Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Living a different kind of life... how the other half live! Wednesday 25 Feb 2015 - Day 11

Brian Taberonr writes...
This morning we went to visit the mobile clinic in Kiepersol with Cathy Middleton - one of our hosts at Mercy Air.  The clinic is 'mobile' and is set up afresh each time it arrives.  The location is a banana farm!  It sounds exotic, even romantic... but the conditions for those who work on the farm are far from great.  Many of them live on the farm in very basic accommodation, and only get to see the rest of their family at  'month end' [a long weekend once a month when they are able to go to visit their families]. Many of the workers are migrant workers, with few, if any, rights and very little control over their lives. The clinic is provided free of charge by Africa School of Missions, where Cathy Middeleton is a nurse trainer.

We arrived just as the student nurses were leading worship. After a Bible reading and a short talk, both of which were in the local language for the area (Siswati), we sat with the farm workers who were waiting to see the nursing team. Cathy showed some of us around while others got to know some of the patients. 

Waiting and playing with children outside the Mobile Clinic
We spent some time playing with the pre-school children outside, we played with bubbles, did some colouring and fed the children with some yoghurt. The children didn’t know us, so it was difficult to play with them but some were able to respond to us.
After a couple of hours we left the farm and returned to Mercy Air in silence thinking about  what it must be like to be a migrant worker, without documents forced to live in poor conditions with minimal pay.
After lunch, we reflected on our visit and what we plan to do when we return home and then some of us were given a tour around the facilities at Mercy Air by Paul and we relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.
Thato prepared a Braai (BBQ) for our evening meal after which we watched a fantastic thunderstorm.
Tomorrow we start our return journey to Johannesburg airport.