Just been to Pretoria for six days to meet with VSO people from around the globe, working on one of VSOs improvement and effectiveness programmes . It was a great privilege to meet so many people all committed to the VSO agenda of reducing poverty . We worked hard sharing planning, sharing and developing ideas and solutions.
The guesthouse where we were staying and working was set up as a typical Afrikaner house .
Pretoria is so different from Uganda – large empty boulevards , shopping malls and hardly any people about .
It was election week but there was no indication in the streets near us …….just commentary on the TV.
The last morning we travelled on the Gautrain
to visit the Apartheid museum,
a visit made especially poignant by Nelson Mandela’s recent death .
It highlighted how the recent history of South Africa, from the days of the first white settlers had been characterized by racial segregation and discrimination culminating in the apartheid laws.
It also highlighted, for me, how potentially explosive the years between Mandela’s release and the 94 elections had been;
how much violence and how many people had been affected in that period.
The veld garden outside the museum was a welcome oasis of peace after the intense experience inside.
Back to Uganda on Saturday evening.
The 40 km drive from Entebbe to Kampala along roads teeming with stalls and people and impossibly loaded motorbikes couldn’t have been a greater contrast to the empty boulevards of Pretoria .