Saturday, January 4, 2014

West Orlando Methodist Church

Sorry, I didn't post anything yesterday. Too tired/"busy" playing Euchre and Egyptian Ratscrew. Yesterday we went to a church organization called Ikageng that gives help to orphans/families in poverty with many children. They give weekly food packages, medications, counseling, school uniforms, and tutoring to the kids. They care for over 600 kids in 300 households, which is incredible. 100 of those houses have no adults; kids as young as 10 raise themselves and their siblings after their parents die. We also went to Thanes House, a rehab centre for alcoholics. The leader, Jakez, is an alcoholic himself. He was offered a job helping to build the biggest skyscraper in the world, but e turned it down to stay at Thanes. His story was amazing, and talking with him was an incredible experience. 

Today, we went to a market in the morning. So cool! I wanted to buy something from every stall. Bargaining is a blast: I feel so accomplished when I get the seller to settle for a lower price. It was hard to walk away: they were all so insistent! "Excuse me, miss. Hello! Come look! Looking is free, touching is free. Do you like the bracelets? I will give a special deal to such a beautiful lady! This color is nice, yes?" I've never really done this before, but I loved it. Everyone was stubborn, yeah, but also polite and not uncomfortably-pushy. 

Then, we went to the Orlando West United Methodist Church in Soweto. Zenele, a leader of the youth program there, gave  us an intro to their church. A few little girls sang a beautiful song. It wasn't in English, but it didn't matter. For lunch, we had meat cooked in a traditional South African barbecue, which isn't anything like the American. After lunch, we played some games and worshipped, both our group and theirs leading the music and prayers. It was so much fun to "hang" with people around my age from South Africa. One 17-year-old raises her three little siblings and her child by herself. I can't even imagine. 

We went to this really swanky place called Carnivore for dinner. I think it's part of a country club or something. The decor is very touristy, with a bamboo ceiling and a wooden hut as the reception table. So, it's called "Carnivore" because it specializes in exotic meats. For instance, tonight I ate antelope (ehhh), kulu sausage (less ehhh), crocodile (it actually does taste like chicken), and zebra (SOOO good!). The servers came around with meat on big skewers. Super cool! Where else are you gonna eat zebra? (Pronounced "zeh-bra" in South Africa) 

Today was a really good day. It was full of new things and was a great way to end the week, I think. 

No comments:

Post a Comment