So I have been pretty terrible at sharing photos from Africa. The truth is, there is just so many and I don’t even know where to begin or what to do with them!!
Right now the CRWRC is using them for a website and educational purposes within universities and churches in North America; but, I want to share my little story with you as well. So here we go…. My first little post about an amazing 6 weeks in the gorgeous continent of Africa.
December 8, 2011 | Durban, South Africa
It was a cool, damp day, the sky was grey and felt the need to occasionally let some rain on us. I had been in Africa for 37 days at this point, and let’s just say I did NOT pack enough sweaters or pants. While the weather is so often hot and sunny (some would say to hot!), it just made the cool days that much harder to take. But anyways, the weather was somewhat fitting for our eye-opening trip to Amathuba, a housing project in Embo, South Africa.
Since we have been traveling across East and South Africa (over 5,000 kms!), nearly all day has been spent in trucks or at concerts, we have hardly had time to visit with local Africans not participating in the caravan. So, when fellow caravaner and South African friend, Skhumbuzo Myeza, presented us with this fantastic opportunity there was no way we were saying no. O and by the way, ‘we’ was myself and two other awesome Canadians I met on the trip, Ryan and Leah!! You might have heard about Ryan already, since he is the video part of our little CRWRC media team.
We caught a cab and traveled a small ways outside of Durban, arriving to see homes of all shapes, sizes and materials lacing the side of one of SA’s rolling hills. Witnessing these types of things is always so overwhelming, it is horrifying and inspiring all at the same time. You suddenly feel very blessed, stupid for not having brought something to help, useless. My mind just cycled through a huge range of emotions, although I like to think I kept a calm and collected exterior. Something that was particularly easy to do when speaking to Lillian. The beautiful 80 something year-old woman below.
When we knocked on her door during her devotions, we were welcomed with an enourmous smile and greetings. Leah, Ryan, Skhumbuzo and all crammed into her home; one room, one bed, one fridge, one dresser, one hot plate. It was a bit of a mess, she explained, since now that she is old and has outlived most of her children there are not many around to help her keep the place clean. Lillian told us stories of the past 78 years she has lived here.
She told us about her work and her family. She told us about the important photos that hung above her bed, and even introduced us to her (I think, great)grandson!
We asked Lillian what would help her, her family and her community. And what things have already happened. She told us of the fantastic women named Suzi from the UK who came here one time and for no particular reason decided to help them. She donated huge amounts of her own money to work with people in the community to help create better homes. She told us of how Suzi later died of a brain tumor, and although there is still a little bit of local funding coming in you can see that work has slowed, there is still so much left to be done.
Lillian took us outside for a little tour. She could not take us to far, as the hill is very steep, but this is a little of what we saw.
Unfortunately, this is where we had to say goodbye to Lillian and where I will have to leave you for today. But I have so much more to share with you about this remarkable place and the rest of my trip to Africa. Until then, here is one more photo of the lovely Lillian in front of her home.
© Karmen Meyer Photography 2011. All images are property of Karmen Meyer.
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