Urban Durban and Zulu Love Letters

Sailing eastward from Cape Town, we arrived at Durban, South Africa, which is nothing like cosmopolitan Cape Town.  There is much more diversity of ethnic heritage, with lots of Zulu and Indian influences.  Durban itself is divided in some areas, with all Afrikaner businesses on one side of the street and all Indian businesses on the other side.


Another name for a used car lot



As we were riding in our bus out to Phezulu, we saw these Durban residents playing a hot and humid game of pool at the intersection of two busy streets.

We then saw a huge highway overpass completely filled with people and asked why they were all out there on the super highway.  The story is that the city ran out of money to complete the new section of highway, so the “hawkers” took it over to sell their wares, like a giant flea market up in the sky.  (Sorry about the bus window glare, but thought you would want to see the hawkers.)

And a word about our bus.  Because there were so many people going on tour from the ship, the bus company was short a few buses, so we got to ride in the one that is reserved for the area Soccer Team.  We got the royal treatment when the kids saw the bus, lots of cheering and clapping, but of course they did a double take when they saw us grey haired tourists on board.


There are no actual Zulu villages left in Zululand, but they have recreated them to keep alive the Zulu culture, which was so important in generations past.  Carolyn and Mary Jane chose the village nearest to Durban for their adventure; while the two Barbara’s headed out further and their story, with more cultural details, will be in the next blog post.

Since I am writing this on Valentine’s Day, I will share with you the Zulu Love Letters, which are messages woven into beads by Zulu maidens to be given to their lovers as symbols of love and affection.

WHITE means the color of purity, vision and love itself.

BLACK means she has turned as pitch black as the rafters of the hut because she misses him.

BLUE means if she were a dove she would fly to his home and pick up food at his door.

YELLOW means she will never eat if they marry since he owns no beasts which he can slaughter.

PINK means he should work harder to get lobola. . . not gamble and waste his money.

GREEN means she has become thin like the sweet cane in a damp field and green as the first shoots of trees because of her love for love.

RED means her heart bleeds and is full of love.








Boa Constrictor



Deadly Green Mambas



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