So I am really becoming quite lazy when it comes to blogging on time, oh well. This week alotta stuff was going on.
On Wednesday all volunteers took the day off from work to participate in a domestic abuse workshop. We worked with a variety of women from across Cape town. Some were living in shelters designated for abused women and children while others were program directors, volunteers from different organizations, or just women throughout the community interested in the empowerment of all women. The whole goal was to prepare for a protest/march, which is going to take place on November 26th through the Athlone township. I am beyond bummed that I am going to be missing it by a week, wah wah wah. if it were not for Thanksgiving I may have harassed my parents yet again for another extension. :)
One activity that we did was analyze the causes and affects of abuse, which made me feel like I was back in my Global Problem Solving. While some women were quite and only had a few ideas to share, many were outspoken and very opinionated. In this group I had a fairly long conversation with an absolutely beautiful woman who is an immigrant from somewhere in Africa (whoops i forgot where) and has been living in a shelter since June with her three year old son. During our conversation a friend of hers came up to share the news that she was accepted into some school/university, causing huge smiles and shrieks of excitement. I must say she is going to have a busy life ahead of her going to school by day and working by night, that is if she is able to find a job (she is currently unemployed). I think talking to this woman may end up being one of the most memorable parts of my trip and I found it to be very emotional to be around so many strong and resilient women.
After our first activity we moved on to the main event: creating posters and banners for the big march. So many people had amazing ideas and not to mention amazing talent. I will never forget one of the posters a woman made, it said, “Drug lords must be buried alive for the sake of our women and children,” talk about strong opinions.
Ariana and I also spent a lot of time with the home base staff this week, especially the two cooks, Mama Linda and Bongi. We have always been major fans of these women but have not spent that much time in conversation. Linda is a firecracker to say the least. She is somewhere under 5 feet yet has so much sass and by no means is afraid of putting others in their place or sending a flirty wink to a man in an adjacent car. I have no idea how old she is but would guess around mid sixties. It is safe to say that every conversation I have with her leaves me doubled over laughing, or either with a dropped jaw, as in, “did you seriously just say that,” she is a crazy woman. She also is the sweetest woman ever and during one conversation said that she considered me a daughter, and would “get” someone if they ever did anything to me. Linda may be tiny but she has enough attitude to fill all of Cape Town.
Today, I made cupcakes with one of the other cooks, Bongi. She is an adorable woman, but a bit on the shy side, we didn’t really talk that much until two weeks ago. I know that she has two daughters who are 10 and 4 and that she is originally from a rural area in eastern South Africa. Ariana and I are still trying to get her to talk in an American accent.. can’t wait for that.
Last Thursday was my beach day with my kids! We went to a pool/club area in Seapoint which is right outside the city (on the opposite side of Rosebank) its between Camps Bay, and Green Point which is near the V&A waterfront…. aka right on the water. Lets just say the day started off with a bang as I was greeted by my beautiful children all dressed in barney suits. I have no idea why they were dressed ilk that and for some reason didn’t think to take pictures but it was ADORABLE. Next thing that happened was one of the boys threw up and everyone went along stepping in it, fun times. A big bus that we split with another daycare group came to pick us up. Once we got to Seapoint we sat out in a field kinda thing which was nice because the kids had lots of space to run around, and it wasn’t the typical concrete or dirt that they are so accustomed to. When it was time to go to the pool all the kids, even the little ones, came to a big kiddie pool. I still haven’t figured out why, but for some reason the teachers love to scare the kids. They would grab the little kids and dunk them/drag them through the water, which did not go over well at all. My job basically for the hour was to comfort the shivering and sobbing little babies and to make sure they didn’t run away or fall into the deeper pools. You know how there is the expression “to shit your pants” out of fear or anxiety, well lucky for me I held Ayola (one of the youngest), after he ran terrified out of the water, only to find that there was poop smeared all over him as well as me and my clothes. I smelled lovely for the rest of the day. So that was pretty stressful, but at the end of the day we all came home alive so I consider the day to have been a success.
On Friday I was talking to Denell (I am absolutely butchering the spelling of her name right now so I feel kinda bad) about a book that I accidentally left at placement one day that she ended up taking home to read to her son, Lukhona. When I asked if she had any other books at home to read with him she simply said “no.” No books to read to a four year old child? No bedtime stories every night before sleep? Not to mention, the fact that if a child is rarely exposed to reading and writing at the age of 4, then surly their learning must be heavily delayed. This simple conversation really struck me. Also one of the best moments of my day on Friday was when I was sitting on the ground, and Denell who was standing above me started to play with my hair. It was one of the most tender moments that I have experienced while being here and am so glad that my relationship with these women has truly grown.
Friday was also my second afternoon at Sarah Fox. I reblogged one of Ariana’s blogs (its right below this one), which gives much better insight of working at the convalescent hospital than I can give because she’s been working there for the past 6 weeks. READ IT!!!!!!!
Sorry for making this post ridiculously long! But I will finish off with my plans for this week.
Today I made cupcakes to bring in for my kids tomorrow so I can celebrate Halloween in some shape or form. I think I am also going to cut out ghosts and pumpkins for them to draw on. Also we have a culture and customs talk relating to marriage with the entire staff. It’s a way for us to further see how the United States is different from typical South African customs.
Tuesday we have a cooking lesson with the cook staff (yummy). Wednesday it’s supposed to be super warm, so just to make all of you back home who get to play in snow jealous I will probably spend the afternoon at the beach :) . I am super excited because we are going to a soccer game in the hugeeee Cape Town stadium on Wednesday as well.
Okay thats all for now, thanks for reading!