Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Duck, Duck, Hooose.
Jenna, Anna, Charlie and I spent all of yesterday in Pretoria. We met up with Eddie from the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum in the morning and we all went back to the tire shop we visited just a few days ago.
Since we had more time, we explored more than we had previously. When you first come in, there is a huge open space. People sit around, there's a fire and clothes are draped across from one side to the next.
On either side of the open space, there are two areas closed off with thick plastic and tin walls. Inside of these areas, the people have set up rooms. The rooms are all divided up by thick blankets and tires. They make beds out of stacked tires, planks and blankets. It makes for a little bit of privacy.
Jenna and I were walking through one of the areas and we saw a young woman sitting in her room. We asked to talk and she invited us in with a warm smile.
She told us about the day that her shack was burnt. She said that she recognized some of the people as her neighbors. She said that the only explanation she could think of was that they were jealous. She came down from Zimbabwe and she worked hard, she said. She worked hard, earned money and bought things. Now everything she had is gone.
Jenna asked one man if he would take us to where his shack used to be. He declined saying that it would be too difficult to see his belongings in his neighbors' houses.
The leader of the group told us that they hadn't had a food delivery since June 14th. Yet, a health official came and left, she comes everyday.
There was a man who was sick. The leader said that he has been sick for a long time, but they have no medicine. While we were there, Doctors Without Borders came and took him away.
We taught the kids how to play Duck, Duck, Goose ("duck, duck, hooose"). That was probably the most I have laughed this whole trip.