We have breakfast with the other volunteers and there is a calm atmosphere before we head out to Victoria Street Market. We talk about our thoughts since arriving. We sit in the morning sun and share more of our life stories. We talk more about the challenges facing South Africa. Education, unemployment and government are the main points and there is a sense from those on the ground, living there day in day out, that things are not only bad, they are getting worse.
We are collected and driven to Victoria Street Market. We drive back to Durban in the glorious sun. We drive along the coast where ‘Millionaire Mile’ sits. Huge houses over looking the sea, the next land over the mass expanse of sea is Australia. It is an isolated part of the world. A beautiful beach, lush green lawns, expensive cars and huge wealth. Everywhere has its ‘Mayfair’ and ‘Kensington’.
We enter the city by day and it is vibrant and there is a totally different energy as people go about their daily business. The shops are not imports, unrecognizable brands. Globalisation doesn’t bother with Durban.
We arrive at the market, we are shown around and we shop for an hour or so. Mainly tourist tat for friends and family. There are some inspiring local artists and products supporting rural communities as well, a vibrant collection of Zulu paintings, jewellery and cloth. We buy spices and gifts for our loved ones.
We drive around the city. There is amazing street art and it doesn’t look as threatening by day as it did by night. The clothes are so bright and vibrant, not like Londoners in their grey suits going to their office jobs in glass buildings.
The Internet went down and the electricity was out. “The government cut the power to save money” we are told. I read and walk in the garden in the sun.
We make dinner with the other volunteers and shared our experiences once more. It really is like a little family growing and experiencing new things together.