The Kings of the four seasons by Marcella Muhammad
My Time In Africa July 2011
Leaving on a Jet plane
We landed in Durban around 8:00 local time. Local time, which is six hours ahead of our Eastern Standard Time. This was after a fifteen hour flight from Washington Dulles Airport. One cool aspect of the flight was the GPS status of the flight South African Airlines had on monitors. The 7,500 mile trip was mapped as we progressed in the air.
South African Airlines is a joy to travel with. We had two meals and personal monitors to watch whatever we wanted from their menu. Granted I sleep through 95% of the flight, that is how I prevent jet lag. I did awake to have the meals. For those who remember plane food on domestic flights in the U.S. which is null and void today, they were nothing more than watered down cardboard disguised as chicken or beef.
South African Airlines food was good enough to call wonderfully delicious. For dinner I had beef that was tender and spiced just right. Along with mushrooms and veggies; there was also a light cake and an offering of fresh fruit with feta cheese. For Breakfast I had the eggs, and I donít eat other folks eggs on the norm. Their eggs were properly prepared so not to make on sick and with the eggs were mushrooms and meat, on the side were yoghurt and an offering of fruit. And guess what, all drinks were free, including the alcohol beverages.
Another thing of note is that South Africa is below the equator and that means when it is summer in America; it is winter in South Africa. I know that many of people I talked with prior to leaving werenít aware of this. The average temperature is around 70deg in the day and dropping to around the high 30ís at night.
Day two in Africa;
Valerie and I went to the mall, yes a mall. The Gateway mall here is very huge. It rivals all the great malls in America. This is however not a good thing. It becomes quite obvious after a short while the lack of Black faces in this place of opulence. Once you realize this you become more aware of the invisible working class and Class is a word that is not taken lightly here. More of this I will go into later.
We also hiked down into another area around our hotel to the ocean. Now I am proud to say today I have seen, touched and experienced three of the five great oceans. This is thus far one of my favorite experiences to date.
In Hawaii I swam in the Pacific Ocean and fought and nearly drowned in the seventy degree waters of the North Shore. In los Angeles I took my dog to the dog beach at Huntington Beach I road my bike from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica Beach and trained all around the Pacific Ocean.
When I lived in Virginia Beach I swam with the Dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean. The reality of the oceans and their patterns meant more to me when I realized the differences in temperature swimming in the Pacific Ocean in los Angeles vs. swimming the same Pacific Ocean in Hawaii. The ocean is colder in Los Angeles than Hawaii and the Atlantic Ocean is warmer in Virginia Beach than the Pacific in Los Angeles. I didnít get into the water at the Indian Ocean here in Durban but I saw it.
The disturbing part of Durban and the areas of the ocean beaches and the mall is the lack of faces like me who are here to enjoy the pleasures we are enjoying. One of the Attorneys from the states talked about the townships outside of where we are staying.
He stated ďif you want to see where the Black folk are just watch the bus stops at quitting time. There you will see those that keep this place going but if they find themselves short of funds he driver will let them off the bus in the middle of the road and keep on going.Ē
Watching the news here, well first off TV is more American than African or European. This was a shock to me being Europe colonized South Africa. I turn on the TV and watch Melrose place or Tyra Banks show and all the night time dramas and even some daytime soapís.
Back on track, watching the new is depressing when you see that in the townships where the African Blacks stay, there are very poor conditions from living in handmade shacks and poor sewerage and poor water, to having a little something to call home.
I donít wish to come off as a preaching aristocrat, but this is and has been the dream of mine to bring forth my foundation to address the obvious paradigm shift required to address this condition.
My Redwood Foundationís mission statement: The Redwood, a mighty and great tree, the tallest tree and an immortal tree, does not reach its greatness my discarding any of its roots! The mission statement speaks volumes to the point I want to get across.
When I span the area of the wealth in the hotels and that magnificent mall, when I see the Beverly Hills Hotel on the Beach of Durban South Africa, when I see more Range rovers, Mercedes, and I donít see Civicís or Camryís, I see much in the way of equity here in Durban. Why I would purchase a home here!
Equity comes however in two forms, positive and negative. Positive equity is in the cash flow being generated from the hotels and mall stores. The beaches and the restaurants is another flow of positive equity. This will pay down the debt for the principal as well as pay down the ďAPRĒ of these assets.
This positive equity can easily become and great white elephant if the values of all the assets are not accounted for. And all of the mall stores and the hotels and restaurants and cars will be worthless negative equity.
Case in point: letís imagine the mall is never kept up or is consistently not stocked, and the beaches are never cleaned, the restaurants have rodents and critters throughout. Then we would be talking about Detroit and not Durban and we would be discussing negative equity.
Africa is the land of Genesis. The African People are the true positive equity of this land. The principle is in the people and the ďAPRĒ being accessed to this principle is much too great. Agony Perpetrated Routinely will destroy the equity gained in fixtures like the hotels and mall stores. The Agony Perpetrated Routinely on the Black Africans is nothing more than: the mall that was never kept up or consistently not stocked, and the beaches that were never cleaned, the restaurants that had rodents and critters throughout. Then we would be talking about Detroit and Durban and we would be discussing negative equity.
Countries that forget the value in its people loses value equity in the country. Look at the US as we are now on the whole sale table as our equity is falling fast with increasing debt and our people are suffering greatly.
The suffering of the people is why the debt to equity values change. Upon my return to the States I will address this more.