Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Come live in South Africa

We have a lot be thankful for in good old South Africa.  Of course we have a great many challenges (which nation does not?) but consider for a moment how fortunate we are and just how broadly Mother Nature smiles on this wee part of the globe.  

Particularly during the past two years, natural disasters have occurred in a great many places across the globe, with ferocity and frequency.  Just think of the recent earthquakes in New Zealand, the floods in Australia, India, Pakistan and large parts of South America, the havoc wreaked by the Icelandic volcano...

There was one earth quake that shook a part of the Western Cape in 1969.  As earthquakes go, it was relatively mild (6,4 on the Richter Scale) and only seven people lost their lives. The upshot of it was that some lovely historic buildings were destroyed in the earthquake and then renovated and preserved for posterity.
 
Likewise, I can think of only one major flood – Laingsburg, which was very localised.  We have very few tornadoes, no hurricanes, no monsoon rains and no massive multi-storey freeway overpasses that have ever collapsed on hundreds of cars in this country. We've had no major fires in urban, densely populated areas that have resulted due to natural disasters and no melting glaciers or avalanches have ever posed a threat to us.  We have not experienced any tsunamis and none of us have ever had to flee from poisonous fumes, glowing lava or hot ash. 

During the past 40 years, deaths due to natural disasters have averaged 60 a year in this country, compared to over 900 (if one divides the number of deaths by the number of countries worldwide).

South Africa is, without a doubt, hydrometeorologically and geographically blessed.  Oh hell yes...are you googling yet?

We do have to contend with droughts and hailstorms and thank goodness I am not a farmer, even one with great insurance,  but in comparison to the enormous amount of damage natural forces regularly wreak in other parts of the world, we come off virtually scot free, every time...

In addition to all these useless facts, as any blurb on South Africa tells prospective visitors, we have a world in one country! Beautiful mountains, deserts, vast stretches of white beaches, savannah, the Karoo with its koppies, the thorn tree studded Bushveld, subtropical Kwazulu Natal and the Lowveld, the fynbos of the Western Cape and sometimes even some functioning ski slopes in southern mountain ranges. 

Add to that a variety of fauna and flora that no other country can even begin to rival, a vast array of natural resources and most of our days are sunny. 

 
To comprehend just how naturally blessed we are, compare our sun-drenched days to the annual days of sunshine in Seattle - a miserable 58. (On average, we have 8,5 hours of sunshine per day, compared to 3,5 in London.)  Take that Brits!

But there is MORE!!!  


Of course, we also have one of the most ethnically diverse populations anywhere on earth.  Such a national composition indubitably presents great challenges, but it also gives this country vibrancy and energy that makes Europe and the United States appear staid and boring.   We have 11 official languages!

One cannot but marvel at the people of this country who, proportionally, have won a remarkable number of Nobel Prizes, have proportionally registered more patents than any other nation and made for formidable sporting rivals in virtually every major sport (five South Africans have just broken the world extreme swimming record). 

And probably the most delightful statistic of all proves that we are nice as well.  "Nice?" I hear you say, yip thats right - we are nice.  Not only do we readily greet and smile at strangers on the street and in lifts, but I was delighted to read recently that South Africans are not only the second most financially generous donors to good causes, but also rank fourth on the world-wide list when it comes to volunteering! (recently released report, Global Giving: The Culture of Philanthropy, from Barclays Wealth).  



South Africa you Fucking Rock my face off!

So look on the bright side for a change and count your blessings! (Just watch your step, especially on the Drakensberg plateau, when you hear thunder rumbling, proportionally lightning annually kills more people in South Africa than anywhere else in the world! (150 South African deaths are recorded annually due to lightening, compared to, for example 50 in the US). 

Oh, and I almost forgot, we are the only nation in the world that has hosted the rugby, soccer and cricket World Cup, we have the longest wine route in the world, the country is rated third in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water, is the world’s second largest fruit exporter, the only country in the world that voluntarily abandoned its nuclear weapons programme and the world's largest producer of macadamia nuts.

We have the highest commercial bungi jump in the world weeeeeeeeheeeeee, the world’s third largest canyon (Blyde River and the Fish River canyon is second after the US’s Grand Canyon) and we have Rovos Rail as well, the most luxurious train in the world, which can take you, amongst others, to neighbouring Victoria Falls at 1 708 metres wide, the largest curtain of water in the world!


Put THAT in yer pipe 'n smoke it. 


Have you booked your ticket already?

7 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

Is that Cape Town in the first photo? It looks beautiful!

cat said...

Ah I love my country.

Brian Miller said...

i would love to...still convincing the wife...

Dazee Dreamer said...

oh my god. That looks beautiful. wow.

DCHY said...

I knew that South Africa is prone to droughts, but other things? Not really. I had a doctor who grew up in South Africa and got her degree in England. LOVELY woman with an unusual approach to medicine. Too bad she opted for ER after having her as my doctor for 1.5 years. :(

Steve Bossenberger said...

SIGN ME UP! Find me a job down there and I am there! Anything beats Iowa!!!

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

I wish my grandfather was alive to read this. He was from Johannesburg....he had the most lovely accent!
I still have TONS of family there but sadly I don't know ANY of them!
Thanks for sharing all of this wonderful info

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