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One more day till I fly down to South Africa and I’m still beset by uncertainty, anxiety, and excitement. I’ve got several activities lined up, including going to see a couple of World Cup matches in person of course, but what I really want is that this will be more than a vacation, and that it’ll be something to remember for a lifetime. South Africa is a fascinating country with enough physical beauty to make it worthwhile to visit, but add in its cultural, historic and socio-economic issues, and there’s a whole load of human societal elements to experience. From its “rainbow nation” post-apartheid glow and being the homeland of heroes like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, to its multicultural but delicate diversity to the sky-high murder and poverty rates, not to mention its having to balance these domestic crises with a status as an emerging power on the world stage, South Africa clearly has a lot of issues and conflicts to deal with. When this trip ends next month, I’ll hope to have gotten a better awareness and understanding of these issues.

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