Thursday, March 22, 2012
Human Rights Day
March 21st was Human Rights Day. I watched a talk show on one of S.A.'s 3 TV stations. I learned that more women are raped here each year than learn to read. A movie star described being raped at age 4. She heads "Slut Walk" a yearly march to encourage victims to talk about their experience and thereby heal. Thirty musicians joined together and played their new video designed to combat crime. Another group described their effort to help young people volunteer and clean up their communities. I would have liked to have heard talks by S.A.'s leaders but we were at Surgury and by the time we got home broadcast was over. We inspected the apartment of Elder Vernon (Park City) and Elder Nielson (Seattle) in the morning. They are the P.E. Zone Leaders who live at 31 Diggery Street, West Westering, behind their landlord's house. They like their landlord and the area because it's safe and they can run when they come home in the evenings. I noticed a collection of cock roaches worthy of a high school biology class pinned to their area map. Here is Tom's report: "This apartment by U.S. standards is grade D. A dingy, run down, low class apartment, sink gap between wall with water seepage, wall wood rotted, broken cabinet door, storage beneath sink in cupboards impossible due to scum and seepage. An oven the size of a microwave looks like has never been cleaned in 20 years is crusted and brown and deserving of garbage dump. Crumbling paint throughout the apartment, a derelict apartment and the list goes on. The status of this house and it's appearance suggest the landlord has made no effort to repair, paint, or upgrade it ever since the house was built perhaps 70 years ago. The elders are deserving of a better place to live than this dump." Winter is June and July and we are moving into the fall. It's getting very windy here and it's colder at night. I developed a bad cough and a minor urinary infection so we went to Surgery (S.A.'s version of Instacare.) It took less time than opening our Standard Bank account. Then we had lunch at the Silver Cloud Spurs which was next to the pharmacy where we got my prescription filled. Cowboys and Indians are very popular here in S.A. As it was a national holiday Spurs was packed. Three waiters did a line dance at one point and encouraged patrons to join in. I came home and slept all afternoon. Today the infection is gone and my cough is much better. After reading Nelson Mandela's biography Long Walk to Freedom I have a better understanding of why black Africans identify with our American Indians.