Monday, 31 October 2011
A Typical Monday
Typically, on Monday mornings, I hang out the washing, don my gym clothes, go to help shelve books at the library until 9.30 a.m., then on to my gym class. I have asked my daughter not to ask me to babysit at the last minute. She tries to respect this but this morning my phone rang while I was finishing up at the library. Could I please babysit - now - as she has a dentist appointment but the agency has phoned to say her maid can't pitch up today as her house burnt down last week. This news does not even raise an eyebrow in Cape Town as our home helps live for the most part in shanty towns where their two-room dwellings are constructed from corrugated iron and cardboard. They cook for the most part on parafin stoves and when our south-easter blows (October - March), there are frequent fires in these poor areas and often several hundred shacks burn down, sometimes with unsupervised children inside. Usually, the community rallies round and we turn out our cupboards for blankets, kitchen utensils, clothes etc. to help where we can. This year, my cupboards seem to be finally bare. Meanwhile, the 7 billionth baby has been born on the planet! Apparently, there have been 'celebrations' around the world. Huh? A professor interviewed on our radio today said that trying to limit families to two babies only would not be the answer as it is the developed nations who drain the planet's resources not the poor. It is us who use the electricity, the water, the fuel and who create the carbon emissions- not them. There's food for thought.