12

Mar
2013

DareSheGoes: cycling in Johannesburg

The small things in life. The warmth of the sun. A smile from a fellow human being. These are things that can make me feel intensely happy. How privileged I am. Flying has made the world around me, in the broadest sense, bigger. More beautiful. More realistic. It keeps both my feet firmly on the ground. There are many destinations where I can do my bit. Where I can distribute clothes I have brought with me. Give a child a little love. Even if it is just for one day. The language of laughter is universal.

Gimme hope Jo’anna
Recently I flew to Johannesburg. I had just cleared out my wardrobe. Collected children’s clothes from friends. The largest suitcase I own was jam-packed with clothes, soft toys, even a small Christmas tree! Requested to fly with a friend of mine. On this trip we would have almost three free days in Johannesburg. Time together to enjoy nature’s finest wildlife and delicious South African specialities. Beyond these pleasant extras that flying brings, we also wanted to visit a township. I phoned Jeff. He lives in the township Alexandra. He organises bicycle tours of 2.5 or 4 hours. “We are a group of young, dynamic people who were born and raised here and we would like to introduce our friendly township to people willing to get to know us”….

I want to ride my bicycle
Cycling with Jeff and five enthusiastic colleagues through the township of Alexandra feels not only safe, but festive. Making contact with residents. Learning a piece of Mandela history. Enjoying a township lunch: chips on bread. Seeing traditions. Schools. Laughing, waving people. Cycling past cheerfully painted houses. We handed out all we had brought. From children’s clothes to sweets, baby things and toothbrushes. One of my old dolls got a new mummy. My comb went to a little girl with an enormous head of hair. There is an air of positive, optimistic peace about Alexandra. Lovely to feel.

Give a little bit
I am very proud of so many of my colleagues. Those who voluntarily do wonderful things en route. Who fill their cases with goodies and drag them across the world for people they don’t know. This too is what makes being a CA so special…Dare to care!

Jeff Mulaudzi, Thank you for this wonderful day.

Feel free to listen to my Jo’burg playlist: