Thursday, 29 December 2011


Project Playground
The 10th of December a family day took place to end the semester and celebrate Christmas.
All trolls were invited. Their parents too.
Nearly 50 unregistered persons showed up!
Breakfast before taking two crowded buses to the beach.
Cheering & singing in the messy vehicle-qeueue. Great expectations. Joy.
The ocean under a sky weighted with rainy clouds.
Dance together. Staff, kids and parents.
Contagious motion spreading with the rhythm.
Lines with kids in bathing suites, ready to throw themselves into the water.
Humid, chilly air.
Complainless goose-bumps.
Pic-nic in the grass.
Ride back to the centre and gathering in the lightblue hall.
Songs, chilling, bonding, feeling of belonging.
In the end all the little ones were asked to line up beside the stage.
Christmas gifts.
One each!
Speechlessness. Total fuddle & wonderment; "What do I do with this?"
Analysis. Thorough study of the present. Realization.
Rip it open!
Madness! Astonishment! Happiness!

Thank you everyone for 2011.
Merry Christmas & happy new year.

Play on Wheels
I came to Cape Town to help the crew of Project Playground start up a brand new division, for children in Langa with disabilities.

Participants have been located, visited and immensely hugged.
Remarkable employees have been found and interviewed.
Other centres for disabled children have been seen and studied.
Equipment manufacturers have been researched, contacted and finally visited.
Laws have been inquired and most thoroughly ransacked.
Tons of templates and documents have been prepared, written and archived.
Tears have been shed as the sensation of injustice at times has been too much to bear.
People have proven that the dimension of a heart can really be limitless.
Fundings have been deeply desired, applied and fought for.

I left Cape Town knowing that Play on Wheels will be able to start in the begining of 2012.

Finally I just want to say.... 
To all the amazing trolls I have encountered...
To all the brave parents who never surrender no-matter-what...

To all the Project Playground employees who have overwhelmed me with their sincere wish to make things better and who over and over again have shown me that anything is possible...
To the board who gave me the chance to be a part of the team and the family...
To all the engaged people out there who in one way or another have shown their support and contributed to the opening of Play on Wheels...

Thank you. For everything.

 And just so you know....
We WILL remove "dis" from disability.

I will return to Cape Town.
...Until then.

/Josefin - a proud member of the "We love Africa"-club.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

This is the story of the "lost in time and space" charmer

A vague grin at afar.
The sweetest eyes.
An almost unnaturally beautiful face.
Always wearing flip-flops.

This is a tale of a four-year old boy with his head in another world.
He lives in a shack in Langa with his mom and two sisters.

His father.
He used to be a part of the boy's life, until his mother left him due to abuse.
Best friend with the bottle.
He beat him up regularly.
Holding him upside-down, shaking him, hitting him.
At night he still comes by their shack.
Knocking at the door.

His mother.
Loving her kids to death.
Stabbed by the father while she was expecting his child.
In front of the little boy.
The boy tries to defend his beloved mother from this man, telling him not to hurt her.
Report to the police. Restraining order. Noone cares.
No money.

His bigger sister.
Nearly completely paralyzed since birth.
Cannot speak nor hear.
Lays on the bed all day.
Got her teeth wiped-out when she was little, so she would not bite her tongue off.
The beauty of her face runs in the family.

He looses himself.
All of sudden the world cannot touch him.
As if all the people around him were passing by in slow-motion, circling his bubble with no hope of breaking it.
Staring into nothingness.
He does not see.
He does not hear.
He does not respond nor react.
He is someplace else, where noone can reach him nor disturb him.
Where are you?
Processing. Thinking. Trying to make sense out of it. Torment.

He sobs.
For no apparent reason or event, he goes to pieces.
Crumbling in silence. Not real cries, just soft sobs.
The kind of tears not shed to achieve comfort, but which fall because the heart they derive from is completely broken.
Where are you? 
Sadness of fear, lack of safety and pure raggedness.

His face melts everyone.
This kid smiles every now and then.
Especially when he hears the words I love you.

His tale. A mini-version of it anyway.

I love you

Friday, 2 December 2011

A date in the dust

Somewhere in South Africa.
In a gravel yard in a township.
Our eyes met.
We both froze. Glancing at each other.
The wind was blowing and the mouth filled up with crackle as soon as you opened it.
No adults around.
No shoes.
Smell of dirt and mold.
She suddenly approached me.
When she was standing right beside me she did the universal "pick me up" sign with her arms.
Come here.
Her face and my face at the same height now.
The weirdest thing just happened.

She looked at me.
She did not move a muscle.
Perplexed. Surprised. Stunned almost.
Studied & observed.
All of a sudden she raised one of her little hands.
Gentle touch.
She let her fingers stroke my face.
Everywhere (she even tried to poke the inside of my light eyes).
"What are you? I have never seen something like you up-close before."
We never took our eyes off one another.

She stopped.
Hand down.
A smile arose. It got so big it seemed it might even break her tiny cheeks.
Her mouth full of rotten teeth.
"You're approved."

A throw around my neck.
We simply stood there.
Just she and I.
Hugging in silence.
Letting time pass by.

An unknown troll.
The dust continued swirling around us.