Doringbaai & Lutzville, Day 2

Friday, March 10

Unfortunately our Doringbaai and Lutzville experience didn’t come off as we had hoped. Yet, many had interview visits and new interactions with local residents and host families. In every situation we have opportunities to learn and insights to gain.  What were yours today?

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Abalone Farm in Doringbaai

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11 Responses to “Doringbaai & Lutzville, Day 2”

  1. Phil Says:

    Heading into Doringbaai, I was able to connect with a 20-year-old rugby player that lived in one of the homestays. We initially started flipping through the TV and finding out we enjoyed some of the same music. We then transitioned into sports and highlighted the difference between baseball and cricket, rugby and football. He had a desire to come to America and play football, while I wanted to run out to the rugby field with him. We laughed that the grass is always greener.

  2. Samantha Frapart Says:

    More circles of feelings, of course.

    Although we were unable to take much else from our experience in Lutzville since we left quite early in the morning, I was able to learn something from my experience with Think Impact. I think this is the day where I really found my voice, and realized that I am adult enough and responsible enough to stop something when it does not feel right. Taking responsibility for our own safety may seem obvious in hindsight, but can be challenging – especially in group settings. I was proud of myself, and my classmates for our ability to stand up for ourselves and what feels right to us.

  3. Eugene Shearer Says:

    I thought, “What did I get myself into!” during our first meeting in the morning. It seems as though a lot happened while I was away!

    After learning about all of the racial tension in the country, it was interesting to experience it first-hand. I met my host family who were an older South African couple who lived and worked in Cape Town, but decided to retire in Doringbaai. They were a paradox. They still believed that races should be separate and found it “disgusting” to share utensils with other races, yet they believed that Nelson Mandela is one of the most admirable men in the history of South Africa (and probably of the world). I realized since apartheid ended recently, much racial tension and older beliefs still existed in the country.

  4. Sam Says:

    Although our stay was brief, I felt like we started to gain traction with some of the ideas we had discussed with Peter the night before. The reliance on government handouts to fund business was apparent in most of our interviews, except for the Tuk shop at the edge of town. The family who operated the shop seemed to take a very different approach to business than their neighbors – they were opportunistic and scrappy, having moved recently from Cape Town. They also acknowledged the alcohol and drug issues facing the town, but were more than willing to sell loosies to the teenagers who seemed to hang around the shop.

  5. John Says:

    I’ll just say I was very proud of the way our McCombs community stood up for each other and listened and respected everyone’s concerns. While there were varying levels of discomfort and multiple courses of action to take, I was impressed with the way everyone handled themselves during a tough time.

  6. Caley Says:

    I learned how important communication is in a group environment. Through this experience I feel like I was able to reflect on how lucky and privileged all of us are to be able to get an education and live where we do. Walking to the winery near the water in Doringbaai was a little surreal because you pass a guard gate into this little oasis with white South Africans on vacation sipping wine. It was a very stark contrast to the life outside of the gate.

  7. Tyler Says:

    Today was a hard day for everyone, but for different reasons. For the Lutzville group, the safety issues were obviously foremost and overshadowed the other aspects of the village stays. For me personally, I was sad for a different reason. In that brief 24 hour period, I felt like I had the chance to talk with a few of the small business hours and was starting to formulate an understanding for projects that we could undertake for them. We were also informed of a community rugby match taking place that Saturday and a big braai in on our honor that had to be expedited. I undoubtedly think we made the right call in getting everyone to a safe space, but I also felt like I lost out on something real that I never could have experienced in Cape Town.

  8. Linda Says:

    In Doringbaai, we were able to take the morning to talk to some businesses. Some managers were more willing than others to speak to us. The representative from the Trust told us that her main concern was that the youth don’t seem motivated to work. We asked for some evidence of this. She said they offer internships in the local businesses for high school students but no one ever takes that opportunity. When we dug a little deeper we learned that those internships are UNPAID and they rarely lead to full-time employment due to age minimums and budget constraints. It’s an internship to nowhere! These kids won’t be motivated to do anything unless they see that it can improve their lives. But there is no such opportunity in their lives. So they’ll sit and collect paltry government subsidies.

    So many emotions that afternoon. We had legitimate reasons to leave, but I had to question my privilege. We got to leave as soon as we felt unsafe, but the families we met and the sweet children we played with have to stay there. Not only did we get to escape, we escaped to probably the nicest hotel I could have imagined.

  9. Bill Quach Says:

    The contrast between Lutzville and Dooringbaai was great. I left curious about the rest of Lutzville and how the community we attempted to stay in in Lutzville came to exist. The ingredients for a prosperous economy were not in place and a visit with the politicians and business leaders of the Lutzville and Dooringbaai could have valuable. I want to learn more about the challenges they see, and what they label as their greatest obstacles preventing a higher quality of life for their people.

  10. Garry Ferguson Says:

    Friday 10 March: I woke up after a less than restful sleep in the 80+ degree temperatures that were featured at night in many of the homestays. I learned that it’s not effective to sleep within earshot of Micah who unbeknownst to me is one of the world’s preeminent snorers. Despite not feeling 100%, it was not the time to be all about me. Being in the village was about everyone else. It had to be. That’s why we were there. Among concerns for the people in the village, I was concerned with the feelings of the group in light of the unsavory and controversial activity that took place the night before. I wanted to project positivity in hopes of reengaging people and keeping them focused on making a positive impact. Unfortunately, the concerns were of a nature that warranted disengaging and aborting the project. During our discussions leading to our decision to leave it was interesting to observe objectivity understandably giving way to emotion with each passing minute.

    Despite our departure from the villages, the day and the trip was far from lost. The five-plus hour bus ride presented a wonderful opportunity to get to know classmates on a personal level and solidify friendships. The ride culminated in exquisite accommodations in Gordon’s Bay where we could continue to revel in the novelty of South Africa. Being in the villages and the hotel at Gordon’s Bay all in one day was a remarkably stark contrast. That transition felt similarly odd to the transition from Pepper Club to the villages in the days prior.

  11. Parnali Says:

    During my second day in Doringbaai I felt like I was much more comfortable with my homestay family. For this reason, during our two hour lunch break I sat in the living room with my homestay mother, her daughter (16 years old) and son (22 years old). Though they were extremely welcoming and chatty, I was confused as to why these children were simply sitting at home and watching TV – they hadn’t left the house since they woke in the morning, while their mother was in the kitchen making them breakfast, lunch and washing their dishes. When I had asked the children if they received any homework from school or what kept them busy, they laughed it off making it very apparent that school and education wasn’t valued –they loved staying at home and watching television for hours. Though I wasn’t surprised, as we were informed about this concern in Doringbaai, it is very impactful when you see it in front of you.

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