bus tour. Anyway, we ate at Cape Town Fish Market. Unfortunately, since I wasn't feeling well, all I had was a water. I'm not sure if it was something I ate for lunch or some aroma in the mall or what. However, I did grab an ice cream cone on the way back, as I was feeling a lot better by then. Well, tomorrow is another busy day. I better get these updates posted and get to back. My apologies in advance for not titling the pictures this time, but hopefully I can get to those tomorrow. Hasta mañana.


Sunday, March 23rd, 2003

8:00am (Cape Town)

Yeah, didn't get to those pictures. In fact, it's actually about 5pm on Monday and I'm catching up my journal. I fell fast asleep last night. More on that later, though.

After a quick continental breakfast, I met the rest of the group in the lobby at about 8am and we all walked down to the waterfront together to catch the catamaran to Robben Island. Although the ship was fast, it still took about 20 or 30 minutes. By the views from the plane and the mountain, one wouldn't think it would take so long. Anyway, when we arrived, we boarded a bus that had seats packed in tighter than I've ever seen before - 3 on one side, 2 on the other. The aisle was barely passable. Anyway, the bus tour and the foot tour were each to last about 45 minutes. The bus tour itself was divided into two - a nature tour and a residential tour. The first thing we noticed on the nature tour was all the penguins. The guide quickly pointed out that Robben Island boasts the 5th largest penguin colony in the world - about 35,000 penguins. We also saw many springbucks and rabbits. On the residential part of the bus tour, we saw many buildings built in the World War II era that had served as military quarters, a post office, and other such buildings.

Our next stop was the limestone quarry where all the political prisoners had worked, including Nelson Mandela. Mandela had to have surgery on his eyes due to damage caused by the lime in these quarries. In the pictures, you will see a small pile of rocks that have actually been declared a national monument. Every 5 years on the 11th of November, all the former prisoners that are still living return to the site to place a stone on the pile.

On the way to the main prison facility, we passed another smaller facility called the Robert Sobukwe House. Apparently, the prison personnel considered him such a political threat that they built separate quarters for him.

When we finally arrived at the main facilities, we were greeted by tour guide Thulani Mabaso, a member of the African National Congress and a former prisoner at Robben Island. In fact, he was the very last prisoner to be released. As he said, he closed the very last door. Thulani led us through the compound, telling us bits of history along the way, but nothing would compare to the stories he told us in his old cell block. They would bring tears of empathy to your eyes. It is difficult to even put down in writing.

Thulani did tell uplifting stories such as that of a gentleman smuggling out Mandela's original manuscript of The Long Road To Freedom and how messages were passed outside the compound by 'accidentally' hitting a volleyball out of the courtyard (inside would be a note with valuable inside information). However, Thulani's own story of the atrocities committed in the prison were mortifying and unforgettable. Please forgive me if I have mixed up some of the details, be sure that I have tried my best to keep them straight.

Thulani told a story of one case in which he was detained and beaten. He was made to lie down on the floor with his feet shackled and his hands cuffed behind his back. Thulani lays down on the floor, demonstrating the position. Then two of the guards, one at each end, would lift him up in the air and drop him to the hard concrete floor. Not only would they drop him, but the man at him feet would actually swing his feet back down, so as to throw him to the floor. Thulani quickly lost consciousness and later woke up in a hospital bed. He had been bleeding from his ears.

Thulani also told of a time that he was taken to another building by three men and led to a door on an upper floor. When he was escorted inside, he was left with two men that also had their way with him. They made him to sit upon his knees with his hands behind his back. Again, Thulani demonstrates the position in front of us. He continues to tell how they poured water down the front of him and shock him with tasers until he loses control of his bowels and passes out. When he comes to, they force him to eat the mess that he made, stuffing it in his mouth and helping it down with lots of water. He was then made to go to a different room to clean his pants and then to return to the same room and clean up the spot where the mess had been made.

When they finally released him to go outside and return to his cell, there were two men standing across the courtyard with guard dogs. One of the men let loose his dog, which proceeded to maul Thulani's leg and crotch, shredding his pants and causing him to drop to his knees in pain before the dog was called off. The men escorting him took back up to the two men in the room to see the wounds. The one man dropped his pants to see the wound and proceeded to push his lit cigarette into Thulani's private parts. Again, Thulani dropped to his knees in pain and passed out.

