Recently, the volunteers and I have not been able to go into the township of Vrygrond. There have been taxi strikes within Vrygrond that have affected the lives of the people within. These strikes have limited who can enter and leave the township. I am saddened that I was not able to support the teachers this week, but being off gave me time to reflect on everything that we have experienced on the trip. As a result, I was able to begin thinking of ways to better support the teachers that we serve in the community. I began to collect natural materials to use in the classroom.
When reflecting on the recent events in Vrygrond, I am able to see and hear the first- hand experiences of the people and better understand how it has affected their lives. Some people were not able to get to work because of the strikes, which meant they were losing some of their money that they could use to pay for the bills or necessities. In San Francisco, we have many forms of transportation, so if I couldn’t drive or take a taxi / Uber to work I would just use the bus system. After hearing about the lack of transportation for the people living in Vrygrond, I understand that it is a privilege to have so many ways to get to work and around San Francisco.
In my opinion, these strikes are a way for the people’s voices to be heard by the people in power in South Africa. As a volunteer, I was given the opportunity to see a group of people who have limited amount of resources who are striking for change. This community is working diligently to fight for something they strongly believe in. They have taken a stand and are working towards change in their community. Hearing about the current events in South Africa has began to influence me to reflect on the politics and current events happening back at home. Similarly to what my father reminds me, I must stay informed and aware of what is happening in the world around me.
Coming to South Africa, I thought I would solely get to focus on working with the children and teachers, but I have realized that politics, policies, and world events are apart of our daily lives. I am not able to separate school from what is going on in the community and within South Africa. The teachers, staff, and children are all affected by the circumstances around them and that influences how they are running classrooms in the creches. Even though I am not in the United States, I still need to remain aware and conscious of what is going on. I am starting to understand the importance of keeping up with the current events at home and how they can impact the children and families that I will serve in my preschools.