We only have less than one week left in South Africa. I can't even believe it. After a week, we go home and have to start a new semester. This is something that I am looking forward too. We have been working in the townships for a couple days now, and it is a huge eye opener. Our first day, we walked around nthe Delft township and we walked to the clinic. There is one clinic in the township for over one million people. There are three doctors and no surgeons. It is a miracle that t hey have a free clinic in the township, but it is so small that people are not able to get in because the waiting line is so long.
When we were walking through the clinic, I was filled with so many emotions. I was angry, sad, confused, and scared. I didn't know what to feel and I automatically decided that their life conditions were unfair and I wanted to "help" them. But then I began to realize that I couldn't and didn't need to "help" these South Africans, but I was filled with pity.
I discussed this with our group and the workers from Afrika Tikun. The response I got was that the South Africans lives are actually very similar to ours. There is success, happiness, saddness, and laughter. Our lives are very similar and even though South African lives are not as extravagent as the one's that are lived in the United States it doesn't mean they're lower than us or need "help". The people of South Africa are happy and filled with pride. They cherish what they own and don't worry about what they don't have. I was slightly upset when I was told not to feel sympathy for the South Africans in the townships. But not that I've thought about it and had time to reflect, it makes a lot more sense.
The townships, the culture and the life lived is beautiful. Enough said.