The day we hoped would never come…. When the Global Leaders would have to depart from ‘The Mother City’ Cape Town. As our visit to Cape Town comes to an end we would like to thank everyone who helped coordinate our stay. Our site visits and cultural experiences were truly an amazing and educational experience. We would specifically like to thank our fearless “Torergids” (Afrikaans for tour guide) Brian for his exceptional knowledge on all subjects that we ask about.
Our day began with our last breakfast at the Westin leaving shortly after to catch our flight that departed at 11:30 am. Our flight duration was a brief two hours. Our flight duration to arrive to Cape Town was 31 hours so this flight was a walk in the park for GLCM crew. After landing and gathering our bags we met with VAC Team members, Andrew and Jesse. We had previously met with Andrew when first arriving to South Africa. Our first order of business in Johannesburg was to find lunch. We stormed the terminal food court and ate a variety of foods.
For our six day visit the GLCM will be staying in Hotel Protea Balalaika located in Sandton city, known as the business and shopping district outside of Johannesburg. After checking in at our hotel the GLCM had a pair of hours to settle in and take a quick walk around the hotel before heading to dinner. We rendezvous in the lobby to head to Nelson Mandela Square. The Nelson Mandela square is a shopping center with fine cuisine restaurants. As we walked around the shopping center, we came across a toy store that we entered as interested young adults. Our civil engineering minds were quickly attracted to the Lego section of the store. As it requires similar building construction knowledge.
After roaming the shopping center we gathered in the center of the open air square were a six meter high bronze statue of Mandela was placed in 2004. The statue was erected in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of South Africa’s democratic elections.
After long deliberation it was decided that we would have dinner at Wangthai, a Thai restaurant that over looked the square. As this was a first Thai restaurant experience for many, the GLCM looked to Yash Baheti for guidance and leadership.
Our travel day for the GLCM to get much needed rest as the next six days in Johannesburg will be packed with site visits and cultural experiences. The projects visits will range from a power plant to high-rise buildings and airports. On the cultural side, the GLCM will visit the Apartheid Museum, Constitution hill, and bike tour through the Soweto Township. Stay tuned!
Blog by Rene Velasco