Scene 4: Pulling Strings



The City of Cape Town expected to receive numbers in order to record the census for Flamingo Crescent. This was the task that the team had to figure out today while also keeping in mind the daunting crèche design that has been hanging over everyone’s heads. There was also a meeting planned for tomorrow in order to review the final crèche designs and push forward with the project.

Cast of Characters

The WPI Flamingo Team– Jacquelyne, Malina, Andres, Justin, Kristin

Community Members – Mark, Elizabeth, Lenrika, Aunt Mary

Advisors – Scott and Steve

Sponsor – Eric Atmore

ISN – Terrence

Crèche Consultant – Olwethu Jack



Flamingo Crescent Informal Settlement

Saint John’s Waterfront Lodge

Shift Coffee Shop



It was a dreary Thursday morning when we piled into the van and headed to Flamingo Crescent. We stepped out of the van to see almost all of the electrical poles had been put into the ground and a group of men from the city were working on connecting the wires to provide the entire community with electricity.



The rain was drizzling on the children’s faces as we hustled into Lenrika’s house, leaving them to play with the dogs outside. We were greeted by Lenrika, Elizabeth, and Terrence who informed us that the City of Cape Town needed the numbers for the census that day. This immediately became our priority so we began sorting out the house numbers and coordinating names into an Excel spreadsheet to better share our information. Elizabeth took the lead on collecting data on the number of children and also their ages to help us plan for the crèche as well.

As we walked around with Elizabeth taking inventory of the community, a man stopped us to show off his new brick walkway that leads into his home. He then invited us in to look at his shack. He had used the wood flooring to put on his walls and had a map of the world taped to the wall. He told us he likes to keep his home clean and orderly because he has to live there. We asked him about his role in the reblocking process and if he’d like to assist us with the crèche and playground construction. He told us “he’s our man” and that he would help whenever we needed.


After finishing the census, we left Flamingo and came back to the lodge for a few minutes until meeting at Shift, a local coffee shop, to utilize the better internet connection and enjoy the delicious coffee of course. Half of the team looked at the crèche designs and the bill of quantities while the rest worked on fundraising techniques and a brochure to show potential donors. Scott and Steve then showed up to go over the crèche designs with us. There were a few flaws and misconceptions that lead to a group consensus that we needed to meet with Olwethu to further discuss the plan.

The team then dispersed for dinner and reconvened later in the evening to talk with Scott, Steve, and Olwethu about the plan for the crèche. The discussion had its ups and downs and concluded around 9pm with everyone feeling a little confused and discombobulated.



It was important for us to see the man fixing his walkway today. Not because it was necessarily an amazing feat but because it reminded us that the people of this community still take great pride in things. As outsiders it’s easy to fall into the mindset that in the dingy conditions of an informal settlement the residents just accept the dirtiness. For for the man that we witnessed today that is not the case. He still takes pride in making his property stand out and mentioned to us how saddened he is when people don’t take care of their own property. As we continue our journey here in South Africa, and in Flamingo more specifically, we continue to meet people who keep an upbeat attitude despite their difficult circumstances in life. He was so proud of the work he had done with the little that he has, and that’s more than most of us can say.