A little refresher; we are visiting a housing project called Amathuba in Embo, South Africa.
We have the fantastic Robert Zuma as our generous tour guide. Since Suzi, the founder of this housing project, passed, Robert has taken on most of the leadership. Although he has no ‘actual’ education, Robert is driven and knows how to work with his hands.
He teaches others in the community to work with wood, metal and whatever materials are available. He works hard to find funding so that they can continue working on the communities homes, schools and buildings. He wants homes that are strong and reliable, so that his friends and family can be more healthy, both physically and mentally. He wishes that they will be able to go to work and not worry about coming home to find that the rainfall has seeped through the roof and walls to drench their beds and spoil their food.
He really is a remarkable and passionate man. We are so thankful that he took the time to show us around.
So… continuing from where we left Lillian. Robert took us to meet some more remarkable people and families.
We had to climb down a very steep hill, NOT a good day to wear flip-flops and carry a camera! But, by some sort of miracle both my camera and I made it to the next ‘level’ of homes.
O and I made a new friend! She never did tell me her name, in fact I am not sure if she new much English at all, but we got along just fine.
The views were stunning. You look one way to see rolling hills and large rural homes, then turn to see a hillside covered in homes made out of random available materials, their roofs held on by stones and tires. Unfortunately, wealthy communities side by side with large slums is a common sight in South Africa.
We met several other families. One, most memorably, welcomed us into their home with a song and dance. There was so much joy and positivity, some times it was hard remember that they were the very same people living in these unfortunate conditions.
Sadly, after just a few more introductions and stories and it was time for goodbye.
© Karmen Meyer Photography 2011. All images are property of Karmen Meyer.
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