The Journey Around the World

Katsjourney around the world: 13 October, 2002 Cusco, Peru

10/13/02 Greetings from Cusco, Peru. Keep in mind that I am at an internet cafe using hispanic hotmail. Spell check does not recognize English words, and the keyboard is slightly different. Things take twice as long. Patience, Kathleen. I am with my mom, Lucy, on the first leg of this journey. She is in the …

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Katsjourney Around the World: 21 October, 2002, Machu Picchu

10/21/02 The Peruvian odyssey continues…. Let me start by saying that you must really WANT to see Machu Picchu to get to Machu Picchu. It is not for the faint of heart or the elderly! It starts with a four hour train ride heading northwest from Cusco. Cusco is kind of in a valley with the …

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Katsjourney Around the World: 27 October, 2002 Puno, Peru

10/27/02 Greetings everyone! Okay, let me start by saying, you really have to want to see Lake Titicaca to get to Lake Titicaca (sound familiar?)!  The options from Cusco include a 12 hour train ride or an eight hour bus ride.  Flights?  There are none. Unless you want to fly back to Lima and then to Arequipa and …

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Katsjourney Around the World: 19 November, 2002 Cape Town, South Africa

November 19.2002 Greetings everyone, I am back on the road again.  I had a great visit to the States.  I was able to clear up the legal matters, refinance a rental property, get my downtown condo leased, saw the Texas Longhorns win in Nebraska, and best of all, see my wonderful niece, Rebecca, and her husband, Andrew, tie …

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Katsjourney Around the World, 7 December, 2002, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Date: 07 Dec 2002 06:57:58 -0600 Editors note: I had some frustrating formatting issues with this one. But the entire email is there…. I am back from an amazing safari and solar eclipse trip to Kruger National Park.  Let me start by saying that I was quite surprised at the lack of security at the here.  I flew …

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Katsjourney Around the World, 30 November, 2002, Cape Peninsula, South Africa

November 30, 2002 Subject:  Cape Peninsula Date:  Sat, 30 Nov 2002 03:35:34 -0600 Greetings everyone! I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  They, of course, don’t celebrate it in South Africa, so it was a regular work day here.  No turkey for me.  But I have seen some of the most beautiful coast line in …

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Katsjourney Around the World, 19 December, 2002 Cape Town, South Africa

Thu, 19 Dec 2002 03:20:53 -0600
I just spent an hour on this newsletter and lost it.  Agggh, the internet in a foreign land!!!  I will try to reconstruct…

Greetings All,

I hope everyone is having a brilliant holiday season.  It has been interesting here in South Africa.  Christmas is not nearly as commercialized as in the States.  You are hard pressed to find Christmas lights on houses or Father Christmas (Santa) ringing a bell on the streets.  In the northern hemisphere it is winter and there seems to be much more focus on the spirit of Christmas and what it means.

Santas on bldg
Santas climbing a building near my flat.

Here it is summer.  The kids are out of school for summer holidays.  It is about beach parties and bikinis. I don’t feel the tone of the religious meaning here at all.  Everyone has 3-8 weeks off here, just for the holidays.  And they have a job to return to. Imagine that! I wish the States would adopt this policy.  Such a shame one has to quit their job to see the world or spend a long beach holiday with their family.

Post Net is typically a pretty big business during the “festive season” (as they call it here). You know, shipping gifts, etc. Well, I stopped there a couple of days ago.  Closed from 16 December to 7 January.  Closed?!

I went to a lovely Christmas concert last night at the City Hall.  They had a full choir and the South African orchestra.  Some of the songs were similar to ours, but different melodies.  It helped me get into the Christmas spirit a bit.

Christmas by Candelight
Carols by Candelight event in Stellenbosh Winery

I am amazed at the recent history of the New South Africa. I am going to tour District Six.  That was once a thriving part of Cape Town.  A real rainbow of people.   Then the government started forcibly removing blacks and coloureds from their homes and moved them to the Cape Flats (or the townships).  This was happening in the 1960’s and ‘70’s.  60,000 people were displaced and  their homes were bulldozed.  Can you imagine?

I am in touch with a gentleman who does township tours.  These are many of the displaced black’s homes.  They live in shacks made of cardboard or metal.  As many as a dozen people may live in one room. They have no running water, dirt floors and trash everywhere. This breeds disease and crime. So sad.

In contrast there are mansions dotting the beautiful Cape Town coastline. The wealthy (many are Germans and Brits…real estate is easy for foreigners to buy) and the middle class live behind huge walls and gates topped off with barbed wire and electrical fencing.  They have hidden lives behind the burglar bars, almost oblivious to the underprivileged a few kilometers away.

I have three circles of friends here.  My social calendar the last two weeks was looking frighteningly like life Austin.  I am learning that if you are a social person, you have that type of life anywhere in the world.  Besides the fact that Capetonians love visitors and their city.  They love to show it off.  For everything they have been though, they have such a happy attitude.  There is very little depression and stress.  I think that is due to all the time off!

I have been invited to a few friends houses for Christmas. I have chosen to work for the Red Cross.  I have finally found someone who will take volunteers for less than 6 months.  I will be helping deliver gifts to various children’s homes.  I am really looking forward to it.  We will also be discussing other work opportunities for January!

Anyway, this is a shortened version of the original letter, but I have been on the internet a long time and need to run. If I don’t get and update out before Christmas, I hope that everyone has a very blessed holiday.  I miss you all.

Love,

Kathleen

Katsjourney Around the World: 27 December, 2002 Cape Flats, South Africa

: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 06:36:27 -0600 New Years Greetings to my dear family and friends! Can you believe it is almost 2003?  I’ll probably writing ‘02 for the next three months!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Mine was the sad and enriching. On Monday I did a Township Tour in the Cape Flats.  You …

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Katsjourney Around the World: 3 January, 2003, Cape Town, South Africa

Fri, 03 Jan 2003 10:39:20 -0600 Hello and Happy New Year 2003.  I have expressed to some of you individually that I have great concerns for the state of our country and the world with the great possibility of war brewing on a couple of different fronts.  I pray for peace in my naïve way here in Cape …

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