One of the final stories that Thulani told was of how his father had once planned a visit. In fact, the warden or guards had passed along the "good" news. However, on the day his father was supposed to visit, Thulani was called into the office and told that his father had been "detained" and would not be able to see him. They then proceeded to tell him that they had shot his father 8 times. An outsider whom Thulani trusted later corroborated the story, visiting Thulani's father in the hospital and hearing of the 8 gunshot wounds. Thulani's father is in a wheelchair to this day and is blind as a result of the injuries. The men who committed the crime are still free men and are actually quite successful business men according to Thulani.

After hearing of such atrocities, one might wonder why Thulani would return to the compound to lead tours and tell such stories. In fact, he resisted for many years. Then one of the tour guides, who had also been a prisoner there, passed away. Thulani was again asked to do tours and this time felt an obligation to accept the invitation so that visitors might continue to hear the stories from one of the actual former prisoners.

The ride back to the mainland was certainly a sober one. But as the rain subsided and the clouds began to clear, the beautiful scenery of the cape began to lighten the mood. I remained on the upper deck of the boat this time, holding either the rails or the steel beams overhead as the boat pitched up and down about 6 feet. The movement of the boat reminded me very much of the fishing trip that Dad and Keith and I took in North Carolina (the on which both of them got seasick). It was great. The bucking bronco of the seas.  :-)  I did get a few beautiful pictures on our approach.


2:00pm (Cape Town)

Due to the bad weather we were having, Salter had cancelled the afternoon trip to Table Mountain and sent the bus driver home, giving us the afternoon off. However, by the time we arrived back to the mainland, the weather had cleared up enough that 10 of us decided to take a couple of shuttles to the mountain. After all, the tickets for the cable car had already been paid for by Salter. Unfortunately, when Daniel, Tao, Melissa, Melissa, Pat, Dave, Luana, Anupa, Jeff, and I arrived on the mountain, our tickets were nowhere to be found. However, Salter had ensured us that if there was any trouble with the tickets that we should just go ahead and purchase new ones and he would work everything out with the tour company later. So we bought our tickets and headed up the mountain in the cable car.

When we got to the top of the mountain, it was about 3pm and we still had not had lunch, so we went through the lunch line in the mountain-top bistro and sat down for a bite to eat. This proved a mistake because by the time we finished eating, it started to rain again. When the weather cleared up again, we headed outside to hike the trails and check out the views. Of course, some of the views made me somewhat nauseous because of the sheer drop (and my slight fear of heights). Nonetheless, we trekked around and took pictures until it again started to rain. We didn't actually turn back, but we did hurry a little because the rain was very cold and Daniel and Tao were wearing shorts. However, when we got back inside, it was me that was cold because my pants were soaked with cold rain. A good night's sleep would be in order to avoid catching a cold.


8:00pm (Cape Town)

We got back from Table Mountain around 6 and Pat made reservations for dinner at a seafood place called Panama Jack's. It was in the middle of nowhere compared to the lively V&A Waterfront, seemingly in the middle of the ship yard. Anyway, I decided to live a little and try the seafood sampler platter, called the Seafood Mistro. It was so impressive that the others encouraged me to take a picture. You'll have to browse through the photo album and find it. The platter consisted of line fish (cape yellow salmon), cape lobster, crawfish, prawns, mussels, and a spiced calamari. It was excellent - I finished nearly the whole plate, leaving only a little of the calamari (I was nervous about eating too much of it after lunch the previous day) and about a third of the line fish. I did, however, make room for dessert - a luscious crème brulè. As on Friday, the price of the meal for all 7 of us (Pat, Melissa, Melissa, Luana, Dave, Tiffany, and I) was about R950. Not bad, though my portion alone was about R270 ($34), including tip.


Monday, March 24th, 2003

8:00am (Cape Town)

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't actually get to updating the journal for yesterday and today until this evening. Although I planned to do the update when we arrived home around 10pm, I was so tuckered out that I passed out on my bed fully clothed. I got up at 11pm to let Jeff check his email and set my alarm, but apparently I set it for the wrong time. When it went off in the morning Jeff quickly noted that we had 15 minutes to get ready. So I stuck my head under the faucet, combed my hair, yanked some clothes on, grabbed my bags and a couple of breakfast items to go from the dining room, and was in the lobby on time.  :-)

When we had all gathered in the lobby, we boarded the bus and headed to the Bellville Park Campus of the University of Stellenbosch to visit their Graduate School of Business (GSB). I caught up much of my journal in writing on the way. When we arrived at the GSB, we were greeted by Johan and ushered into a lecture hall that he had arranged for us. After we had taken our seats, Prof. Loubser, our first speaker and Assistant Dean of the college, gave an overview of the school. He distinguished it from other schools in the area by saying it is the only one whose mission is to develop the future managers of South Africa. Most other programs focus more on international business. As a result of their unique focus, the GSB enrollment is something like 70% black. Much of their teaching is in Afrikaans.

