Thursday, October 2, 2014

2 Oct. 2014


Geologists are always interested in studying artifacts found in road cuts and look what they found this time.

Transportation - have you ever pondered what life would be like without the various modes of transportation? While in South Africa we have observed various modes of transportation and, at times, reflected on how fortunate we are compared to others we have seen and the transportation, or lack of it as we generally think of it, used by them. As we witness these various forms of transportation here we are humored and at the same time, some of them allow us to seemingly step back in time by American standards to pioneerish times.

No, these are not Missouri mules.

Transport or transportation by definition is the movement of people, animals and/or goods from one location to another. Generally, whatever mode of transportation we are considering, it follows some sort of trail/path. The first earth tracks were created by humans carrying goods and often followed game trails. Tracks would be naturally created at points of high traffic density. As animals were domesticated, horse, oxen and donkeys became an element in track-creation. With the growth of trade, tracks were often flattened or widened to accommodate animal traffic. Later, the travois, a frame used to drag loads, was developed. And then some ingenious fellow developed the wheel. Can you imagine the reaction of some individuals when this old gray-haired man told his neighbors that he had invented this object that rolls on the ground. “What does that mean Henry, it rolls?” “It’s round like a tree trunk so that it is easier to move,” he explains. “Well, good for you Henry, now what are you going to do with it, push it around?” they joked
South Africa taxi - you even have to do your own driving
Of course, Henry already had in mind that he was going to run a stick through two of the objects that would eventually become known as a wheel, build a box to put on the stick and hook his oxen to it. Thus came into being the animal-drawn vehicles. As a side note, do you happen to know that the width of a train track is the distance across the rear end of a team of horses, which is also the width of the first horse drawn wagons?
 As individuals such as Henry continued to ponder how to improve the mobility of man and objects, wagons, automobiles, trains etc. came into being to facilitate the movement of both man and commodities. The methodology of transportation has dramatically advanced from the time of the invention of the wheel and the present time in most parts of the world. However, for some, they still walk paths as in ancient times carrying their burdens. Others, although living amongst modern transportation technology, still have to resort to more antiquated forms of transportation due to financial constraints and availability of more modern forms. While here in South Africa, we have made an effort to photograph a spectrum of transportation styles as shown in the accompanying pictures, some of which we find quite ingenious and humorous.

Convict taxi ?

It is all in the mind

Guess why he is smiling.
I don't know how far they have come or how far they are going but they are only half way up the hill.

Suppose he needs to reevaluate his axle rating?

Stay home! We will bring the sale to you.
Jeeps?? What are those?  Probably why our mail sometimes doesn't arrive,

His mother never taught him how to carry it on his head.

Yes, I always go with Grandma.

I don't know what it says, but this guy hails customers.

Lone Ranger and Tonto African style.

Texas has nothing on us, we have some pretty big things too.

Not very fast but it's gas efficient.

                                                             Goodbye for now!

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