Monday, March 1, 2010

the old biscuit mill and soweto gospel choir

Friday night, I went to a play at Baxter Theater (UCT’s theater, which is just down the road from our house). It was a two person play about a man and a woman who get trapped in a nightclub as a result of WWII bombings. It wasn’t the best play I’ve seen, but it was certainly entertaining… and it was nice to do something a little different.

On Saturday morning I woke up and went back to Bonnytoun to do a literacy program again. This time we worked with one of the Saturn boys, who are smaller than the Mars boys we worked with last Thursday. I worked with three boys, and again had a great experience. They were younger, and seemed much younger, than the two Xhosa boys I worked with on Thursday. We took turns reading a Dr. Seuss book, and one boy struggled quite a bit. Another boy in the group helped him out a lot, and he was a great reader. It’s tricky to work with two boys at such different levels.

When I got back from Bonnytoun, I went back to the Old Biscuit Mill and got tons of excellent food (and free samples)! I had my camera with me this time, and was able to snap a few photos of the environment. The Old Biscuit Mill is an old mill converted into a ritzy shopping and international food warehouse on Saturday morning/afternoon. I’m not sure what the place is like during the week, but Saturdays are bustling, generally with wealthy white people, largely international. Interestingly, the Old Biscuit Mill is set in a somewhat rough, and certainly black and/or coloured area of Cape Town. Aside from this troubling dichotomy (which I’ve realized is very common throughout the Cape Town area), the Old Biscuit Mill is incredible. On one side, there are stands set up of food and beverages from all over the world…. On the other side, are cute and funky little shops, with themes like: vintage, antique, photography, retro, bead, clothing, and more.

Inside the food area at the Old Biscuit Mill

After the Old Biscuit Mill, a group of us packed picnics and headed to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to see the Soweto Gospel Choir in concert, where we saw Lira a few weeks ago. This concert blew Lira out of the water. A band called the Rudimentals opened... they were a really fun and lively Zimbabwean band. But when Soweto Gospel Choir came on stage, in their beautiful African attire, with the breathtaking mountainous backdrop, and belted out their songs with the most powerful voices I’ve experienced… It was incredible. A sensory explosion of beauty. The full experience couldn’t be captured with a camera, but I encourage any and everyone to look up their music. They sang in English, and also in various African languages. Their songs were largely Christian, but not exclusively so, and they didn’t give any sort of come-to-Jesus message via speech or song. They were infinitely more remarkable than any other gospel choir I’ve heard. Pictures below.

The Soweto Gospel Choir on stage, with the incredible backdrop of Cape Town's mountain range

I also got a picture with a couple of the choir members after the show, but it turned out really blurry. I think Betsy has a higher-quality version that I will try to get ahold of and post at a later date!

I spent a good portion of Sunday rock-climbing on a beach in Camps Bay that I hadn’t been to yet. It was an exceptionally beautiful area, and the vividness of the colors seemed unreal… a thought I tend to find myself having often amidst my sight-seeing here. Real life looks more vivid and stunning as a photo-shopped picture in a brochure. Much more beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. I have enjoyed listening to the music. There is no need to try to compel anyone "to come to Jesus." I'm glad the choir didn't either. Jesus is the deepest part of all human beings. He is who we are if we could just recognize it. All religion that has compulsion or coercion in it is false. Jesus tried to talk people out of following him, because he knew the way of truth was hard. He didn't want anyone coming along unless they knew the cost. I have always loved that about the way of Jesus. Most church stuff is the opposite of that.