Elder David Grant Cobabe

South Africa Cape Town Mission

Elder Michael Seth Cobabe

Uganda Kampala Mission

Monday, February 25, 2013

David - week 39

David was transferred this last week to Grahamstown. He said he really loves it there and is really enjoying his new companion. He was in the MTC with this companion and they also served in Mitchell's Plain together with different companions.

Grahamstown (AfrikaansGrahamstad) is a city in the Eastern Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa and is the seat of the Makana municipality. The population of greater Grahamstown, as of 2003, was 124,758.[3] The population of the surrounding areas, including the actual city was 41,799[4] of which 77.4% were black, 11.8% Coloured, 10% white, and 0.7% Asian. Since 1994, there has been a considerable influx of Black people from the former Ciskei Xhosahomeland, which lies just to the east. The city proper has an overwhelming white majority, while the neighboring townships (geographically separate, but tied together politically) have growing Black or Coloured majorities.
Located some 130 km from Port Elizabeth and 180 km from East London, Grahamstown is also the seat of Rhodes University, a diocese of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and home to the College of the Transfiguration—the only residential provincial college of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa—and a High Court. However it does not form part of the South African Cities Network.[5]

Just over 50km inland from Port Alfred, but worlds apart in terms of ambience, GRAHAMSTOWN projects an image of a cultured, historic town, quintessentially English, Protestant and refined. Dominated by its cathedral, university and public schools, this is a thoroughly pleasant place to wander through, with well-maintained colonial Georgian and Victorian buildings lining the streets, and pretty suburban gardens. Every July, the town hosts an arts festival, the largest of its kind in Africa, and purportedly the second largest in the world.
As elsewhere in South Africa, there are reminders of conquest and dispossession. Climb up Gunfire Hill, where the fortress-like 1820 Settlers Monument celebrates the achievement of South Africa's English-speaking immigrants, and you'll be able to see Makanaskop, the hill from which the Xhosa made their last stand against the British invaders. Their descendants live in desperately poor ghettos here, in a town almost devoid of industry. Marking the gap are the Kowie Ditches (which you'll cross if you take the old East London Road out of town), a waterway that ran red with Xhosa blood in the 1819 battle of Grahamstown.
Despite all this, and the constant reminders of poverty, Grahamstown makes a good stopover, and is the perfect base for excursions: a number of historic villages are within easy reach, some game parks are convenient for a day or weekend visit and, best of all, kilometres of coast are just 45 minutes' drive away. Cupped in a valley surrounded by hills, Grahamstown itself is compact; you'll only need a car to get out of town.

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