10 April 2008


Beyond the gates of Emthonjeni... or spilling in to the gates of Emthonjeni... lies the beautiful, but complex settlement of Zandspruit. It is only one of many here in Johannesburg, but one of the largest. On the news the other day, they estimated that 100,000 people live within the less than two square mile borders. That doubles the estimation we have heard. Either side , the number is huge... and so are the needs. We took a stroll through Zandspruit this week... and for the first time, I brought my camera. It was fun this time, being able to bring out my new Zulu skills and say "hello" to people and then actually answer them when they continued the conversation. Don't be too impressed... I am still on "how are you? I am well thank you, and you, how are you?" But it was enough to elicit some amazing smiles... and that right there is worth all the hours of study!


  1. great shots. I love the little girl in the pink giving you a little wave. ir's funny because I'm seeing green in every shot and I wouldn't think that in the conditions described that there would still be trees, plants, flowers, etc. Just an observation.

    another observation is the laundry hanging on the line and the kids that look like they have clean clothes on. is that a cultural norm that, it doesn't matter if we don't have much, we're still going to look great and have clean clothes? is that something you have observed?

    - much love

  2. erm... how did my white chicken get to Jburg? A stowaway in your luggage, perhaps?

  3. The green trees aren't the half of it. There are tomatoes growing along fences and corn stalks in the little space between shacks. Clean clothes, clean hair... the ladies that work at Emthonjeni are more put together than I am. One thing you can't understand till you start digging is that this "squatter camp" isn't like a refugee camp. It is home. I love to listen to Pastor Sipho talk about it. I need to spend more time with that man.

    and katie... your chickens are lucky at your house. Most of them here are in little cages waiting for ... uhm... dinner time. I don't know where this little free range one escaped from.

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  5. it's amazing to see how the rest of the world lives. it really puts life in America in perspective.

    Love and giggles to you all.

  6. ummm. I look at the faces and places and still see the glory of the Father, the good and the bad/... still the glory. We are one, we are His, separated all over the world but still His. Oh, what beauty and what need.
    So many thoughts and not near the words to express it.

  7. 1) I. Am. So. Jealous.
    2) This reminds me so much of Kibera, the slum in Nairobi. Even down to how you just described the 'cleanliness factor'.
    3) I miss seeing you dance on stage.

    p.s. #3 has nothing to do with your lovely post. :)


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