This summer, Ph.D./MSW student Sara Pilgreen shares postcards from Johannesburg, where she is living and working.
Not only was his Excellency, The President, Mr. Jacob Zuma in attendance, but heads of all political parties, some of parliament and about 3,000 other attendees, delegates, and VIP. (Here's a write-up of the event.) Thankfully our attire did not hinder us from attending. After the summit began an hour behind schedule we heard numerous speeches by different Ministers, the President, Winnie Mandela, and Helen Zille, among others. The goal of this two-day conference put on by the ANC-led government was to come up with some practical solutions in order to address some of the racial, cultural and ethnic differences that South Africans continue to face 18 years post-apartheid.
Later that night I went to an event for runners that was a night trail run of 8 kilometers through a golf course. It is always interesting doing similar things in foreign countries, as I immediately felt in my comfort zone once I quickly realized the running etiquette was much the same as the United States. Before the race there were about 500 people all buzzing with the same pre-race energy as instructions were being given, headlamps on, and racing tags fastened. It was a great race that ended with typical post-race activities; music blaring, awards presented, food and drinks consumed. All in all it was quite a 4th of July, no fireworks however a different kind of excitement and entertainment.