Today started at MaAfrika painting and gardening was on the agenda. We also brought music from home to share with the kids since they taught us the dance that they were working on the previous day. But first we had to do the real work, we split up into groups and had more work cut out for us than we thought. Gardening was a challenge and most of us don't do much of that work at home. Some of the areas meant for weeding were entirely filled and nothing was being grown there, so it was great to clear some space for potential vegetables to be grown. The vegetables are used at the soup kitchens in which are located around Delft for the community. Although we didn't finish all of the weeding because of the EXTREMELY hot sun, it looks so much better than before. The painting was being done in the kitchen, they wanted it painted a bright yellow and we added the idea of the kids putting their hand prints on one of the walls to add a personal touch. While some of us kept painting the rest went out to teach the kids a dance. We taught them the Cupid Shuffle and they loved it, they got right in and it didn't take long for them to get the hang of it. After that we just played more of our music for them to dance to. Hours went by so fast because everyone was up and dancing around with the kids. It was the perfect way to end the day of work at the center.
Later that afternoon we had class that was centered around forgiveness, this was such a difficult concept to grasp when using it in context with apartheid. We watched a documentary about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in which survivors of apartheid could go and tell their story as well as confront their perpetrators about family members that lost their lives. Perpetrators were also their given the chance to tell the truth about what they did to receive amnesty. Desmond Tutu led the proceedings because it was his belief that by hearing the stories there was a chance to heal the nation. What was extremely hard to wrap our minds around was the fact that actual people brutally killed others during this time and showed little remorse. Our conversation after related our own lives to the concept of forgiveness and how hard it actually is to forgive. Many mixed emotions that arose during the conversation ranging from anger, hatred, sorrow, but at the same time a sense of hope. The fact that South Africans have come so far from the hell that they went through during apartheid in 15 yrs is astonishing. Forgiveness is something that we will all need to work into our lives, in the words of Desmond Tutu "Without forgiveness there is really no future" and thats the message South Africans are teaching us.