The wonders of modern technology have meant Mum and I (and friends) have been able to keep in touch while I have been here in Cape Town. Skype (and FaceTime or whatever program you use) really does make the world feel a lot smaller. In a good way.
On Saturday Mum texted me and said she was able to Skype with me that night/afternoon.
When I logged on I got a wonderful surprise. I was greeted by two friendly faces from back home on the camera. It is always a nice surprise to see Mum but it was especially good to see my ‘big sister’ Emmy on screen too.
They both reminded me I am home in less than 4 weeks though – not something I wanted to hear.
The trains in Cape Town are a bit older than those in Melbourne. The still work fine but sometimes the windows don’t open or the door stick.
The other day I was on a train coming back from Cape Town and the doors wouldn’t close. We rode the whole way home with the train doors open (on both sides) watching the scenery rush by.
It was actually really nice.
My crèche does classes by ‘theme’. That means each week we do activities (coloring, stories, songs) around a certain topic.
Last weeks topic was fire. One day the kids got to colour in a candle. I didn’t think anything of it until another volunteer told me to look at the template properly.
Once someone points out that the kids are coloring in something that looks like a condom – you can’t unsee that.
Mum and I were in Checkers (a local supermarket chain) and Mum picked up this baby product that you apparently can’t get in Australia anymore.
I didn’t really understand what it was until I read the packet. It is essentially something you give to kids when they are sooking or whining. How does this magical product help smooth your annoyed baby? Check out ingredients (and the percentages).
Every now and then we mix things up with the kids. We either try a new food or sit them down somewhere different for lunch.
One day we tried both. The kids got to sit outside at tables (normally they are on the floor inside) and had pumpkin soup instead of bread.
I was mostly a hit. Some of the kids insisted on eating their soup with their hands and we had to hose down the tables, chairs and floors afterwards – but mostly it was delightful.
One of our stops in Khayelitsha was a small daycare. This daycare was basically a three room shack where the kids sat on the floor and played with old, broken toys. We entertained the kids while the men fixed the room (click here to see more on that).
It was here that we found the most adorable 9 month old. His name was something traditionally Xhosa (so of course we couldnt pronounce it) I decided to just call him Noah. I ended up holding him for the better part of two hours only giving him back when we had to run to the next delivery site.
To deliver food packages and blankets to some of the harder hit areas of Khayelitsha we walked into the shanty neighbourhoods. In these areas the houses are built on whatever land is available and as a result most walkways were no more than shoulder width apart. The homes themselves were falling apart in places and were mainly made up from scrap metal or cardboard.
It was almost surreal to see the state of the area and to know that this was what millions of people in the township are living in every day.