Craig's Travels
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Africa's Fastest Internet Cafe

I'm typing this message from the Fastest Internet Café in Africa. It says so right on the window, "Africa's Fastest Internet Cafe." I don't know if they mean the connection or the people that work here. But the connection is pretty fast.

There seems to be a lot of superlatives in this country. We just came from a day in Stellenbasch,
South Africa's most popular wine region, where we tasted some of the best wine this country has to offer. Tomorrow we are going sand boarding off of the highest sand dunes in South Africa. We could also complete the world's longest abseil off of Table Mountain, where participants repel 110 meters. Cafes around Cape Town offer the "best coffee," dance clubs boast of the "hippest DJs" and the Mexican Kitchen has the "tastiest burritos" (probably b/c they are the ONLY burritos).

It seems that South Africans are always taking things to extremes. That must be why Cape Town is a haven for extreme sports, with multiple places advertising the highest skydive, the fastest canyoning, and the longest bungee jump. South Africans are proud of what they have to offer. And they should be. This is a great country.

My time at the Fastest Internet Cafe in Africa is quickly drawing to a close. Maybe I'll find out if the staff is also fast. However, I have been wisely advised against any such action. There is another superlative that isn't so super in this country: the AIDS epidemic.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of AIDS and HIV per person in the world. One in nine people is affected, and one in four with people in my age group. This is not helped by the fact that the president of the country made a public statement saying that HIV and AIDS were not related to each other. There is a serious lack of education throughout the country.

Fortunately, there is a loud minority that is bringing this issue to the forefront. This minority includes my current hero Nelson Mandela, who has teamed up with pop stars like Bono and Beyonce to increase awareness for South Africans. Hopefully they can turn some of these statistics around, so the superlatives can one-day say South Africa had the fastest recovery from the AIDS epidemic.


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