June 10, 2011
Today was my day! It was all anthropologically based and, being an anthropology major, I loved t. This morning we hopped on the bus to take a drive to the Cradle of Man. This is an area where many early hominid fossils are found.
Our first stop was the Sterkfontein cave where numerous fossils (human and dinosaur) have been found. I was a bit disappointed because I actually wanted to see the digging sites. Instead, the tour focused more on the cave, which really wasn’t all that impressive to someone who lives 40 miles from Carlsbad Caverns.
Next we went to the Maropeng museum. The beginning focused on the creation of the universe, particularly on the Earth. It moved on to the creation and evolution of mankind, then on to the diversity in our population. There was an exhibit for all the social problems in our world now that raised many good questions. Finally the museum ended with the question “What is our future?” It was quite a beautiful and progressive exhibit!
We then drove a ways to a cultural celebration. It was a large area where we were supposed to meet with native tribes. However, it was kind of a tourist attraction. The huts were actually hotel rooms and the “tribe members” were actors. Nonetheless, it was entertaining and informative! We went on a tour of four different “villages” and were able to learn a bit about each tribe’s culture and history. This was followed by a performance where they did traditional dances to the beat of a thunderous drum.
Tonight I also ate many strange, foreign foods. During the tour I was able to sample dried worm. The texture was similar to a dead leaf, and it tasted like… salt. For dinner I sampled a few pieces of biltong, which is a popular snack in the area. It’s dried raw meat and tastes a bit like jerky but also different. I also tried some ostrich, which looks like beef when cooked. It was tasty but was too chewy for me. I tried crocodile as well, which was delicious! It had the texture of fish but tasted like chicken. It was delicious! For dessert I had a donut thing with a strange name. It was extremely sweet, so I loved it, too!