Well today was simply wonderful! Tumelo (my head of community interactions, and an absolute darling) and I were at Kramer bright and early at 9 am for a talk about the history of informal settlements in the Cape Area, right from when the Dutch first landed. Of course thats the only place anyone ever starts a history lesson about this country, as if history only began when there were white people around! How absurd, but anyway, we somehow managed to be invited to a SHAWCO township tour for semester-abroad students.

Now you must know what SHAWCO is! But if you don’t, I’ll forgive you…Well here’s what their website says… http://www.shawco.org

SHAWCO, the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation, is a dynamic, innovative and passionate student-run NGO based at UCT, constantly striving to improve the quality of life for individuals in developing communities within the Cape Metropolitan area.

SHAWCO was founded in 1943 by Andrew Kinnear, a medical student who was moved to action by the need which he saw in the impoverished communities of Cape Town.

Well they really are something, but this year failed to get as many UCT student volunteers as they need to tutor children. So come on comrades, why not spend an hour a week changing the life of a young person?

We went on a tour to Kensington, a ‘coloured’ area, and then again to the Nyanga market (I think someones trying to tel me something, don’t you?). It was great to see what SHAWCO is up to, helping children, abused women, the elderly, the mentally ill etc.

After we got to campus, I just had time to check my mail and it was off again to Nyanga market (see what I mean), this time with Brennan (head of EWB) and other members of my team.

We met up with Shannon Royden-Turner, of Jakupa Architects who are currently upgrading the entire Nyanga taxi-rank area. They are creating an urban framework for the area, incorporating better flow and a public space that residents can be proud of. They also did the urban framework of the Greenpoint Stadium!

So all in all, I had a full and very tiring day trudging around Nyanga and Kensington, shaking hands and talking to people who live in those communities and seeing people in a slightly different light. It wasn’t nearly as scary today as it was on Tuesday (there was a hectic taxi strike on Tuesday and we were threatened when we drove past that area). Even the meat market wasn’t so bad, I’m even getting used to the smell! Poor Christina, my deputy had a tough time though, it was her first time after all. But gear up Chris! There’s going to be a lot more of that to come!

I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s when I got home…again… “Oh I’m just craaayzy about Tiffany’s”