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9 JUN - Johannesburg, South Africa

Date received: Sat Jun 09 2001, 01:20 PM PDT

Jo'burg is a strange place. Crime is such a problem here, that all of the middle-class and wealthy residents have retreated to private communities protected by guards, barbed wire, and electric fences. It is a very unpleasant place to be, but also very interesting.

I was supposed to just be passing through, but I decided to say for a day and see Soweto, a famous township outside Jo'burg. It was much like many of the other countries in Africa, and a sharp contract to places like Cape Town.

Right now, I am in a giant, self contained shopping center; a city within a city. It reminds me a lot of Vegas casinos. It is the only place I could find with internet access.

Tomorrow morning, I take a bus to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I will take a quick trip to the Matopos (a park with lots of interesting rock formations) and then head to Victoria Falls. After that, it seems increasingly likely that I will stay the extra week for the eclipse, since I am here, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I will have poor internet access for the forseeable future, so it may take me a while to respond to messages.


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