Tag Archives: Holiday

IMG_5242

A not so easy week

My apologies for the late post!  I have had a multitude of technical difficulties and my laptop has broken twice this month.

Last week we had a couple public holidays so I got to spend a weekend in the woods with some of my coworkers and it was magical!! We camped in this beautiful national heritage sight called Beaverlac. I got to hike alone, something I love to do but haven’t been able to do on Cape Town for safety reasons. I saw the most beautiful sunrise and spent so much time processing what has occurred over the last 4 months. We had a braai, and my sweet friends braaied veggies for me WITHOUT meat, which is almost a sin in South Africa!  It was a much needed weekend of rest and rejuvenation and I am so thankful we were able to cram our little car full and spend some quality time in nature together, not talking about work or worrying about our to do list, but simply enjoying each other’s presence.

braai veggies!!!

braai veggies!!!

camping coworkers!

camping coworkers!

This past week we had another public holiday, Worker’s Day, and although I had to work (ironically), it was a lekker day.  I was on shift as the house mother at the safe house, meaning I was in charge for the day, so I decided on a holiday, we must also take a holiday! So we went on an outing to one of my favorite spots in the Cape. We hiked in Jonkershoek to one of the waterfalls, because I am a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of nature.  Thankfully the waterfall had water because of all our recent rain!!! It felt like we were in the Amazon rainforest, not just outside Cape Town!! I also learned two very valuable lessons that day....that it is important to always carry cash and google maps typically does not work in the townships. My process of discovering these crucial pieces of information involved confidently trying to pay the park fee to enter the hike with credit card, realizing I cannot draw money from my credit card and I don’t have my debit card, getting extremely lost in a township because google maps was also extremely lost, and laughing a LOT at myself and with myself and the residents. But nevertheless we persisted, we’re able to hike and not only survived but THRIVED on our adventure.

the Amazon or Stellenbosch?!

the Amazon or Stellenbosch?!

The rest of the week consisted of office work, fundraising tasks, grant writing, taking the residents to the weekly volunteer activity they participate in at a local kids club, and the most exciting part....PIGCASSO!!!!!

Me and PIGCASSO

Me and PIGCASSO

Pigcasso is a painting pig that was rescued from a slaughterhouse.  The fundraising coordinator and I were at the Waterfront trying to get sponsors for our upcoming event when we learned about Pigcasso.  There was a pink shipping container that said OINK on it, and we were so intrigued we had to go visit. There we learned about Pigcasso and the mission of the incredible organization that rescued her.  You can watch the video here.  We contacted the woman who started Farm Sanctuary SA asking if it would be possible to bring our residents to the farm to meet this famous pig, and she agreed!  Turns out she is the most incredible, compassionate and sweetest woman. So on Friday, we loaded up the little car and drove to the beautiful Franschhoek valley to the Farm Sanctuary SA and we met Pigcasso!!!! And all the other rescued animals!!!  I was geeking out as a vegetarian, and a social entrepreneur. Hearing the stories of the industry that these animals were rescued from wrecks me every single time. But thankfully, Farm Sanctuary SA has rescued and provided the utmost care for two gentle, loving cows, 3 huge pigs, 2 sassy donkeys, 2 sheep (skapies), 1 goat and a bunch of chickens.  The more I learned about this organization, the more I fell in love with it! They have such a beautiful social entrepreneurial model. They generate income from selling Pigcasso’s paintings, which can go for quite a lot hey. Like $1000+ US Dollars. But these paintings are impressive! They also get money from renting the upper, beautiful room of the barn to guests who pay to sleep under the shadow the the Franschhoek mountains.  Finally, they have a little kitchen in the barn that serves vegetarian food that you can buy for a picnic.

It was such an incredible location to spend the afternoon with the residents.  They go to horse therapy twice a month and have come to love the horses, which is amazing because when they first started they didn’t even want to touch the horses, and that spilled over into their encounters with these other animals.  We all learned so much about the farm industry and the intelligence of these creatures that we often see simply as a means of getting our protein! But they are wise and have feelings too, so it lead to some interesting discussion. We shared many laughs as always, “wow’s”, and a vegetarian meal in the barn with Pigcasso!

