Monday, May 21, 2007

The first part of the Robben Island tour consisted of a bus ride around the main parts of the island. One of the major stops on the island was the lime quarry where Nelson Mandela and other prisoners worked for nearly 13 years. Initially, they were only supposed to dig rock for 8 months, but the hard work extended to more than a decade.

The room leading up the stairs, was used to censor any mail that entered the prison. If I remember correctly, the prisoners were only allowed to receive two letters per year. The officers of the prison would cut out any questionable material.

The prisoners were able to play tennis outside in the yard. They used their recreational time to communicate with prisoners in other parts of the compound. In order to communicate, they would stuff messages in the tennis balls and then "accidently" hit them over the wall.


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