Saturday, November 6, 2010

Journey to Joburg: Day 5: Renovation!

Journal Entry: Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
Today our plan is to head out for some paint supplies, primmer, paint clothes and suitable spa/swimwear. Most of us didn't pack a swimsuit or clothing we didn't mind getting some paint on. The suit was considered, briefly, but then I decided it wouldn't be needed. (which, we didn't end up swimming anyhow because it didn't work out for us to take the kids with us to Bakubung for Safari)

We went to a mall/shopping center in Johannesburg to get our clothing and supplies. It was interesting to see how very similar and different our stores are. After purchasing what we needed, we headed to Bou (our first Oasis home) for a little painting. We would be painting the boy's room, children's bathroom (which currently is a hideous shade of orange), and the house mom's room. Each room had previously painted by volunteers, much like ourselves. Unlike the previous volunteers, we consulted the house mom before painting rooms awful colors and covering the walls with giant bugs, Snoopy and Garfield. My thought, by looking at the rooms, was that whoever painted these rooms was doing a very kind act of service, however, I kind of felt that they just figured their work to be good enough for orphans. And this was NOT good enough for us! We planned to give each room a simple, fresh look, that they can enjoy for quite some time...... with no more bugs!
Our first task was to prime each room (in order to cover up the bold bright colors of the insects). It was a difficult task, maneuvering around furniture, trying not to die of fume inhalation, but we got the job done.
After priming, we cleaned up, had lunch and headed back to Pepperwood Lodge. But....not before a visit from the little ones as they returned home from school. We were greeted with hugs, questions of "what's that smell?" ...."what are you doing?" ...."Are you leaving? When are you coming back?" and boasts of what they did at school.
We were able to escape the loving embraces from the children at Bou to make it home to shower and get ready for Rotary. Laura is involved in the RB Sunrise Rotary here in San Diego. Rotaries like to get involved, partnered up with, other Rotaries from around the world. I'm still not entirely certain on the exact roll that Rotary plays, but I do know that they are city funded, they fundraise for other organizations and they are extremely supportive of education.
My experience at Rotary was pretty pleasant. It was not for Paula and Lori though as they had the pleasure of being in the company of an extremely racist man.... who by the way is German. My thought is, if you're living in a country where you are among the wealthiest, living in the company of those far less fortunate, in extreme poverty, making money of their exploitation, then you have no right to complain. Johannesburg is a city founded by the Dutch as a mining town that used the exploitation of local South Africans (Blacks) to gain their wealth. And then, they were being forced to become "like them" to speak and be taught in their language. Men like this German guy will sit and complain about the corruption and poverty of the country, however, they will remain there, versus going back to their country, because they can live for cheap and bank on other's suffering. I'm grateful to not have had the pleasure to engage in a conversation with him. Sitting at the next table, hearing his wealthy, well fed mouth speak, was more than enough.

Tomorrow is another full day. We will however, get some relaxation in. We'll be ending our day at Mangwanani Spa. Beth has arranged for an evening of pampering. A full body, hot stone massage and a grape seed extract foot and leg rub. SOOO excited!
Before our spa-scursion, we'll also be attending a morning meeting, picking up the paint the kids decided on and visiting Helen Joseph Hospital.

For now, I'm off to bed. Hopefully the birds outside our window, and the barking dogs, don't wake me up again at 5am.


  1. I wish I had been at the rotary meeting with you.

  2. Yes, I know. I'm grateful that you weren't though. His judegment, racism, and opinions will most likely never change. You would have put him in his place though.