Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Visit to Dorothy's House

Our neighbors, Glenn, Adam, Lucy, and Noah, have moved on to their next post. We are all very sad, as they were fantastic neighbors to have for the past two years, but on the bright side, now we can go visit them in Switzerland!

Before they left I helped them take some stuff to their nanny's house. Dorothy has been Lucy and Noah's nanny since they arrived in South Africa 4.5 years ago. She has been saving up money during that time to build a house in Mamelodi, a township outside Pretoria, for her and her son.

She is so proud of her accomplishments, and rightly so! It is very difficult for the majority of people here to ever save up enough money, or have the strength and determination to build themselves a better life.

Adam, Glenn, Lucy, and Noah, with Dorothy in front of her beautiful new home

Dorothy is living in her house now, but still has plans to continue to finish it. She will eventually get cement floors, and plaster on the walls. She currently has newspapers on the window's to protect them from future plaster and paint, as well as to keep out nosey neighbors. 

To give you an idea of the contrast that is South Africa, it took us about 15 minutes to drive from Dorothy's house in Mamelodi back to our house. The difference is drastic, as you can see from the pictures below.

The municipality has recently installed electricity poles and latrines (with plumbing), but since there is no electricity or running water in this area these are not of much use. There are porta potties approximately every 100 meters or so, in the middle of the roads. These are the only bathrooms available to the very dense population of people living in this area.

Dorothy's neighbors were very friendly, and Piper and Noah loved playing with their new friends. There was a lot of dirt available to play with, which made them all very happy. Noah was very sweet and gave Lesedi (young boy in orange shirt) his shovel.

It was great to go see Dorothy's new house and see the excitement and happiness on her face to be able to show it off. Living in the bubble of being an expatriate here in South Africa, it was also a very good reminder to me of how the majority of people here live. I think Piper is still a bit to young to understand the social disparity and contrasts here, but I hope over the next two years we'll have more opportunities to visit Dorothy, or visit Graces home in Mpumalanga (couple hours away), so Piper can start to understand the inequalities of the world, and how lucky she (and we) are to have the lives we were born into.

1 comment:

Rich Pleva said...

Wow! These are great (and sobering) photos, Dawn. I'm writing from our new (and lovely) retirement home in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin overlooking other, similar residences. It's always important to reminded of the situations of the majority of the human community. On a lighter note, we loved Grace's Wisconsin tee shirt!!