The second speaker was Prof. Breytenbach, a professor of Political Science who helped author South Africa's constitution. He talked about the wars of Africa and their relationship to the political and economic landscape of the continent. He shared that most wars in Africa are internal to a country and are about either the control of resources or of power. Prof. Breytenbach also discussed the background, as well as the pros and cons of the boundaries of the countries, which were laid out in just 2 months at the Berlin Conference in 1884/1885. He expressed that although the boundaries are partially to blame for some of the conflict today, that the alternative method of self determination would probably result in about 500 African nations today.

Our third guest speaker was Mr. de Villiers, a personal friend of Johan and a marketing consultant. Mr. de Villiers spoke to us about the consumer environment in South Africa. His PowerPoint slides can be found at, the home of the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF). His data was sourced from their All Media & Product Survey (AMPS). It surveyed about 30,000 adults (16+) and is representative of the entire country. Some of the market characteristics he reported include an average household income of R1000 per month, an 80% functional literacy rate, only 35% of homes have access to hot water, and approximately 60% of the population are classified as not working (about 20% considered unemployed). Despite the poverty and lack of employment, there has been a decrease in food and personal care products consumption and a drastic increase in gambling and the purchase of lottery tickets and cell phones. In the economic groups LSM1-5, the most popular monthly activity was attending funerals (62%). Of all South Africans, 14.5% had personally experienced some sort of crime in the past 12 months. In terms of music, the most popular genre by far is gospel, preferred by about 65% of South Africans. Mr. de Villiers also had 3 or 4 slides about PC and Internet usage that hopefully I'll get a chance to review more later. Only about 4% of South Africans have used the internet.

Our fourth and final speaker was Prof. Neuland, of the University of South Africa (UNISA), which we'll be visiting in Johannesburg later in the week. His expertise is in international trade. He talked a little about the ripple effect that the global economy felt as a result of Sep. 11th. He also talked about the decline in South Africa's participation in international trade as a percentage of the global market, though he also pointed out that this does not mean that their trade has actually declined, rather only that it has not kept pace with the growth in the rest of the world. He also briefly touched on the growing gap between the world's 20 poorest countries and the 20 richest countries, apparently due to the globalization of international trade and commerce.


12:00pm (Cape Town)

After a snack in the lunch room downstairs, we briefly perused the university bookstore for souvenirs. Apparently they had opened it just for us. This was a good business decision, as we bought a lot of merchandise in the 15 or 20 minutes before we left to board the bus.

Our afternoon travels took us to 2 different shopping malls because our afternoon engagement had been cancelled. The first was a large mall called the Tygerbird Valley mall and the second, the Canal Walk mall, was absolutely huge. I won't talk much about the first because we didn't see much that you wouldn't see in any other mall. We did stop at an Indian restaurant for lunch (Anupa, Pat, and I). I ordered the Karai Mushroom or something like that. All I know is that it was VERY hot. They did not have a 1-10 scale or anything like that - just mild, medium, or hot. I started out claiming it was about a 4 or 5 on the 6-point Ambar scale, but by the time we got our check, I was claiming that it was more like an 8. I couldn't taste the food any more, so I got a to-go container and finished it in about 3 various sittings, later in the day.

The second mall was much more interesting, specifically the hall of African art/souvenir stores. While there was a ton of stuff I wanted to buy in the 20 or so shops, I just didn't have the money. I had to change some more dollars to rand as it was. I ended up spending nearly 500 rand on souvenirs and gifts. I took a picture in each of the stores that I made a purchase. Can you guess what I bought? Of course I can't say, because it's a surprise to some that will be reading this update. Maybe I'll reveal the gifts on Sunday, after I've given them away.


5:00pm (Cape Town)

When we arrived back at the hotel, I logged on to let Tao check his email. Then I laid down for a nap. I ended up sleeping until about 12:30am and hear I sit about 3 hours later, wrapping up my journal. I'll update the web pages and start uploading the pictures before I check my email and go back to bed.


