13 when I first met him two years ago, in London, as he helped me unload my photo equipment and quickly became my assistant, is growing into a sweet young man. Of course he has the usual teenage angst but deals with it with the most theatrical aplomb. He is constantly dancing and singing and always ready with an opinion, and a helping hand to the younger kids. The eternal big brother, Rein Ne Dit adores him..
.. has been fostered by Mitta, ( so Gloria is his granny a gogo) and he has a fine relationship with the family and his cousins. He lives in Dobsonville with the family and attends a high school nearby. Feleng came to pick me up to take me to his home in Soweto on Saturday morning. We travelled by taxi bus, ( he dealt with the money exchange which I still haven’t mastered.) helped me buy some cool shades on the roadside and made sure I wasn’t mowed down by the, his words, ..’Blaaaaack South Africans..if they bump you they do not care! ‘ (sic) drivers. We swaggered into the township, ignoring my whiteness and were greeted by many neighbours, some of who remembered me from last time , and his little ‘brother’. Feleng told me he wants to be a chef when he graduates. I think he may do something in fashion!
The local Woolworths (yep still here) continues to donate food to the charity. Without a hint of irony the children receive what is the equivalent to M&S food hall delicacies, albeit hard to sell or on sell by date. They have a range of bread; French, Ciabatta, meat, fruit and vegetables and more random gifts such as copious bunches of flowers, and recently miniature (Harvey Nic’s style) ice cream cones. I was asked to bring a melon baller from London so the children could make mini ice cream cones, with the possibility of photographing them and using them as thank you cards to the shop. I decided to have a sorbet making day with the kids. They where hugely enthused, particularly the boys, and particularly when they realised the sugar content. We used fresh limes, lemons and oranges ( in an effort to make coloured sorbet balls #failed) and it was enough to keep the boys from eating the ingredients, having smelled the produce and grated the zest. They have been avidly stirring are still nurturing the little tubs in their freezer at school- their tone becoming increasingly desperate as I tell them we’ll wait a bit and view the blocks of flavoured ice we have made. Yesterday Bronwen bought some huge tubs of ice cream, we also tried the melon baller on a melon with the aid of Kevin the volunteer. Not unusually, the children came knocking on my door at sand cottage bearing little ice cream cones, set in little wire structures made by a local street seller. An ice cream fest evening spent chatting around the garden table with, without a doubt, some quite exceptional kids.