Scene 2: Home Alone



After coming to a consensus that the second story of the proposed structure would be postponed and that the crèche is the immediate priority, we were nervous to come back to Flamingo Crescent and see the community’s response. After all, this second story community center had been something the community expected to happen by the end of this year.


Cast of Characters

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

Community Member – Yolanda



The Flamingo Crescent Informal Settlement



We arrived in Flamingo early in the morning with nothing to do and it seemed like the last couple of days were out of our control. Adi from CORC had decided to take on the design of the crèche and last week the structure had gone from a double-story building to a single story. We wanted to deliver the news to Flamingo, however many of the community leaders, including Terrence and Melanie, were unable to meet with us because they were all either working or at meetings. Over the past two weeks the frequency of the community leaders and Terrence’s availability had decreased significantly as everyone started to get busier. Before Melanie left for her meeting, she managed to get Yolanda to work with us for the day. We ran the playground design by her and updated her on the crèche, but it seemed like for much of the time we were just walking around.

As we were walking around the community, we were surprised when two of the community members we see occasionally pulled us aside and showed us some of the paperwork the city had given them to fill out. They told us they were under the impression that they were just signing for the electricity, however, under closer inspection they were disgusted that the paperwork gave ownership of their home to the city. They asked us, “How many human rights does this violate!?” We were concerned that they did not want us in their community anymore. When they saw how concerned we looked they followed up with, “Keep doing what you are doing,” and “You are doing great work!” It seems like there is some miscommunication between the city and the community. The community is angry at the situation and not us, which is good. After paying for their own upgrades, the community would like some ownership over their own property.

As we continued to walk with Yolanda, a Korean crew drove into the settlement. They set up some loud speakers and began to have a church service in the middle of the future playground area. Additionally, there was another Korean church that delivered boxes of food to the residents of Flamingo. As we were talking to the man who delivered the food, he told us he came to give food on semi-regularly basis. We were confused because we had never seen him in Flamingo before. It was an interesting day, however, we were not able to get much accomplished because Terrence and many of the other community leaders were not available to work with us.

Community Members Receiving Food


It was difficult to spend so much time in Flamingo with a plan for progress while many of the people we were supposed to work with were busy. It is completely fair for them to have jobs and meetings outside our project. Being understanding of their prior commitments while being frustrated with the seeming lack of commitment was a hard concept for us to accept. Although community participation seems to have dwindled over the past few days, we are optimistic that this is simply due to the confusion and discrepancies regarding crèche plans. We hope that once things begin to become finalized and materials are delivered the community will be inspired to participate once again.