Tuesday, March 25th, 2003

9:00am (Stellenbosch)

The expanse of shanty towns is something else. I have actually seen such structures in southeastern Ohio - tin structures from 6' x 6' up to 10' x 20'. In southeastern Ohio, though, you would only see 1 or 2, not thousands. Here there are entire suburbs of this housing, stretching from about 20 yards from the highway to as far as the eye can see when at the middle. Electrical lines overhead reach down like spider webs to make power accessible to the shacks. A few shacks even have a car or minivan parked beside them. Whether they run or not, I could not say. In southeastern Ohio they might also have a DirectTV dish too. Okay, maybe not. Maybe you would see those more with the trailer homes.

When we arrived in Stellenbosch, we had an hour to kill before the winery tour. So after checking out the local market, we walked around town for a bit, a few off us stopping off to check out the Dutch Reformed Church of Stellenbosch. It is a beautiful Protestant church on the edge of town. While we were there, there was a tape playing of the organist playing How Great Thou Art. What a beautiful song, especially on the organ!


11:00am (Somerset West)

That pretty much ate up our time in town and we boarded the bus to head to Vergelegen, a winery & vineyard in Somerset West - somewhat of the Napa Valley of South Africa. When we arrived at Vergelegen, the power was out. Unfortunately that meant we wouldn't be able to check out the cellar. At least we were able to check out the distillery, though. It was neat. Johann Venter was our tour. Apparently, the name is quite common. The entire building was built down into the top of a hill. It went about 4 stories deep. On the surface was a great view of the surrounding hills. The top level is where the vats are filled with the grapes. The vats actually sit on the second level below ground and the third as well. The second level, the upper of the two, had the vats for the red wine. There were coils about the vats that warmed the temperature to optimal levels for fermentation. The red wines take about 7-9 days of fermentation in the vats. On the third level, the lower of the two, the vats for white wine are cooled by their coils to facilitate the best fermentation. They must ferment for 21-26 days. Vergelegen is considered a small winery and exports are not a significant part of their business. As such, the difficulty many wineries have had reentering the US market (after the anti-apartheid legislation) was not a major issue for Vergelegen, since that is not a large part of their market. Of course, on this particular day, the employees were a little concerned about the power failure, given the importance of the controlled temperature to the fermentation process.

After the tour of the distillery, we headed back down the hill to tour the main grounds, much of which was build in 1700. Many of the trees, including many confers, were date back to that year. These trees, as a result, are very large. They have trunks that span 6-10 feet wide. We also saw lime and persimmon trees in the yards, not to mention rose gardens and other beautiful flowers and foliage.

For many of us, the highlight of the day was the wine tasting. Everyone got to sample 4 wines - 2 white (Chardonnay and Vin de Florence) and 2 red (Mill Race and Merlot). The Vin de Florence was very sweet and the favorite of many, including myself. That is barring the shiraz, of course, which Tiffany asked to try. She gave me a sip as well and it was far and beyond the others. That is why I'm bringing home a bottle. Of course, I have been a bit partial to shiraz ever since studying Bonny Doon Vineyards (California) in Marketing Management. For R170, you can't go wrong. The quality was on par with the $50 bottle of shiraz I bought at Jungle Jim's for Valentine's Day. Johann did suggest, however, that this particular batch would be in its prime in 1-10 years' time. So I guess I'll have to keep it around for a while before opening it.


1:00pm (Somerset West)

After the wine tasting, we all had lunch at the winery's restaurant. This fine dining experience was courtesy of the MBA program. Of course, with a group our size, we had a set menu. The meat was again line fish, the cape salmon. I ended up joining the two other vegetarians for the meal, as I am not a fan of fish (though the cape salmon was at all offensive). The vegetarian dish was in fact a very tasty spiced stir-fry of veggies with grilled asparagus. The presentation was superb, as well. For desert, we had caramelized amarula over custard. It was quite good. I ended up eating two helpings, but I won't give away who didn't eat theirs.


3:00pm (Somerset West)

By the time we were done eating, we had to hurry to our next stop and pick up our tour guides for Kayamandi, a formal housing settlement outside of Stellenbosch. Kayamandi works similar to Habitat For Humanity in that the owners must participate in parts of the construction, giving them a greater equity/interest in the home. A goverment subsidy of about R15,000 per structure gives full ownership to the head of household. Each homeowner is provided a solid foundation, a toilet, a roof, and access to electricity. The rest is up to the owner and his/her family. This program and the subsidy are part of a 10-year government initiative to make sure that all residents of South Africa have housing.

