Posted by: fullandbye | January 20, 2005

volunteering

I am sore.

I went to the relief supplies depository yesterday and today to volunteer.
The supplies depository is actually a gym in Langa about 1.5km from the disaster site that been commandeered by Anwar, a city employee in charge of collection of goods.
Yesterday three of us went, but because there was actually nothing to do, so we were lectured by Anwar for a solid two hours. That man can talk about…anything.

Today it was just me. And from the moment I got there it was crazy intense.
A health inspector had been by earlier in the day and had looked at the lots of food and determined that the lots that were the hardest to get to had to be eaten first.
We moved literally tons worth of sacks of potatoes and reorganized them into piles arranged by expiration date. Then we firelined nearly a ton of potatoes into the truck, followed by hundreds of pounds of rice, yams, white pumpkins, cans of beans, baby formula and who knows what else. Creaking and sagging, the red cross truck drove off, to return less than an hour later needing more.

In the meantime, more and more trucks, vans, cars, and even a horse drawn township taxi arrived loaded with goods. Right before I left, a full size moving van pulled up, loaded top to bottom and even in the drivers cab with garbage bags filled with shoes. Then a semitrailer pulled up filled with pallets of baby supplies. It was incredible.

And between the loading and offloading of trucks, conversations and relaxing with the other people there, most of whom are city employees. I get their numbers, and they get mine. Things are chill here and no one gets too uptight, even when it is chaotic. I could really learn something about that…

To get to the street where my ride is coming, I have to get out of the parking lot on the opposite side and walk down an alley that runs behind the fence of the gated lot.
I start walking, and hear a strange noise. On the opposite side, a huge bull turns the corner and starts lumbering down the narrow alley, towards me. I quickly decide to double back and use the (closed) gate near the street to get out. The gate is closed and chained, but the chain is not locked, just held together with wire. As I run down the alley, the bull makes loud noises. Then he stops in the middle and turns sideways, blocking the whole alley.
As I go through the parking lot, he looks at me, making loud noises the whole time.
The guard (where was he before?) runs over to me as I open the gate.
“You have to go around”
“Are you joking? There is a bull blocking the alley, and there is not room for both of us to pass!”
“Where is the bull?”
(You have got to be shitting me!)
“Right there, do you see? I can assure you that the fight “Raz vs. Bull” would not be pretty. Here, I can close the gate after I get out.” (I open the gate and step out, then fumble with the chain)
“Snort”

Such is how things go here.

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Responses

  1. wow, a live bull? That’s a load of Bull ****! hee hee, sorry the pun had to be made.

  2. very clever
    Megs,
    there was nothing funny about the situation.
    Wait, no, that was a lie.
    Everything about it was funny.


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