Tuesday, September 30, 2008
A few of the ways she helps is by setting up gardens for the community. One is by the center itself and they use it as an educational garden and have a learning session with members of the community to come and learn how to grow different herbs and vegetables that they can manage. The center has also planted a large garden for one of the schools in the community so that they can feed the children and any extra produce they send home to their families.
Chris playing with the kids in the preschool - so shy around us at first but oh so precious!
Another big focus of theirs is working with child-headed households so children who's parents have passed away and left them alone or children who had been intrusted to their grandparents that have also died leaving them with no idea where their parents are. We were able to use $300 US to buy 15 packages of food for these type of household. The money went such a long way we bought (10 lbs bags of maize[corn], 5 lbs of rice and beans, sugar, salt, soup mix, oil, and some suckers) This totally loaded up the back of the Kia and Chris had some stuff falling on him as we made the drive - but it was completely worth it and I know Jane will make great use of the food.
As we asked her what will happen after the month of mourning they are allowed and where they will live she just looked at us and said "I don't know." Well it just broke my heart and Kaiizen committed that we will help to raise the $3500 US it will take to build them a two room house with a small cooking shelter out back so that Nafumto can go to school and then provide for her family without the stress of looking for someplace to live. If you would like to help at all please contact me and all donations will go to this family in need.
Our first stop was at this local store that sells a few different items and of course soda and actually there is a little building next door that grinds up corn for people in the area at a small cost (the business man is definitely benefiting more though), anyway we met this little girl named Dolly - whe is 13 years old and slightly mentally handicapped but she can stay by the store keep the chickens out of the bags of cornmeal and when some women need to go into town she actually watches there children and shares a soda with them. She was playing with Josh and they were just being so funny - so I snapped a picture.
We then continued and visited different houses - next up was Evelyn she is such an amazing lady always working to tend her crops or animals, make her own ropes, thatch a roof, etc. This is where we had lunch which was taking a half an avacado, mixing it up with a little salt, pepper, and mayo and spreading it on a roll. She gave us a tour of her house the cooking hut, showed us how she hand grinds the corn with the stones. It was awesome and she is just so cute we were really grateful for her sharing a bit of her life with us.
We traveled to two other houses that day one family searches the mountains for these crystal rocks and sells them for 5 Rand = about 10 cents so we were able to purchase a few of those. Then we stopped by another house that grows quite a bit for their family. They have herbs, maize (corn), avacado, papaya trees and much more. Overall this day was awesome because we really got an overall feel for how the families in the rurual areas live.
On our tour we were able to view neighborhoods that clearly depicted the separation of not only whites and blacks, but upper class blacks, lower class blacks, and mixed races. It was very interesting (for lack of a better word) and it was also crazy to see how the government has started working to cover up some of these places with two story colorful homes - just in time for the 2010 world cup of soccer that they are hosting.
Our tour guides Steve & Janet!
This was a nicer house for sure - although this man apparently does do a lot to help out the community and give back by using landscaping to almost create parks.
Typical "matchbox" house a family can rent-to-own from the government, it only is two rooms!
Both of these pictures show how they are trying to hide some of the old housing.
We also stopped on the road to view one of the squatter's camps and although we did not go in (which I was actually glad - it was just too invasive) it is by far some of the poorest conditions I've ever seen people actually living in.
Debri on the roof helpf to keep it attached when strong winds come!
This event was captured by a photographer, Hector age 13 died that day - the boy who picked his body up to carry him home eventually ran away and was never seen again - and Hector's sister Annette lives in Soweto today and we actually met her at the museum while we were there, hard to remember that the history of this country is still so recent and most of the people that will be recorded for history are still alive today. Thanks to a lot of courage South Africa is working to really achieve it's potential!
Josh just sooooo happy about this car!
Great time to take my Malaria medication on an empty stomach - fast forward 20 min with my head in a garbage can throwing it all up (took it with food from then on out)! By 11am we are falling asleep in the car in the parking lot so we head back to the lodge to see if our rooms are by any chance ready - they are and I'm so happy.
My dad always told me to stay up till 9pm at least the night you fly in, but there was no way my eyes were going to hold up so I decided a little nap won't hurt. 6 hours later I wake up and it's almost dark again - oops! But it was ok I was so tired that I fell asleep again about midnight!
Simba the dog at our accomadations!