Greetings from chilly Muizenberg, where it turning into WINTER!
I told myself that I would be better about posting updates on this blog:
- So they are not novels like the past few have been
- So I can remember all the good things I want to share!
- So I won’t forget to blog every two weeks (opps)
WOW! It has been a very exciting and busy week at S-CAPE. About a week ago, I took the women to another market to sell the jewellery, crochet hats and scarves and lip balm that they have been making. It was a great experience and we all learned so much. It is incredible to see how empowered they feel when they make a sale. For many of them it’s the first time they have ever sold something they have made with their hands, so that is a very powerful experience. It was a long day (10 hours to be exact), but it worth every minute, drop of sweat, and tetris game we played attempting to fit the table and chairs into our tiny car.
A few days ago I met up with a new friend, Rae. I had met someone at the nonviolence conference and told her what I studied at Belmont and she wanted to connect me and her friend Rae, who was also passionate about entrepreneurship. So we grabbed coffee on Thursday and Rae absolutely blew my mind! She is the most humble, kind, passionate and inspiring entrepreneur. She wants to start a training center for disadvantaged people to help train them and change their mindset about entrepreneurship. She said that South Africa actually has one of the lowest rates of entrepreneurship, partly because of the mentality around it. I was so inspired hearing her describe why she wants to do this and her plan of going about it. We both agreed, in the wise words of Jeffery Cornwall…”trust the process.” I was very encouraged by her and reminded of ubuntu and the beauty of sharing passions and ideas across culture, country and continent.
Other exciting things happening this week at S-CAPE are that we had two very good days in court with two of our women. I cannot share details for confidentiality reasons, but when things go well in court, we celebrate!
I have been taking the women to horse therapy twice a month and it is so incredible to see how much they have progressed. The first week they did not even want to touch the horse, and would run away when the horses got close. But NOW they are grooming, petting and riding the horses without fear! I am so amazed by horses and their gentle, intelligent, sensitive spirits. The horses we work with are rescue horses and carry with them their own trauma, just like the women who ride them. It is truly a beautiful process to watch unfold, as the women learn more about these majestic creatures, and assist in their healing, just as the horses assist in theirs.
I am currently working on writing a grant, and finishing a lot of smaller projects I have been working on, like a new menu for the safe house, a volunteer orientation packet for future volunteers, creating a document for other volunteers who need to apply for a visa (so they don’t have to go through what I did), helping organize our big fundraiser next month, researching future job opportunities/educational courses our women can take, and other admin work I have acquired for the Department of Social Services.
Everyday I still wake up so grateful, I really cannot believe I am here doing what I love! There are tough days of course, but the only way to describe the past few months is JOY! I have found unimaginable joy in the mundane (like long days at the clinic or learning about all things meat during the weekly shopping). Each team member, and especially the women at the safe house have taught me an immense amount about joy, and how it is an attitude of the heart not based on circumstances but on the truth that we are loved and valued beyond comprehension.