Scene 3: Multitasking


Today is the first day we formally work with our co-researchers and we also have a lot to accomplish. To use our time efficiently, we split into two teams: the current facility improvements team and the Zwelitsha team. We want to shop with the caretakers for improvements and present the layout design options to the Zwelitsha co-researchers. Fortunately, it is an eventful day. We are able to accomplish our goals but we also meet Hendri and Harold from the Stellenbosch municipality and David, an active community member.

Cast of Characters:

Co-researchers Funeka, Noncedo, Siya, Washington Boise, Nobathembu, Victoria, WaSH Team, Kiddies Team, Hendri, Harold and David, manager of Batho’s Place


WaSH facility, Zwelitsha, Batho’s Place


We arrive at the WaSH facility on a perfectly sunny Thursday. The van pulls in front of the facility and our three new co-researchers Siya, Noncedo, and Funeka are sitting outside with Victoria waiting for us, smiling and waving. After practicing our Xhosa greetings, Victoria asks for a group picture. We pose besides our new co-researchers with big smiles, capturing the beginning of our relationship with Zwelitsha.

We all walk into the facility and split into two groups again. Morgan and Ivette lay out preliminary designs of the two possible locations on the table. The co-researchers and Victoria gather around as Morgan begins to explain what we have been working on. Victoria translates and points out that the man in shack C91 is willing to relocate. Siya is the first to ask questions about each of the locations. After thinking about it, he says that the cement block area is simply too small, and decides the shack C91 area would be the best option. Ivette asks if Funeka and Noncedo agree and they are pleased with the location and its inclusion of the child play area, as they are both mothers. Nobathembu and Washington eventually join the circle and soon they all have a discussion in Xhosa with their voices raised. Scott had told us that it is not a good community meeting if no one is shouting. We knew the heated discussion was a good sign.

After everyone agrees on the location, we go up to Zwelitsha and take measurements of the shack area. The co-researchers help us take the measurements. We notice that the co-researchers are beginning to warm up to us.

While Morgan and Ivette worked with the co-researchers on the Zwelitsha facility, Joe and Mackenzie took Victoria to a home building store in Stellenbosch to pick out small improvements to the current facility. The Kiddies group also joins them to buy supplies to decorate the inside of the children’s bathrooms.

On the ride over, Victoria mentions to Joe ad Mackenzie that her birthday was the day before. She said she had a great day, and spent most of it laying in bed and sleeping.

At the store, Joe, Mackenzie, and Victoria look at different options for towel bars, towels, and mirrors. Victoria picks out two long mirrors, and says they would be perfect for the men and women’s showers. Mackenzie suggests mirrors for the hand washing sinks, and Victoria says she did not think of that, but it is a cool idea. Victoria suggests getting one small mirror and putting in between the two sinks, but decides on getting two for aesthetic reasons. Mackenzie suggests a standard towel, fro hand drying but Victoria finds a softer towel that she said would be better for hand drying. We are happy with our purchases, and leave to return to Langrug.

Meanwhile, back in Langrug, Morgan and Ivette unexpectedly meet Stellenbosch government officials Hendri and Harold. To read more about this, please click here.

After the encounter with Hendri and Harold, Ivette and Morgan head to a well-known restaurant in langrug, Batho’s Place. They meet Joe, Mackenzie, and the Kiddies group for lunch with the manager, David. To read more about this meeting, please click here.

After we are done with lunch at Batho’s Place, we find Victoria at the WaSH facility, and give her a birthday card we made throughout the day, with personal notes from each of us in it. We sing “Happy Birthday” and as she reads the card, she smiles and laughs, thanking and hugging us.


This day was significant for the WaSH team because it shows the progress in our project. We realized we had a lot to accomplish in a few short weeks and having the community decide on a location was still on our agenda. We were pleased that there was a unanimous vote on the location. We were even more excited that many things had happened throughout our day in Langrug.