Posted by: haleymulf | May 20, 2009

Elections Cont’d and Home

In my last post I didn’t mention anything about the actual election day. It was pretty calm in Pretoria although the lines to vote here, as well as every where else, were very long. Some people waited up to an hour to be able to vote. The polling stations were mostly tents, and there were several cops at each location. One that we drove by had about 15 that I could see. In some areas of the country the power went out and voters had to be turned away. Some places torches and lighters were used instead. I didn’t hear of much violence. There was one riot in Pretoria and there was some violence in the Kwazulu Natal region… the homeland of Jacob Zuma. ANC supporters vs. COPE supporters no doubt. I also heard of voting officials throwing away ballots that didn’t have ANC checked, or adding ballots themselves for the ANC. These guys were kicked out and some arrested. That night we walked by one of the stations before it closed to steal signs (shhh!) and a drunk guy came up to us asking who we voted for. We ended up just walking away after 10 minutes of trying to convince him that we didn’t vote for the ANC because you can’t vote in South Africa if you only have an American passport. It was quite entertaining. What was very different was that it took a long time before the election results were given to the public. Everyone already knew that the ANC would win anyways. It was a very interesting day.

In other news, I am really tired of the City of Tshwane working on the water lines. Two days this week the water was shut off around my area of the city and all of campus for EIGHT hours each day! Last night the water just went off for several hours then turned back on. Although that happens pretty often that the water will go off with no warning and turn back on a little while later. Pretty much every other day I’ll be in the middle of washing my hands or taking a shower and the water will shut off for five minutes or so. It gets annoying but it is also just something else that makes me more thankful for the country I live in.

My mom sent me cheerios and it made my day. It’s amazing how little things like that can make you so happy. I have been thinking lately of how much I will miss all of my friends here and South Africa. It’s has had its ups and downs… I’ve loved it and I have hated it, but I am needed at home and I’m ready to go.

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