On our last day in Cape Town we went to a township called Extension 4 in Mfuleni to work with Habitat for Humanity on building a house for one of the families there. we had 14 people in our group, 12 students and the two of us. We were shocked to see the living conditions in the township. There were shacks, made of any material they could find, for miles and miles. The difference between the extremely rich and the extremely poor is most evident in Cape Town. On the beach you see multimillion dollar homes and 10 miles away you have people living in heaps of scrap metal. The government is trying to help but the process seems to be very slow. Even for Habitat to get permission to build takes quite awhile.
The house we were finishing was started on Monday and we finished it on Friday. We mixed cement in the middle of the floor of the house and put the last layer of cinderblock and cement on the top row underneath the roof. While we were there the doors were hung, eaves where painted, doors were stained and glass was installed into the window frames.
Our foreman, Robert, was a local and lived in Extension 6 with his sister. He was kind enough to walk us around the township and let us really see how people live there. We visited a school where the children sang the South African National Anthem for us. When we took their picture they were very excited to see it captured in our camera. We had extra lunches that we brought along with us and at the end of the day we went over to the school again and brought them our lunches. There were also kids in the street outside the house we were working on and they watched us work all day. On our breaks we would sing with them and kick the ball around a little. When we took a lunch break they came over and asked for our food so we gave them parts of our lunches because they were not in the school where we took our other lunches.
At the end of the day we had a very meaningful dedication of the house for Anabelle its new owner. We formed a circle and each said one blessing over her house. She was then given the keys to the house and a bible that we had each written a message in.
This was a really rewarding experience to be able to give back even a little of the abundance we have. It was a really special day and I think, our favorite thing we did in Cape Town. Now we are off to Mauritius; we will only be there for 2 days and then on to India.
-We started out with 4 "children" in our extended family...but now we have six. We can't help but say yes when the SAS students ask us if they can be in our family. Now we have 4 girls and 2 boys
-Traveler's revenge AGAIN... both of us... not pretty!