I waved bye bye to a sunny Port Elizabeth where I left The Calabash team hard at work with volunteer Anke. You can see my Port Elizabeth post here
After a pretty bumpy flight to Johannesburg I arrived late morning at Lebo’s Backpackers – our local partners in Soweto where we work with Sizanani community project.
My it was wet – biblical rain had been falling for 10 days – but this was my first trip to Soweto (Dianne had previously visited see her report here) and I was determined to see something of this very special city. So I set off in a tuk tuk with Isaac……
Its only 20 years since South Africa gained freedom – The Soweto Student Uprising played an important role in the struggle and for me the most important part of my “tour was my visit to the museum and memorial that pay tribute to the young people who gave their lives and freedom – The Hector Pieterson Museum, in Orlando West in Soweto, is just a few blocks from where students and police first began their violent confrontation.
As I stood in front of the huge image of Hector Pieterson I thought of where I was in June 1976 – I was sitting my A levels – A levels that I had chosen – planning for a university education that I so took for granted.
I stayed in a great guesthouse ( Lebos backpackers was full) – I highly recommend Nthateng – its very close to Nelson Mandela’s and Desmond Tutu’s homes – Nthateng looked after me so well – and the bedroom pictured?…..thats where I stayed!
It was great to spend time with Maria and Lebo and learn more about their work and how the volunteer programme may be able to support them – lots of ideas so watch this space – we will keep you updated with news.
Then for my BIG treat! A birthday treat – yep I celebrate a big zero this year – and my dear friend Jane treated me to 4
days at Londolozi Game Reserve – yep aren’t I the lucky one!
4 glorious days of being spoilt rotten and wonderful game viewing.
But the highlight of the whole trip was learning about The Good Work Foundation and meeting some of the inspirational people who have come together and work together to make a difference in the community.
where amongst many special moments a wonderful young woman called Patricia recited a poem she had written about her experience at the centre – what courage – to recite a poem in a language that is not her own in front of a room full of strangers – go girl –
Phew – all in all quite a special trip – so some thankyou’s Paul, Thandi (and Grace, Gemma and Mia for being so good about how much of Mummy and Daddy’s time I took!) Nelson, Monga, Xolani, all the school principals and the Emmanuel team in Port Elizabeth. Lebo and Maria and all the team at Lebos – especially Issa who took me out in the pouring rain.
Jane – for my just glorious b’day pressie and all the team at Londolozi Varty Camp who looked after us so well – and finally Go Go Mo, Witness, Ryan and Kate and the team at The Good Work Foundation for sharing such a special day with me.