My world is spinning. It's hard to continue like everything is normal after a day like I had today. We went to the District Six Museum and listened to Joe, who told us all about how thousands of colored and black people were forced from their homes and moved into the Cape Flats (townships). The whites did not want to be "contaminated" by blacks and strict laws governed the segregation all around South Africa under the Apartheid. After the museum, we walked to where the District used to be, and it is now just grass full of rubble left from destroying the homes. Most of it is a world heritage site now because of the protest against whites rebuilding on it. Activists took pouches full of the rubble and said, "This used to be someone's home, a family." This example is just one that saved the land. Now the government plans to rebuild so that people that were forced out, can come back. This is challenging not only because of money and resources but the mindset the oppressed. They were literally brainwashed to believe that they belonged in the Townships. This is devastating to me.
After that we went to the St. George's Cathedral Crypt which played a big role for the people in the resistance against the Apartheid. There we learned about the huge PEACE marches that took place in 1989 all over the country. I was only 2 months old. Police murdered children and adults because of the protest. Even then, the people stayed peaceful and demanded to have their humanity back. It was so very powerful. Desmond Tutu, a spiritual leader and advocate against the Apartheid, was speaking at the rally and wanted to prove that they are peaceful people by holding up empty hands, and that they are disciplined by being silent. It pains me to even think that they had to try and prove anything at all.
Lastly, we went to the Slave Lodge. This is where slaves were shipped to in Cape Town and auctioned off and put to labor. Men, women, and children. I imagine everyone knows to an extent the horrific realities of slavery. The slaves built everything. Cape Town is because of them. All of this was a lot to take in and process in one day.
I don't want to end on that note.
I went shopping after that at the Greenmarket, which is absolutely amazing! I got a lot fantastic authentic made African merchandise and art. I am excited to share it with everyone when I get back! I had a lot of fun bartering...I must say I am pretty good at it :) All of this is downtown Cape Town, which just yesterday was vibrant and full of energy and hope! It was the Cape Minstrel Carnival which is also called the Tweede Nuwe Jaar (second new year). Historically celebrated on January 2, the one day Cape slaves were given off every year and freedom of slavery is celebrated as well. So that was very uplifting!
I learned that real change takes many years...so being patient is extraordinarily important. Everything you do today does effect tomorrow, even in the slightest bit. So don't ever think that what your effort to help in any way is pointless because that would be foolish. Powerful things can happen when you believe in something. I believe in being human. Like Joe said, take everyone and prick their finger...what color is it? Until it bleeds different colors, we are all a part of the same HUMAN RACE.
PS- If you ever want to comment or have ANY questions...you are more than welcome to share that on here!