Saturday, September 29, 2007

23.-24. September - Hout Bay

Sunday is our catch-up day. We do some grocery-shopping and get a cell phone that can actually be used anywhere in the world with a replaceable SIM card, unlike the U.S. phones which monopolistically restrict use to in-country only. Every Sunday is a Crafters Market at a town park, so we stroll the market partly for our own benefit, partly for documentarian perspective.

One of the merchants is Christopher and some young boys from the township who are creating juggle sticks in a crafting program benefitting their community. The juggle sticks are very fun to watch & play with and are hand-made from recycled materials: pvc conduit, carefully cut innertube strips and zip ties. Christopher is thrilled to hear that Bail is here to document exactly this type of program and excitedly invites him to the Community Center later in the week. And would Bailey be interested in helping him make a short promotional video to be able to educate further afield & solicit grants...?

Several of the market crafters represent community from the “township” - an interestingly inappropriate, charming pseudonym for the Imizamo Yethu (slum) where the majority of the black community of Hout Bay resides. Stated numbers vary from 14 to 18 thousand people squeezed onto this portion of hillside just above the dump and police station and in between gated communities of million-rand homes. There are many such “townships” throughout South Africa with countless population representing the chasmic disparity between Haves and Have-nots.

Later that evening, we return to town to catch Sunday Night uh... Rugby! We have dinner & beers overlooking the beach at “The Dunes” in an upstairs pub with the added insurances of two guards, walled-in yard & playscape and a shark-attack kit on the premises.... Rugby rules of play don’t really become any clearer with watching, but pub is actually a great low-key affair with a jean & sweatshirt crowd. We fall into conversation with a couple of nicely-dressed mid-aged local ladies who offer some local touring tips and are curious about homeschooling and why Americans don’t seem to travel. The observation has merit, but Bailey politely offers up that America is big country with plenty of exploring opportunities of its own. I don’t point out that it’s insanely expensive, both in time and finances, to travel - especially to South Africa! And, with thanks to our current, ahem, economy, the value of the dollar abroad just isn’t what it used to be.

Monday the 24th is a Holiday, Heritage Day, (so no wi-fi tech) and we use the time to settle in. Maddie & Finn have figured out some tricks with their new juggle sticks and put on a little show for Jill’s little boys next door - Jonas, Finn(!) and Sam, ages 1, 2 and 4. The boys also have an in-ground trampoline in their back yard and the kids are welcomed to play at any time - an invitation they happily accept often and for long periods of time...!

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