A dose of reality

Posted in England Women

The team went to a local Cape Town township were poverty was evident. The first stop was to a visitors' centre where there were young boys performing gumboot dances.

The group was formed to helped keep the youngsters off the streets and teach them team building and confidence skills. The boys all wanted pictures with us. One of the highlights was seeing all their happy faces and how enthusiastic they were to entertain us.

Secondly we went to the pottery house, which provided adult training to aid skill development so that individuals could start up their own pottery business.

We then walked down the street with the guide who showed us the culture of the townships.

As we walked around, children all under the age of ten joined us holding our hands.

Next was the most disturbing and hard-hitting part of the trip. We walked through a passageway to find a woman hanging up washing with two young children, one had no shoes and there was glass all over the floor.

We wanted to offer our shoes but were not allowed to give the township gifts.

We then came across the hostels where at least three families with at least three children live. Children under the age of five were allowed to sleep with their parents but those over five had to sleep in the kitchen or dining area.

The final part of our tour consisted of us having a meal at a restaurant which a woman, Monica, had created in her home.

She decided that this would be a good way of income as there were many visitors passing daily. She stated that Langa Township had become a tourist attraction.

Monica and her team served us with a selection of South African cuisine which we were delighted with and enjoyed thoroughly.

She then came out with something that really made us think. She said that if there was any food left on our plates we had to pay her R2, as that food had to be given to the dogs and she would rather feed the people of the streets as they need it more than them.

All in all this was a very humbling experience - it really made us think about how lucky we are not just with all the support we get in playing cricket but just in everyday life, not having to worry about clothes, food or shelter.

This visit has really added to the tour and given the team the opportunity to experience different aspects of Cape Town, from the beautiful scenery of Table Mountain to the township community of Langa.