The program is not without challenges, however. Some residents resist the move for various reasons. In many cases, their shacks were larger than the new structure and were often partitioned. Other factors such as business location also play a part. All in all, though, the township has been a great success. Community residents are generally more interested in growing their community than in "getting out." Program administrators work with the community leaders to understand these needs and to help manage the transition.

One aspect of the experience that struck me was the apparent attitude of the residents. It seems one smiled at me and waved somewhere along the way and it started a chain reaction. I began smiling at the residents and waving as we passed by and they genuinely returned the gesture in most cases. When you first lay eyes on such a township, your heart may sink in pity. However, I challenge you to interact with the residents, if only by body language, and they will surprise you with warm, genuine smiles.

I asked one of the tour guides about the general attitude of the community. Is it one of self-pity? Are they disheartened and depressed? Or are they really as positive and as happy as they seem. He confirmed that indeed, they do seem to be a positive and jolly community. I know it may be difficult to understand for some, but many of these residents seemed more genuinely happy than many, many people in Cincinnati who would be considered much, much less economically "disadvantaged" than these folks. Indeed, happiness is not the result of our earthly possessions, but an attitude that each and every one of us has the potential to possess. This is why I think it is great that the program administrators truly understand the importance of understanding actual community needs, rather than fabricating strategies based on their perceptions of community needs or even projecting their own needs on the community. This is an easy trap to far prey to.


5:00pm (Stellenbosch)

After our trip to Kayamandi, we headed back into Stellenbosch for dinner. We had about an hour and a half to kill, so we stopped at the information center, acquired some information booklets on Stellenbosch, consumed some bandwidth in the cyber cafe (checked email), and split up to explore the town a bit more. Tao and I walked a bit on the side we had not walked in the morning, meeting up with Daniel along the way. We headed over to the University of Stellenbosch main campus, where there appeared to be some sort of event going on that was attracting a lot of students. I asked one of the students what was going on and she told me it was a bible school program, held every evening from 6-9. She mentioned something about first, second, and third year programs that I didn't quite catch. I also asked about the affiliation. She wasn't quite sure what I was asking, but I managed to find out that it wasn't Catholic, but some sort of Protestant affiliation. She called it "charismatic", but I assume it was either non-denominational, United Church of Christ, or some other progressive group. The attractive young lady invited us to participate, but I told her that actually I was engaged - for dinner, I mean.  ;-)  Actually, I simply declined (graciously), citing our dinner reservations at 6:30.

We had dinner a few blocks from campus at a nice place called the Stellenbosch Hotel. The building, if not the establishment as well, dated back to 1706, or so said the plaque on the brick section of the wall, naturally and neatly framed by the new construction. The restaurant served a great variety of game animals, so great that we took pictures of the menu. They offered Kudu, Zebra, Ostrich, Wildebeest, Springbuck, etc. However, it was the Monkey Glans sauce that was all the talk. We debated the origin of the sauce all night, before finally asking the waitress on our way out. Actually, the sauce was a regular spiced gravy and had nothing to do with Monkeys as far as she knew. Anyway, our table (D, Melissa S, Tiffany, Anupa, and I) pretty much concurred that the Springbuck was the best because it was the most tender of the meats. Even my ostrich, which was more rare than medium rare, was somewhat tough. It nearly took me all night to finish. Of course, it didn't prevent me from downing some strawberry ice cream before we boarded the bus.


10:00pm (Cape Town)

After finishing up and heading back home, we all caught up our accounts and packed for our early 5:15am departure to the airport. In the process of settling our accounts, I was shocked to learn that I had been mislead or misunderstood the rates for telephone calls. Apparently, even local telephone calls are not a flat rate like I thought they were. They were actually R1.38 per 30 seconds!!! Oops! Chalk one up on the dummy wall. The entire bill came up to over R1000. It would have been cheaper to use the public internet access downstairs at a rate of R90 per hour (my telephone calls worked out to R165 per hour). I certainly learned that cultural difference the hard way! I guess I shouldn't have gone to sleep after starting the picture uploads. At least there was an idle timeout and the connection did not stay live all night. Otherwise, I think it could have been twice as much. Anyway, although I was pretty upset, I sucked it up, got packed, and went to bed. Not much I could do right? At least it was only about $130 or so. It could have been much worse if we had stayed the entire week without checking.


