Last May, as part of my travel to the Holy Land, I decided to bring something that reminds me of my son. I asked him about it and suggested that I bring one of his toy cars. He chose one of his HotWheels: a Red Mustang. So I brought it with me and took photos of the red car in Masada, Qumran, and in almost all the places we went to.
I did not take photos of the red car in the sacred places as a sign of respect.
When I traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, he decided to send his Blue and Black Subaru HotWheels car. So that is going with me to different places. Check out all the places that Coco’s cars are traveling by following the hashtag #WhereisCocosCar on Instagram and Facebook.
The photo above was taken at the Hector Pieterson Memorial. It was the site where a young boy (Hector Pieterson) was killed as a result of the uprising of the community against apartheid in South Africa.
Here’s an excerpt from the Gauteng Tourism Authority:
The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, situated in Orlando West, Soweto, commemorates the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid and in particular the role played by the school children who took part in the Soweto protests of 1976, many of whom were shot by the apartheid police while protesting against the sub-standard of education in black schools in South Africa.
On June 16, 1976, Soweto high school students took to the streets in a peaceful protest against the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in black secondary schools. The students planned to meet at Orlando Stadium before marching to the regional offices of the Department of Bantu Education, where they intended to raise their grievances with the authorities.
They carried placards that read, “Away with Afrikaans”, “Amandla awethu” (“Power to the people”) and “Free Azania” (“Free South Africa”), and sang the hymn Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa), now the basis for the national anthem of democratic South Africa.
One of the things I realized coming from my trip to the Holy Land in June 2017, and then going to this memorial and to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, almost every place on earth has a memorial on human suffering! As humans we are very good at inflicting pain on each other. Every continent, almost every country has an oppressed, marginalized sector.
Hopefully, when Coco grows up, he’ll learn about these incidents in history and learn to respect people whoever and wherever they are.