Scene 1: Arriving in Maitland Garden Village

28 October 2013

Backstory: For the past seven weeks, we have been preparing for our arrival in Maitland Garden Village in anticipation of beginning the redevelopment of Perseverance Park. We have thoroughly researched many aspects of park redevelopment, including Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), Early Childhood Development, and the importance of a natural play environment. The goal of our work in Maitland Garden Village is to assist the City of Cape Town Parks Department and the MGV community in redeveloping Perseverance Park by proposing a plan that incorporates the design, implementation, and sustainability of the park. We hope to do so while developing intimate relationships with many members of the community, sharing the knowledge we have gained through extensive research, and learning a great deal about the culture and lifestyle in Maitland Garden Village.

scene 1


Cast of Characters:

MGV Park Team: Lucine Bahtiarian, Tyler Collins, Katherine Connors and Zack Goddard

Community Members: Ronell Trout, Gavin Jacobs, Unknown

Minor Roles: Cab Driver


Setting: The cab ride to and entering Ronell Trout’s house in Maitland Garden Village.



On Monday, our team was the first to leave the lodge and head out to our project site. We piled into the taxi and made our way to Maitland Garden Village. We caught a glimpse of the park for the first time from the cab. Through the cab window, the park appeared to be more worn down than we had expected.  However, we were eager to get a closer look as soon as possible. The taxi driver pulled into MGV and looked to us for further direction to Mawson Rd. We looked at each other and realized that we were not familiar with the layout of the community after seven weeks of preparation. The first contact we had with a member of the MGV community was when the cab driver rolled down the window and asked for directions to Mawson Rd. The man was friendly and willing to point us in the right direction. Eventually, we made it to Ronell’s house. She came out to greet us and was excited for us to be there. We introduced ourselves and she welcomed us into her home.

We entered her home and she took out a stack of plastic lawn chairs for us to sit on. We could tell that she entertained frequently from the amount of chairs she had in such a small room. We sat down facing a wall full of pictures from the Green Light Project and last year’s WPI MGV team. We all had the same thought of having our picture hang on her wall at the end of our project. We shared information about our majors with Ronell and she shared a little about herself. She works in administration at a funeral parlor. After a few minutes Gavin Jacobs, another member of the Green Light Project, came to walk us to Joseph Strydom’s office for a meeting.



We did not know what to expect upon arrival in MGV. All of our knowledge on the community was solely based on images from Google Earth and email interactions with Ronell before arriving in Cape Town. After this first encounter with Ronell, we immediately felt welcomed into the community. She was thoroughly interested in learning about where we come from and what we are studying. Seeing the pictures of past WPI students on her wall was comforting to all of us. Seeing something so familiar in a new and unfamiliar situation put us at ease. Her interest in our lives and insight into hers has left us eager to meeting more members of the community and begin working with them through the redevelopment of Perseverance Park.