This week is going to be a tough one as we say goodbye to some of our residents.  I have been trying to process what that actually is going to mean but it is very sad to see our women go, especially when we wish they could/would stay longer, but for a multitude of reasons that is not the case.  This is the first time I have ever had to say goodbye to a resident, let alone two in the same week, so it is going to be an emotional few days that is for sure, and dealing with those not so pleasant emotions is difficult but a necessary part of this work.  Thankfully we have an incredible Director who has encouraged us all to process and feel the tough things, and has given us space to do so. On the other hand, we are trusting for more residents to come. We had a meeting the other morning to pray about more girls getting rescued and I was just overwhelmed by the weight of despair many of these women face.  There are countless girls on the streets who have no hope. All they have encountered is abuse, darkness, pain, sorrow and fear. And I just felt physically so heavy in a way I have never felt before, so burdened for these women. Recently hope has been a recurring word and image in my day to day. Each morning I have been trying to wake up early to see the sunrise, which to me is the epitome of hope in my life.  As Mary Oliver says, every morning the world is created. What hope and responsibility that carries! I am really holding onto that hope, especially now, and especially for all the girls out there still on the streets.

IMG_1042

I cannot believe it is my last three weeks in Cape Town.  I get SO SAD when I think about leaving this place and this work.  But I know it is not goodbye, just a see you soon 😉

Nane Nane Day

Nane Nane Day is a holiday in Tanzania known as Farmers Day. Nane in Swahili means 8. They call it Nane Nane because it the 8th of August. And August is the 8th month. This was last Tuesday and we got the day off at the hospital. I chose to spend the day going to the local, public beach which is walking distance from my house. It’s called Coco Beach. I went with my two guy friends and upon our arrival we were greeted by this lifeguard.

IMG_5198

His name is Daniel

He was so kind and showed us around the entire beach. It was absolutely breathtaking. The tide was extremely low and where we’re sitting was filled with water within 2 hours of the photo. Something Daniel kept mentioning was to be true to your heart. He explained how he’s a ‘survivor’. He came to Dar with just the clothes on his back and no money nor place to live. However, he now has an apartment where he can call home and enjoys his life greatly just by living simply. Daniel was a huge example to me of what it means to be humble and to be a hard worker. He would like fun of me and just find laughter in the smallest of things.

After going to the beach a group of us from the Work the World house had made an appointment to go to the local orphanage. I had brought a few things from America to give the children like playdough, pencils, crayons, glow in the dark stars, etc. But I collected a few more items at the local market like coloring books, clay, food, water, candy, etc.

IMG_5224

This is the outside of the orphanage

Going to the orphanage was so hard. I just kept thinking what would happen to the children in the future? They were so precious and so happy to see us. I felt uncomfortable about the orphanage home and how it was run. A lot of the supplies we brought the children would go in the backroom and just give it to the owners. We had heard that the owners take most of the things we bring and give it to their own children. There were two children who really stood out to me. One was this little girl on my shoulders and the boy in the middle. IMG_5226

IMG_5220

A lot of the children have never seen a phone before and are SO amazed at taking photos

Some of the children just didn’t seem like children to me if that even makes sense. You could tell they had not been properly loved or shown affection. There was a little boy who was no older than 3 years old and all he did was sit and cry. His face looked so sad and he seemed so despondent. It was heartbreaking. You could also tell they have had to fight for everything their entire lives. When I opened my backpack to hand out goodies they were pushing and fighting and trying to rip apart my backpack. I had a hard time getting them to calm down and then once they’d get a pack of crayons or pieces of candies they’d just hide them in their hands and pockets and not really even use or eat them. There were some children who had never even seen coloring books before and didn’t know how to use crayons.

After leaving the orphanage I was so sad and didn’t really know what to think of what I had experienced. A lot of the orphans are there because their mother died during childbirth and the father couldn’t stay home to take care of the baby because he had to work to provide food for the family so the family had no other option but to put them in an orphanage so they could be properly seen to.