Wednesday, March 26th, 2003

5:00am (Cape Town)

After near misses on the previous two mornings, Jeff and I were actually among the first to make it to the lobby this morning. As everyone else began to arrive, we began to wonder if the bus would. It was supposed to arrive by 5:15 so that we could catch our 7:30 flight to Johannesburg (a.k.a. Jo’burg, a.k.a. Jozi). Jeff was getting quite nervous by 5:30 because his flight was at 6:30, so he called a taxi. Around 5:45, I finally asked Salter when he planned to call taxis for the rest of us. He did call at some point before 6 and we loaded up into three taxis and headed for the airport. From there, the going was pretty smooth. We experienced only a 20 minute delay in departure do to overcrowding at Jo’burg (due to a shortage of air control personnel).


7:30am (Cape Town)

On the flight from Jo’burg, I caught up on my journal writing, as I had fallen behind again briefly due to the long day we had yesterday. I continued on into the bus ride to the hotel and I’m still not completely caught up, but I’m working on it. I had a lot of thoughts to jot down yesterday regarding Kayamandi.


12:00pm (Johannesburg)

Upon arriving at the hotel, City Lodge of Sandton, we dropped off our luggage and grabbed a bite to eat at the Piazza Verona next door. Dave and I shared a pizza – half Mercutio’s (bacon, prosciutto, gorgonzola, garlic, chilli, and parmesan) and half Familia Montegue (chucky tomato, salami, prosciutto, green pepper, mushrooms, garlic, sliced onions, herbs, and mozzarella), respectively. The total bill including drinks came to a mere R64 or about $4 each. We went ahead and tipped about 30% because it was great service, it was fast, and because R80 was easier to pay in cash than R70.


2:00pm (Johannesburg)

After lunch, we boarded the bus and headed for the University of Witswatersrand, Graduate School of Business. They pretty much consider themselves and are in some capacity regarded as the Harvard of South Africa. Unfortunately, Daniel and Tao were a couple minutes behind and the bus left without them. They did catch a taxi and showed up a short time later (after being misdirected a couple of times).

Today’s lecture at Wits consisted entirely of one speaker, Mr. Geoff Heald – another old friend of Johan’s. His specialty is in negotiations and his current thesis research is entitled “Learning Amongst Enemies.” His main topic for the day focused about the War on Iraq and its potential impact on international business. We discussed:

  • the ramifications of the US invasion of Iraq upon the Washington Consensus – a structural adjustment program

  • the implications of South Africa’s role in attempting to assist Iraq in destroying “weapons of mass destruction”

  • the possibility of a new precedent that could jeopardize multi-lateralism and herald the rise of uni-lateralism

  • the possibility of jeopardizing or destroying globals brands as a result of the fall-out in the Middle East

The latter sparked my curiosity of how P&G is reacting to the war and how it will affect the global business of P&G, but all the other questions seemed to generate a lot of discussion and thinking about the subject matter. Goeff was very successful in getting us engaged in dialog. He was also a very dynamic speaker. His brilliant mind and capability of generating discussion was evidenced by the questions he posed back on us and yet still had the mental organization to draw back to the same question five minutes later.

The conversation was going so well that we took a 15 minute “tea break” and continued the discussion informally over beverages in the lounge downstairs. When we returned back to the class room, we picked up right where we left off and Geoff continued to guide us along the agenda that he distributed.

Geoff also explained how the computer technology in South Africa is among the most advanced in the world. He wrapped up his dialog with a brief overview of fuel cell technology, a subject matter for which he is currently the sponsor of a thesis. Hopefully, I will be able to get a copy of those slides, as the material was very interesting and is a potential topic for my research paper.


6:00pm (Johannesburg)

Tonight is catch-up. I spend a while typing up my notes from earlier in the day until Tao called to let me know that he, Pat, Luana, Daniel, Melissa B, and Dave were all hanging out in the courtyard in case I wanted to join. I waited to get to a breaking point before I went out, but did join them. We chatted and laughed and had a good time for a good while before deciding to move the party indoors, as it was beginning to get a bit chilly outside. I went ahead and came back to the room to finish up the journal update and work on the photo albums again. I think I will update them here because the rate is significantly better (R1 per minute) and I don't know what the rate will be when we head out to Pretoria tomorrow.


Thursday, March 27th, 2003

12:00pm (Johannesburg)

Our morning was relatively uneventful, as we were not scheduled to leave Sandton until 11:30am. Jeff and I didn’t even get out of bed until almost 10am. A few of us had some brunch, but we basically just checked out and got on the bus. I did have to pay another R66 for using the phone to connect to the net, but the rate was much better and it was worth it this time. It was a more voluntary expense. Once on the bus, we made a quick pit stop to the Sandton City mall to grab a quick lunch to-go. Inevitably, there were a few stops by the ICC Cricket World Cup shop to take advantage of the post-event sale. Admittedly, I bought a few mementos from the shop to give as gifts.


