Langa Langa

Langa, a place that can greeted me with dancing, hugs and a home cooked meal, yet, we were also warned that it can be dangerous.img_3005-edited Langa is a place where a warm woman, the age of my mother, cares for her granddaughter, laughed with me, played cards with me, and locked me in at night for safety. Locked in behind rebar wire fences, strong gates, and windows with bars. A place that looks so different from the home I grew up in, but felt just as familiar due to the warmth and sense of community that wrapped me up as soon as I entered my home stay, and continued the next night during the community meal. My heart doesn’t know how to sort out my feelings of privilege that accompanied me on this trip. The fact that where we are born, and the color we are born, play such a huge role on where we start out in life, and how easy it is to get where we’re going, is devastating. The fact that I have done nothing to deserve the privilege I was born with weighs heavy on my heart. I am privileged to have grown up in a safe community and privilegeimg_3003d to be allowed into the home of a wonderful woman and know that she exists in this world. I don’t know how to come to terms with my concern of tourism in poverty stricken areas verse having the opportunity to know and learn from people that are living in these areas. Do the people I meet get the same from me? Am I giving anything back for the experience and connection I gain? I don’t know. The unknown makes this type of home stay visit even stickier. As social workers, and especially on this trip, the question of “Am I giving back as much as I am receiving?” comes up a lot. I wonder now, what else would the people in Langa have liked from us? What does their community need that they would want our help in? What do similar communities in the United States need from me?

 

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