Garbage Day, Funeral Day, and the SPCA

These three things summarize much about South Africa…

Garbage Day:  I have grown to dislike Fridays because it is the day for local garbage pick-up.  Many black South Africans start early walking around town rifling through the garbage from white homes, and ours is no exception.  Garbage day also brings many people to our gate looking for work and food.  Today I gave out bread and apples shortly after seeing an old man digging through our neighbor’s garbage bags by the curb…

Funeral Day: Garbage day is followed by Funeral Day… If you drive in any black areas on a Saturday you will certainly see many large tents and people gathered in the streets for funerals.  AIDS, TB, and violence are destroying the black community.   The life expectancy in this Province has now dropped to 36!

SPCA: With all this poverty surrounding us, certainly white South Africans must be overwhelmed about which charity to give to, right?  Well, No.  They are actually quite united, and give to the SPCA.   There are donation boxes and signs in prominent places in town, and we have been approached by smiling white ladies asking for donations to feed local animals!  The worst to me is the Christian school where Rachel and Rebekah attend …they apparently had the children do a community service project last year… making blankets for dogs.  I am not kidding.

This is South Africa.


4 Responses to “Garbage Day, Funeral Day, and the SPCA”

  1. 1 Mark March 7, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Hi thanks for a great post. I’ll be back 🙂

  2. 2 Kylie March 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    What does the white South African church preach? Do they just go about their happy life?
    I’ve been thinking about the situation there and the injustice of it all. I was wondering if you wanted to do something that I have been doing. I am reading through the Psalms and writing down anything I learn about God. It is very interesting how it parallels the injustice you are seeing. David rails against God to begin a lot of the Psalms because of something that God is or is not doing. Then he turns it around and remembers who God is and praises Him. I do one Psalm a day and then if there is something I see in multiple ones, I just write down the number of the Psalm that repeats a facet of God.
    Some ones that have stood out to me are: He never forsakes those who seek Him (Ps. 9), He hears the afflicted and strengthens their hearts (Ps.10).
    I’m saddened by what you are seeing, but thank you for enlightening us as to what is happening outside our happy life.
    Love you.

  3. 3 Kristin Augustine March 9, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Thanks for your idea. I can’t answer your question about what is preached in the white churches here… the church we are attending is intentionally trying to be interracial – a very radical idea here. Our pastor has mentioned racial issues and poverty from the pulpit. However, there is little culture of giving here. This is why the people who drop some coins in for the SPCA feel pretty good about themselves! Ugh. We had some interesting conversations recently with white folks who wanted our impressions of their country. They were surprised at our surprise about the level of poverty… One guy said “I wonder what this is doing to us, to live here and have to find a way not to let it bother us.”

  4. 4 Doreen Whitstone March 13, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Catching up on the life and times of the Augustine family– thank you for giving us such insight into SA, and for keeping us up to date on your time there. The pictures are humbling yet beautiful. And, your girls are gorgeous!! We are praying for you, your health and safety.
    Much Love, Doug, Doreen, Bethany (and JB!) Cassie, Liann

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

March 2009
« Feb   Apr »

%d bloggers like this: