This month seems to be a month for straying from the subject a little. So if you'll indulge me again, you'll see the tenuous link to landscape design and gardening. It is there, its just hidden behind the charity.
Gardening in a 'Third World' (although that term doesn't quite describe SA's contrasting economies) can sometimes look a little agrarian at times. Eating food grown through subsistence farming is probably the closest many South Africans may ever come to enjoying their garden. Those of us fortunate enough to look at gardening from a purely aesthetic vantage point don't get to experience a worldview where plants are functional long before they are beautiful.
But that's just what about 350 Christian students from the UK have had a chance to experience this past week. Working in various projects in some of the poorest communities around Durban, they've been helping out doing anything from caring for abandoned and HIV positive children, planting and digging vegetable gardens, painting orphanages, planting trees, and vegetable gardens, putting up wash lines, running kids clubs, soccer and volleyball tournaments.... All this, at their own expense!
As part of Soul Survivor, they each saved up about £1000 to pay for their plane ticket, accommodation and food to fly across the globe for 2 weeks, so that they could come to our city and help out in the various projects scattered around Durban. The movement is called Soul In The City (SITC) and they've already done this in a few other cities around the world, but I think SITC Durban is the furthest they've travelled in making a difference in peoples lives.
I'm amazed by these kids generosity. love and energy...