I was astounded to learn that there is a large gay community in Capetown. I had expected it to be very conservative. Homosexuality is illegal in East Africa.
There is a two week gay festival every year in Capetown. I and some of the other volunteers went to the Gay Pride Pageant . It was mainly a lot of transvestites in a beauty pageant modeling bathing suits, fancy clothes, play clothes, etc. There were both "male" and "female" contestants, but all were male. There were also some good dancers and a talented, cross dressing emcee in a beautiful, flowing white gown.
|Robbens Island prison
|Nelson Mandela's cell
|Table Mountain from Robbens Island
|Fellow volunteers May from Egypt, Sara from the US, Tabitha from Germany, Chun from Australia, and me
|Robbens Island lighthouse
The venue was at the Waterfront, a very built up, touristy area with an aquarium, hotels, shopping centers, boat tours, etc. That afternoon, some of us took a boat 1/2 hour to Robbens Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of his 26 years in prison. Our tour guide was a man who had actually been imprisoned there. He was arrested but held without charges for 8 months then sentenced to 15 years for "political acts." He told us Mandela took care of a garden in the corner of the walled prison yard and buried his manuscript there. It was found, but he had a copy and it was smuggled out behind the pages of a friend's photo book. We also had a bus tour around the island and saw penguins, cannons from World War II, and the old leper colony site.