It’s been a roller coaster first two months here in Sosh; so far we’ve had glimpses of the good, the bad and the ugly of township living.
We often walk around the streets so we can get to know the area and pray for it at the same time. So we have a bit of a feel for the different areas of Sosh. Some areas are well maintained, where people have taken time to care for the environment around them. However other areas have rubbish thrown everywhere, making the place look sad and forgotten. One day (the day of death, we like to call it) we saw a dead kitten in the middle of the road, and then later a dead dog. The dog’s body stayed next to a busy road for few days before being removed. As someone who gets a lot of joy from the outdoors, including all creatures great and small (except mosquitos – they are the worst), these sights brought me a lot of sadness.
We’ve heard about the crime in South Africa and we’ve now experienced it first hand. Petunia was driving us home from the supermarket one day and we got caught in slow traffic. Suddenly a man put his hand through the driver’s open window and grabbed the keys out of the ignition. Next the doors of the car were opened and we were surrounded by a group of men who were holding knives and screwdrivers and demanding our phones and wallets. In the end they took Debbie’s phone, Petunia’s bag and our new toaster. In the kerfuffle (aka chaos) Debbie was cut on the arm, we think accidentally (the wound has now healed). They threw the car keys back to us at the end, a small mercy. This experience has made us more cautious, which is probably a good thing, however we don’t want to live in fear. I personally don’t feel anger towards the men who did this, just sadness that they feel the need to rob and cause harm to get by. As I looked into their eyes, I saw fear. These men are probably addicted to nyaope, the local drug of choice which is ravaging the lives of young people in townships. We experienced an opportunistic attack, and we are thankful that we escaped without much harm being done.
The support from friends, family, InnerCHANGE, and the community around us was incredible after ‘the incident’. We are thankful for all the good voices speaking into our lives, encouraging us and praying for us. The majority of people here in Sosh are working hard to build good lives for their families and are very welcoming towards us. Most of them want to make sure that we are having a good time in SA and are supportive of us being here. We are enjoying getting to know folk and developing friendships.
Regular followers of the blog will see that we have moved into our new house. We’re loving making it home and our landlady’s family are very welcoming and happy to see us here. We can’t wait to taste the avocados, peaches and mangos which are growing on the trees in our yard.
Our general experience so far is a good one, but the negative can so often have the biggest impact on our lives. We need to ensure that we choose to learn from these experiences, so that we can move on and fully embrace and celebrate the positive times in life.