Today in South Africa...


 Today in South Africa we visited the township of Kayamandi. Tambi (I hope I'm spelling that correctly) was our tour guide. Such a sweet and fun loving person she was! She gave us insight into the history of kayamandi and added some light-hearted humor when it was appropriate. She explained to us how lobolo in Xhosa tradition has made it harder for people in that area to get married. According to lobolo, the man must 'pay up' to the brides family in the form of cattle or money. Unfortunately this system does not work in todays broken economy as they have little cash and practically no cattle to offer.

During the township tour, we also were given the opportunity to meet local entrepreneurs and even dine inside a Xhosa mommas home and enjoy their traditional food. Both were deeply profound experiences that I feel so blessed to have. I was so inspired by jimmy, the pottery maker, and the lady who made jewelry in the township.(I wish I could remember her name) They had little to nothing, but that didn't stop them from creating beautiful pieces of art. I watched in awe as Jimmy shaped and designed different pieces of pottery with skill and effortless grace. He just made it look so easy! I wonder sometimes if here in the States, we stifle creativity and ones natural thirst for knowledge by our competitive attitudes and the constant pressure to be 'successful' in life. I put that in small quotes, because I'm slowly learning that success is unique to the individual. Our materialistic world will tell us that success means you own a big house and fancy cars and can send your kids to the best schools. Such a heartbreaking and dangerous way to live. Jimmy and the lady who made jewelry showed me that success isn't based on what you have, but is based on what you can do with what you have. I also view success as having a positive attitude in life, Therefore making jimmy and the jewelry maker some of the most successful people I have seen in a long time!

After visiting with the local entrepreneurs, we were then invited into the home of a Xhosa momma where she cooked the most delicious Xhosa meal. It was such a treat to see her home and have her sit down with us while we ate. She shared stories with us and explained to us how she cooked different meals. My favorite was the bread and the ginger beer. I actually never had ginger beer before, so it was a nice little treat to wash down my yummy food. I have to also note the very welcoming atmosphere her home provided. They treat their guests with love and kindness. As we walked in, our Xhosa momma greeted us by holding our hands and giving us the most sincere welcome. Being from the south, hospitality is something Im use to. However, being authentic is something a lot of people struggle with and I guess that was what our Xhosa momma had going for her. She was real and I could tell. Im so grateful for this opportunity and will treasure it forever!

sporting my dots that Tambi gave me. In their culture, this is a sign of beauty.

home sweet home

One of the creches we visited.