Today we started the day by going on a township tour where we first stopped at the District 6 museum. District 6 was a colored community and the community was told to leave their homes for the white people to reside in. The purpose for kicking people out was to keep the people separated. Today, District 6 does not exist. A college was built replacing District 6 and only churches and some schools were left. It is hard to understand what it would feel like to be told to move out of your home because of the color of your skin. There was a picture that stood out to me in the District 6 museum. The front of the picture had people walking on Richmond Street before the people were forced out. The back of the picture showed an empty street, which showed there was no more life let to District 6.
Langa was the first township we visited. This is one township where they were relocated, which was about 20 minutes away from their original homes. Not only were people moved out of their homes but they were moved far away from the town center in order to keep them away from everyone else.
Today, this community comes together and works on a project where they make ceramic home goods and sell them in order to make a profit for their communities. The ceramic goods are made out of clay and then different patterns are painted. It is great to see a community come together to try to create a better life for their families and communities. The few people we met that worked to create the ceramics seemed so proud of their artworks. It is truly a talent to create the artwork that is created on each item.
This community has a mixture of shacks and houses. Stepping inside one of the houses made me realize how thankful I am for the life I am given. I think when you are born into a situation like that you get used to it and it is all you know.
The second home we saw was a decent home. It had a living room, kitchen, and two bedrooms. The home we saw even had decent furniture. I was impressed by what I saw but that does not mean the woman who lives there, life is challenging. She said that she has no income except for a little take away place but it is only done by catering. There is no inside bathroom and she has no car. She was moved from her original home in 1968 to Langa. The government promised a finished home, but came to a house with cement floors and no furniture.
I think that this woman has done a great job in making a better life for herself. I give her a lot of credit because it can be a struggle to do what she did with her home since there is no source of income. It was hard to see that her house was falling apart and she had no hot water, but she was making the best out of the situation. She said that she does not like where she lives and wishes she could be somewhere else.
I think under the circumstances different people will work towards a goal to try to have a better life, and some people will just live life as is. I also think that it shows in each house, or shack. For example, in the Varkplaas community, some people of the community came together to work on the vegetable garden in order to have future success , but then some people did not come help because they believed that the vegetable garden will not make a difference in the community.
Yesterday, we visited the Monkeybiz store, and the story behind the store is to bring income into different townships, by selling different artwork. I think that those people are really trying to make a better life for their selves and their families. It is great to see some people of different townships have a better view of life than the way they are living and they want to make a difference in their communities.
Going through to see different communities, has shown me that my life is truly a blessing. As much as I complain about different things in my life, I will now look back at my experience in South Africa and think to myself that it could be worse. I will now have a better appreciation for everyone and everything in my life!