Monday, June 30, 2008


As the end of our trip draws closer, I can't help but wonder what will happen to all the people I have met.

I have their stories scribbled in my notebooks. The stories sit-waiting to be revised, edited and reworked. The people in the pages among my scribbles and notes are waiting too. They are waiting to find out what will become of their futures.
Maxwell Kazembe, a father of eight, lives out of a tent in the Rifle Range Camp. Pascalina, Maxwell's 2 year-old daughter, wants ice cream and to have a place to color. Maxwell is hoping for a better future for his children.

Joseph,19, wants to come to the United States to study. He wants to return to South Africa to help the people of the country. Before Joseph went to Rifle Range Camp, he was connected to the U.S. He had been emailing students from the U.S. he had previously met. After a while they stopped writing. Joseph wanted to know what he did wrong. Now, he wants a chance to get his education.

In between the gap of wants and needs, Maxwell, Joseph, and the other countless people I met at Rifle Range are faced with uncertain futures. When will they be able to leave Rifle Range camp? Where will they go when their time at the camp is finished? What will they do once they leave? Can they go back to living with the same neighbors who attacked them? Who will help them?
I don't have the answers. As a journalist, answers are what I look for.

Today as I get ready to venture back into Alexandra, a township where much of the xenophobic violence started, I have a quote I read earlier this morning running through my head.

"Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lots of others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and caring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightest walls of oppression and resistance" -Robert F. Kennedy

As we press on into the last two days of our trip, I'm still looking for the answers to all sides and currents of the story-past, present, future.

No comments: