by Thais Moore
This place is absolutely breathtaking and at the same time horridly depressing. The mountains, the coast, the landscape and greenery, including the people all make up some of God’s best creations. Unfortunately, though, apartheid’s mark is still evident. On Tuesday, the students and staff broke up into groups and did volunteer work at day cares, schools, community centers, and churches. Our group visited a township. I’m literally speechless. I seriously can’t describe it. Yes, I’ve seen pictures before, but to step into someone’s home within the township was quite different.
Everywhere we go, officials, store keepers, university staff, guest lecturers, waitresses are telling us to be very aware of your surroundings–that we can get mugged or robbed or stabbed at any point. As beautiful as the neighborhoods are, one cannot see any of the homes. ALL the homes are surrounded by high brick walls or medal bars, and most have either very sharp spikes at the top or electric wires. I have yet to see a front yard!
Tomorrow, the students and staff will travel out to Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Here we are below at the train station on our way to Simon’s Town.