Out of South Africa (too soon)

Shantytown school, Cape Town, South Africa

I haven’t had internet access for days. I’m in Kruger National Park on my last day in Africa — for now. This country is amazing — weighed down and held back by problems, many of which are the legacy of apartheid. Poverty, drugs, HIV, corruption, environmental threats galore — that’s all here. But the number of people I met who are working to overcome these problems gives some hope. It’s impossible to separate the humanitarian/economic crisis from the environmental ones. That’s true everywhere, of course, but the links are so much more visible here.

The Kirstenbosch project (if it gets funded) must address the social/political side. I took photos in the shantytowns that will show Kirstenbosch in it’s context. The country won’t be able to maintain these important gardens in the face of a growing humanitarian crisis. What’s worse, the plants will continue to disappear in the wild if social problems aren’t addressed. Habitat is being destroyed, acid rain is fed by new coal-fired power plants (South Africa uses 40% of all electricity generated in Africa — mostly from coal), as is climate change.

So the project is changing slightly — opening up — due to conditions on the ground.

Thanks again to all those who have backed the project so far. Only 30 hours left, so please spread the word!

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