4:00pm (Johannesburg)

After everyone had reconvened on the bus, we headed off to South African Brewery (SAB) for a tour. I’m not a beer drinker and I’m not really into production lines, so I don’t have much to say about the tour. You’ll have to read another journal for that input. I did take a lot of pictures, though, and a picture says a thousand words, right? We did have the opportunity for a little tasting at the end of the tour. I didn’t expect to participate, but they did have some varieties of a malt beverage similar to Mike’s Hard Lemonade that were tasty.


6:00pm (Johannesburg)

On the bus ride home, there was a lot of debate about what to do on Saturday. Originally, many of us had talked about doing a semi-safari. We expected that would be in addition to the Soweto trip. Then there was talk of the Soweto trip not working out, but plans to visit a lion park. At this point, we’re not sure what’s going to happen. Hopefully we’ll get to do both.

Having grabbed a loaf of herbed bread for lunch, I decided not to go out to dinner with the group. Instead, I joined D in the hotel restaurant, as well as Vicki and Valerie. The others went out to Hatfield or something like that, apparently some sort of college hangout area. I’m too old for that.  ;-)  Okay, maybe not, but I just didn't feel like going out.


9:00pm (Pretoria)

Well, looks like I won’t be able to update the site here in Pretoria. The phone line is wired directly into the wall and directly into the phone. There are wires exposed and I could easily cut up one of my cords and splice in, but that’s just too much work.  :-)  Besides, it seems there is some sort of business office downstairs next to the lobby. The gentleman at the desk said they had some trouble with the connections today, but to try tomorrow. Maybe I’ll do that. Well, I just lent Vicki my adapter and we just finished watching “A Time To Kill”, so I’m heading to bed.


Friday, March 28th, 2003

9:00am (Cape Town)

It was an interesting morning, as I was very tired when I was awakened by the auto wakeup call service. Despite my difficulty waking up, I hopped in the shower. When I got out, Jeff informed me that it was only 4:30am. Hmmm. No wonder I was so tired. It seemed that maybe I keyed in 4:30 instead of 7:30 for the wakeup call. I actually heard later that some other rooms had the same issue, so maybe it was a system problem and not user error. Anyway, I went back to bed and slept another 3 hours. I felt significantly more refreshed when I got up this time, although still a bit tired.

Interesting note on the shower – in the states, it is not uncommon for the water to run cold until you clear the pipes and the warm water comes through. There seemed to be a more complicated factor involved in the temperature control for these showers. When you increase the hot water, it actually takes about 10-15 seconds for the change to occur. Of course, I had the advantage that Jeff had warned me of this last night, so I was careful not to change it too quickly. It was quite peculiar.

Another interesting behavior was that of one of the elevators. It seemed to have an issue with its weight sensor, as a 4th to 5th person seemed to overload it and the doors would not close.

Anyway, on the way to UNISA, we stopped off at the capital building for a photo opportunity. Again, there were vendors outside and many of us purchased more souvenirs. The grounds were quite beautiful and really reminded us of the US capital. We are drove by the US embassy, which was nearby.

At UNISA, we first toured the library and the print facilities before sitting down in a conference room for some informal conversation with members of the UNISA faculty. We discussed the general composition of the 140,000 student program, of which about 8-11% are distance learning students. About 20% are post-graduate students. Indeed the enrollment is so high at UNISA that about one in four graduates in South Africa graduated from UNISA, including the likes of Nelson Mandela and Robert Mugabe. We also discussed the impact of HIV/AIDS, as well as the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) on the African economies.


12:00pm (Pretoria)

After wrapping up our discussion, we joined some of the faculty for lunch in their dining room. It was a buffet consisting of baked chicken, green beans, and French fries. It was incredibly disappointing for such a lunch to displace our opportunity to travel down into the mine at Gold Reef City, despite the opportunity to commune with the faculty. Unfortunately, the mine only operates tours into its depths twice a day and the later of the two is at 2pm.


3:00pm (Pretoria)

Although we didn’t think we would actually get to go down into the mine, we still visited Gold Reef City. When we arrived, we found out that there were indeed more than two tours that went down into the mine. The actually ran about every half hour until the park closed at 5pm. We were about 5 minutes late to catch the 3:30, so some of the group decided to go visit the apartheid museum instead, since there would not be time for both. I intended to see the mine regardless, so I went ahead and paid the R40 for a ticket. Anupa did so as well. In fact, Dave, Luana, and Pat also went down, but Anupa and I did not realize they were going until we passed them down in the mine. They must have been admitted a few minutes late.

