On Friday I packed the BB bags for Saturday and we had no more boy or neutral clothing. How can this be? You girls sent me tons of stuff and in just 5 visits, it is finished. I feel like BB is in a huge drought and whatever water is sprinkled on, evaporates immediately. I did scrounge around and managed to find enough clothes for the visit. God once again tells me, enough for that day Mel, that’s all you need. It is Sunday morning, I don’t have enough for tomorrow. I know by tomorrow morning their will be enough but I can’t work like this anymore. It is just too stressful. This morning I was up at 5.30am doing a very long to-do list. I am going to be very aggressive this week in phoning, sourcing, marketing and breathing life back into this ministry.
I do have faith in Him and know He will send enough for the day, but I want abundance, not just scraping by. I have seen how tough things are for everyone in the world lately. How petrol is 5 dollars a gallon, 5 pounds a gallon and is about to go up again in SA. It means everything gets more expensive. People can barely support their own families never mind charities. For the poor, it is disastrous. Paraffin goes up, (they use this for their lamps, little stoves and for heating as most shacks don’t have electricity) transport on the taxis goes up due to fuel prices, food is more expensive and jobs decrease as companies start to retrench. Many people are HIV positive and a poor diet is a death sentence when immune systems are so compromised. More AIDS orphans coming our way, how do we cope with them all? I feel like crying as I write this. Things are desperate in South African townships.
I read a letter in my local paper about some women complaining that the hawkers selling their wares at the traffic lights are distracting and they must be removed. They sell roses, beaded goods, cellphone accessories, bags, glasses…. Basically whatever they can. I seldom buy but often just give R5 for trying anyway. I feel they are making an effort and trying instead of begging or thieving. Her letter got me so mad I wrote a counter letter.
Gary says I shouldn’t write when I am menstrual and scary but I feel so frustrated and helpless with this poverty monster who grows daily. My letter was perhaps a tad harsh so they probably won’t publish it. Oh well, here it is….
I am writing in disgusted response to the letter titled
“They must be stopped’ published in last weeks District Mail.
The writer of the letter was complaining about the return of the hawkers at the Lord Charles /R44 traffic lights. Apparently the police had chased them away but they had returned a week later. The person writing complained they ‘disturbed her concentration.’
So who are these hawkers? They are men who are selling their goods to support their families. They could join the countless criminals out there who attempt to support their families by theft and other dishonest methods, but they don’t. They use their skills to make various crafts and sell them to drivers. They are not dangerous or rude, at worst they are persistent. I am tired of everyone wearing blinkers when it comes to poverty and townships. Many locals love to complain about the crime, the squalor, the homeless who sleep in doorways and the hawkers who try and sell their wares and disturb their concentration. I challenge them to spend 24 hours living in a township in a shack in conditions millions of South Africans have to endure. I hate crime as much as the next girl and I am in fact writing this 24 hours after my bag was stolen containing all my cards, ID, drivers etc. But, I can understand how living in crowded desperate conditions while trying to make a living, results in much of our crime. Unless you want to be part of the solution, quit complaining. There are thousands of projects that are trying to make a difference in alleviating some of the hardships poverty inflicts. Join one, start one, open your eyes and really see how many people live and how fortunate you really are. Wake up and smell the compassion.
From a director of a
Too harsh? Things are harsh though and too many people choose to look the other way. I am sorry for this miserable tone of this post but I feel so burdened and desperate for my fellow South Africans who live in the townships. My heart is breaking lately which means His heart is too. I don't know where to start. This hurts.