Scene 5: Lunch at the Crèche

Friday, December 5th


The Energy Team and Lungiswa decided to cook their own traditional food and have a lunch for our last meeting together at Gege’s Crèche. We decided to cook hot dogs and brownies because they are staple American foods that are also embedded in our culture from barbeques. The team started cooking early this morning. Although none of the team members had ever boiled hot dogs before, we were still be able to learn by working together. The hot dogs were put in the Wonderbag to stay warm as we travelled to Gege’s Crèche. After all the food was prepared and ready for travel, the team met up with Max to drive to Langa.

Cast of Characters

Max works for the City of Cape Town and is our co-researcher. He lives in Langa and showed us around the community, as well as drove us to Gege’s Crèche. He also acted as a translator.

Gege’s Crèche teachers were present at lunch. They interacted with us while we were there.

Students at Gege’s Crèche were present at lunch. They played with us outside and sang songs with the team.

Lungiswa Gege owns and runs Gege’s Crèche. She is selling the Wonderbags to the community and the guardians of the children.


Jing, Rachel, Tati, Max, and some of the students


Gege’s Crèche is a small crèche located not far from the main road in Langa. This is a medium sized crèche which normally has 43 students. Today there were only ten students because the end of the year is approaching and holidays are around the corner. The meal took place in the sole classroom of the crèche. Many chairs and tables were brought out for everyone to sit and enjoy the food we prepared. Outside of the crèche there is a play structure and two hopscotch boards painted on the driveway where the children play.



Jing preparing the hot dogs

The lunch began with Max and the Energy Team being welcomed into the side building where six of the students were napping. The Energy Team split up, with Jing, Rachel, and Max leaving with some of the students to get cold drinks from a local market shop. On the way there, Jing and Rachel spoke with students to learn more about their daily life and interests. Although the students’ English was limited and the team did not have any Xhosa skills, we were still able to understand each other through body language and simple words. In the meantime, Alex and Tati began passing around the hot dogs to the teachers and Lungiswa. When the group getting drinks returned, everyone had their lunch. Although there was only a short discussion about the Wonderbags, Lungiswa shared that two of her Wonderbags had been sold on the payment plan and she was waiting to receive the second payment. However, most of lunch was spent talking about games the students played and songs we learned in school.

After several songs, everyone went outside to play and have a break. There were two hopscotch boards painted on the driveway and the team, teachers and students played various games together. We all knew different ways to play hopscotch, so everyone shared their favorite and each was played for a few rounds. The Energy Team then explained some of the games from our childhood, including Duck, Duck, Goose and Red-light Green-light. After playing Red-light Green-light, everyone went inside and had dessert. All the children had woken up, so they had the remaining hot dogs and everyone enjoyed the brownies that Jing and Rachel made. After dessert, we cleaned up and spoke with Languista. Tati gave her a Cape Town Project Centre t-shirt and Alex gave her a catering Wonderbag. Lungiswa said she was at a loss for words and was very excited to get the catering Wonderbag. When the team was ready to leave, all the children came running outside to say goodbye to us; they gave us endless hugs and did their African handshake.


Rachel with two students waiting to play hopscotch


The Energy Team with Max and Lungiswa

Reflection and Learning
Overall the visit was very enjoyable and Lungiswa was very excited to receive the catering Wonderbag for her participation in the Pilot Program. This was reassuring as it showed that she valued the product. Although she was only able to sell two Wonderbags in two weeks’ time, it was still promising that this model could work in a township as the product was being sold. The team expected the sales rate to be slower in a lower income area as community members would have to plan to purchase a costly item. However, Lungiswa was still waiting to collect most of the money, as people paid using the payment plan. This could, in part, be due to the time of the year as community members try to save as much as possible for the holidays. This is different from what happened at Kiddies College Preschool, where the payment plan was strictly followed by crèche leaders and their customers. This information helped us to reevaluate our current payment plan. Based on different communities’ average income, we could develop different plans or give the crèche leader more control over the payments. Also, Lungiswa indicated that she wanted more color choices of Wonderbags. It was interesting to see that different colors could be such a strong selling point; an important alteration moving forward with other Pilot Programs is to bring a variety of colors to the crèches.

The visit to Gege’s Crèche was extremely informative for the project as we were able to gather good insight and feedback. It was also exciting for the team to share our culture with the students and teachers through food and games.

Scene 6: Exploring Other Products