02 June 2009

The Ren Cen Was on South African TV Last Night!

And yes, sadly, it was about GM filing for bankruptcy : (

The Detroit Renaissance Center is the mark of Detroit (among many other fabulous buildings, of course, including my favorite, the Guardian Building). The Ren Cen is the stock image for anything from auto commercials to RoboCop (which I saw for the first time in South Africa!) and even to comedy clubs.

One comedian said the Ren Cen is like Detroit giving the finger to Canada (which is directly across the water from it) with that one big building surrounded by the smaller ones.

Detroit Renaissance Center, home of GM
(as viewed from Canada)

Here in South Africa, the SABC anchor woman gives her ongoing report each night of the "global economic meltdown." Way to not soften the blow on that one . . .

I keep wondering, would they say that on TV in America? I know our news can be sensational, but would we say that? Economic meltdown? Eish. Sounds to me like someone pressed the wrong button at the power plant. Or in the hatch on Lost. (Mmm, Lost...)

It's like I'm in a really elongated Groundhog's Day. I was graduating from college in 05 when Michigan really started to feel recession. Then I moved to Cincinnati in summer 08 when the whole country felt recession. Now I'm in South Africa where the "global economic meltdown" has officially hit.

Which is quite sad because the effects of the economic recession will likely be much harsher here than America. Poverty is high - depending on the source, about one-third of South Africans are impoverished. There is little access to water, let alone it being drinkable, shortages of food and people are likely surviving on government grants.

The gap between the haves and have-nots is literally among the highest in the world. And HIV incidence rates here are the highest in the world as well. Put all of that together with an influx of immigrants and it's likely to get a bit messy. Eish.

Luckily the South African government is trying to emphasize entrepreneurship and the Department of Labor has a call for proposals out there for grant money available to those who can train workers in new areas. I suppose each country will manage along in their own way, right?

All my love goes to everyone at home in the U.S. I know some have it harder than others, especially my friends in Michigan. And if you'd like to escape to South Africa for awhile, you know how to get a hold of me : )

Sala sentle (stay well)

Casey : )

p.s. my apologies to anyone who read this when I first posted. I'm a constant editor and made a few changes.

1 comment:

Lisa Gibala Warren said...

they are saying meltdown, that is pretty tame. I think I'll continue calling your dad weekly, it will keep me with some Connection to you and it will make me laugh. " hi Gary, don't you think xxx company is a mess?" -Lisa