Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Driving Update

Driving in ZA is still a challenge, but it’s amazing how quickly I’ve gotten used to manual transmission in the past three weeks.  A huge thanks to my friend, Jon, for giving me advice to keep my car happy and healthy.  If you’re learning how to drive stick, I highly recommend checking out his car blog:

Especially the advice part:

Now if only I could get used to no street signs!  Imagine driving in the evening, cars honking because you’re going slowly while you try to figure out your location, and this is all you have to orient yourself:

Actually I should say that’s all you have to orient yourself – if you’re lucky.  The paint has worn off on many intersections or the whole curb has crumbled away.

Why are there no street signs?  Someone told me that poor vagabonds steal them for scrap metal.  Someone else said the City has removed them because they’re in the process of changing the street names.

I understand why people no longer want “Jan Smuts Avenue.”  Jan Smuts may have been instrumental in establishing the League of Nations (precursor to the UN) but he also laid the political groundwork for apartheid.  I sympathize with a government that still has a huge pile of residual issues from apartheid to deal with.  But please don’t remove the street signs until you’re ready with new ones!


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