Anyway, the mine was great! After dawning our hard hats and a spelunking lantern, we began the tour with a 220 meter descent in the “cage” to level 5. The descent was straight down through a 6 meter wide hole. In fact, level 5 is actually the shallowest level that was mined. The lowest level of this particular site was over 1000 meters below the surface. The lower levels are now flooded because the pumps are no longer run at full capacity. The pumps are run just enough to keep the water level between levels 18 and 19 – about 400 meters below the surface.

As we exited the “cage”, we switched on our lanterns and entered the level 5 tunnel. Our guide explained all of the sites along the way, ranging from dynamite storage boxes to first aid stations to ventilation shafts to an actual jackhammer demonstration. We also saw an old one-ton ore cart as well as one of the newer electric locomotive drawn carts. She explained how the pipes carried pressurized oxygen down into the shaft and how their bolts were always aligned in the same direction, so that miners would be able to find their way out in the event of an electrical outage.

The tour was well worth the money. It has lifted my spirits such that I’m almost not even disappointed about not getting to go to the lion park tomorrow. Okay, maybe I’m still a good deal disappointed about that, but what can I do. I just can’t believe we’ll be leaving Africa without having seen a single lion or cheetah. Oh well. At least we got to tour the mine – the aspect that drove South Africa’s development for many, many years.


5:00pm (Pretoria)

Although the park closed at 5, we weren’t scheduled to get back on the bus until 7. The extra time would be spent at the casino across the street. In fact, I saw many employees of the park going there also. Anupa and I headed over with Dave, Pat, and Luana since we all came out of the mine around the same time. After passing through security, I was told that I would have to check in my computer and camera at the security office and leave it there. I really didn’t want to leave my pack there, so I just hung out outside for a while taking pictures. Eventually, Jeff came out to go back to the bus and run for a bit, so I sent my bag back with him and joined Valerie, Melissa S, and Tiffany and went inside.

Wow – my first time inside a casino. I didn’t actually spend any money, except on some ice cream. I just watched everyone else and we hung out for about an hour or so before heading back for the bus.


8:00pm (Pretoria)

Phew, what a long day. I’m thinking maybe I’ll actually go to bed at a decent hour and go swimming in the morning. Though I haven’t actually seen a single person in the pool, as of yet. We’ll see.


Saturday, March 29th, 2003

10:00am (Pretoria)

After showering and getting dressed, I went down for breakfast. Apparently it is supposed to actually be free at this hotel. That’s nice anyway. I just grabbed some fruit and sat out in the courtyard. Daniel and Tao came out and jumped in the pool briefly. Though I wanted to take a dip myself, I decided it would be too much trouble to go dig out my swim trunks and change. So I just lounged with D, Tiffany, and Melissa S, who had joined me for breakfast.


12:00pm (Pretoria)

The bus left at noon for Soweto, swinging by Golf Reef City on the way to pick up our tour guide. It probably took about an hour to get there. Oupa was born and raised in Soweto and was thus quite the authority. He informed us that there are 9 languages spoken in Soweto, including English, Africaans, and Xhosa (the native language spoken by such well-known natives as Mandela and Tutu). The size of Soweto is about 65 miles2 and is home to about 6 or 7 millionaires (Rand). It is also home to what Oupa claims is the largest hospital in the world. At this hospital, a baby is born about every 25 minutes. He did not tell us what the death rate was, but he did point out a couple different caravans of large buses carrying what he said were probably people returning from a funeral.

We stopped off briefly at a house next to Ojay’s Barber Shop, as there were many in the group that needed to use a restroom. The owner was very friendly and even gave a brief tour of his humble home. Of course, I’m sure he was looking forward to the generous tips we gave for use of his facilies.


2:30pm (Pretoria)

We stopped at Wandie’s, a popular local restaurant and former shebeen, for lunch. Unfortunately, they were too crowded, so we stopped at another spot familiar to Oupa called the Masakeng Pub. We all took a break and had a drink. Some even had chips (fries) and others had stew.


3:30pm (Pretoria)

After lunch, we toured the area that boasted the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu. At this point, we had the opportunity to get off the bus and take pictures. Apparently there was a party going on just around the corner, so Oupa took us in to see what a local party was like. The residents and guests were very friendly, even offering us a drink from the large container that they were passing around.