Saturday, July 5, 2008

First Two Weeks of June

After returning from our trip to East London/Cintsa I had a lot on my plate. When I got back to my room I found it an absolute disaster. While I was away my 350lb package of donations from the States had come. Since the package was so huge they couldn't fit it through the door so they had to unpack it and individually put everything into my room. It was a mess and I had a lot to deal with. In one day I was able to separate everything and box it up for all the organizations I was taking it to. The following two days I worked with Dani from the Rhodes Centre for Social Development (where the volunteer program runs out of) to distribute my items throughout the township. It was a really rewarding experience. I got to meet a lot of the people who the supplies were going to affect.

One of the places we went to we had just randomly passed. Dani, who works with all of the organizations in the township didn't know this preschool, but we went in anyway. As I explained to the woman there what I was doing she started to cry.

"It's as if you knew," she said.

"Knew what?" we asked.

"That this is all we have left," she replied. She walked through the crowd of 25 or so toddlers to grab a tupperware container. She handed it to me. Inside were 3 broken crayons. I was so grateful for the support I got at home that enabled me to provide for this school. It was wonderful. "Can we take a picture?" she eagerly asked. And we did.

Once the distribution was taken care of I had to focus on getting ready for Festival. I mounted all of the printed 8"x10" photographs on 5 squares of cut foam board. It was so tedious. I had to cut them all with scissors because I couldn't find an X-acto knife here. It was awful. After they were all cut I had to spray mount them all on. In total I did almost 50 pictures on my own. Then I solicited Tracie's help (the American from VA that lives in my res). She read me the women's stories and I typed them to be printed for the exhibit. It was great hearing their stories. The women opened up so much.

After that was completed I actually had to study. Since I only had one exam this wasn't too bad. I just had to do a little reading and preparation for art history.

Grace and I also got to visit the boys at Eluxolweni. I had extra cameras from my project so we took three up there and let the boys play with them. They took a lot of fun pictures.




(1.) Sine's self-portrait (2.) Simphiwe's self-portrait (3.)Siyavuya and me (at his request)

The week of June 9th I just studied and packed. Neither were fun. I took my art history exam on June 11th and it went well. On the 12th I picked up Dave from the PE airport and we began our coast to coast journey which I will post about ASAP.