Act 2 Scene 4

Jumping into Work


An unexpectedly sunny and windy day in Langrug at the Mandela Park facility. Almost the entire working group of community members was present, except for Mama Thandi who showed up late because of some errands she had to run. Our team works in the storage bungalow at first, but moves to the WaSH facility when the Biz group decides to start taking inventory of everything in the bungalow.


After a successful Tuesday of establishing which co-researchers will definitely be on the working team, we started the day with much enthusiasm and motivation. Our plan was to have a discussion about book and game check out as part of the Management and Operations Manual, pick out paints at Build It, and stay for the start of the Health Promoters workshop at 2pm.

Cast of Characters


We arrive in Langrug and begin by going through the sign-in process for each day and the weekly reporting process, as most of the team was not present for the first discussion. After everyone understands the sign-in and report process for the stipend, we break up into groups to get started on our agendas.

Designing Material Sign In and Sign Out

Amanda 2 and Siyanda are the only community members present at the beginning of the day because Mama Thandi and Noloyiso are at the clinic. We discuss various topics throughout the day including book and game sign out, how sign out will be enforced, and general aftercare responsibilities. We begin by discussing game and equipment sign out. As a group, we design a sign out sheet that will be filled out by each student that wants to use the facility equipment. We also come up with easy guidelines to make sure all students return equipment on time.

Next we move onto book sign out and sign in. After creating a sign in sheet, the ladies discuss the logistics of checking the books out. We decide that students may take the books home to practice reading outside of the facility, but all books must be returned on Friday. We also agree that parents will have to be responsible for books should students lose or damage them. Lastly, we discuss general responsibilities of the aftercare. As a group, we decide that the four working community members on our team will be in charge of the aftercare programme. In other words, they will know all about emergency protocols, registration, and general childcare.

Our group starts talking about the role Health Promoters will play in the health facility. The ladies mention that they want to teach the children in the aftercare all of the health lessons they are learning in the Health Promoters seminars. After briefly talking about some ideas, we agree to each do some homework and come up with lesson plans to teach children about different diseases through activities and games.

A Different Side of HIV/AIDS

Mama Thandi and Noloyiso arrive back and show us all of their medicine from the clinic. Siyanda teaches us about the two different regiments that are offered for HIV patients after Mama Thandi shows us her new medicine after switching regiments. Siyanda tells us that she has been on the same line ever since she tested positive but that many people have to switch eventually. The women tell us a lot about clinic visits and the regiment of medicine that accompany living with HIV/AIDS.

HIV Lesson

HIV Lesson

Divide and Conquer

The WaSH-Biz team, Danielle, Nathan, Sizwe, Mama Poto, Siyanda, Nobathembu, and Amanda 1 then go to Build It to purchase paint and supplies. Heather and Mollie stay at the WaSH facility with Mama Thandi, Amanda 2, and some other ladies from the Biz team to begin typing the aftercare operations manual. WaSH-Biz and our team decide to get the same color blue in case one is short and needs some from the other group. Additionally, we decide using the same color for the outside and inside will create an appealing facility.    The group also must buy a tape measure, paintbrushes, paint rollers, etc. After finishing our work at Build It, some of us decide to go next door to Pick N Pay to buy some lunch.

Mixing Paint

Mixing Paint

On the trip to Build It, Nathan is able to realize that the WPI Students and co-researchers are working together and not for one another when Amanda 1 talked with him about being colleagues.

Meanwhile, Mollie and Heather start working with the ladies on typing up the Management and Operations Manual for the Aftercare Programme. We have already written out a lot of information on the big paper, so all we have to do is work on typing. Mama Thandi, Amanda 2, Noloyiso, and Nomahala begin by writing their names and then short phrases on the computer. They are so excited to see their work and celebrate each time they successfully type a line. Mama Thandi claps and laughs as her words appear across the screen.

Typing Lessons

Typing Lessons

After each woman takes her turn practicing, Amanda 2 steps up to begin writing the manual. Heather works with her on formatting and writing out each sentence. She is extremely determined to figure everything out on her own and starts to get the hang of typing by the end of the day. Her smile is contagious as she figures out how to write in commas, apostrophes, and bulleted lists. She ends up writing out almost the entire Manual, so we agree to take a break and enjoy the outdoors. Meanwhile, Mollie entertains a young boy, Noloyiso’s son, who is with us for the day, by showing him how to take pictures with her digital camera. He is eager to document the world around him and picks up quickly on how to work the camera, though occasionally struggles at pressing the buttons with his small hands. Later both Noloyiso’s son and Mollie move outside to sit with the women.

Getting a New Do!

The rest of the women who stayed behind are sitting outside and talking in Xhosa. Mollie and Heather ask Amanda 2 what they are talking about and she says they are discussing a traditional wedding that happened in Langrug last week. Mollie and Heather listen in, but are unsure of exactly what is being said. After about ten minutes, Nomahala and Amanda 2 walk behind Heather and Mollie and start playing with their hair. Nomahala braids Heather’s hair and puts it up into a bun. Amanda 2 starts working on Mollie’s thick hair, but eventually Nomahala takes over and twists it up into a bun. It is a fun bonding time and Heather and Mollie love their hair afterwards! Mollie and Heahter than play a quick handclapping game with Nomahala and Amanda 2. We are a little slow to catch on to the words that go with the claps, but everyone has a good time laughing and singing and clapping together.

Middle School Throwback

Once the others arrive back, the community members start playing jump rope with us. Nomahala, Sizwe, and Nobethembu steal the show with how fast they can jump rope. The women teach us a bunch of different games they play in the community. Many of them involve jumping over rope held by two women, and many are also similar to regular jump rope. The ladies also show us a couple hand games which are fun but difficult to learn right away. We play other various rope games until we share bread, cheese, and chips (fries) together while beginning to set up for Health Promoters in the storage facility.



Health Promoters Workshop

George and another woman from Health Promoters arrive at quarter past 2 in the afternoon. George is happy we are in the storage facility because it is darker in there, and he needs less light for his projector to work. Everyone waits in the van as Danielle and Heather help set up the facility by placing blank papers on the wall that George can project onto. Ten of the women can now be seated in the storage bungalow, thanks to the work WaSH-Biz did on cleaning it out. We leave as George begins his workshop.

The van stops at the CORC office to drop off WaSH-Biz and to pick up Team Flamingo from their meeting. Because Team Flamingo’s meeting ran late, it takes an hour for WaSH-Biz to begin their meeting. Some of our team and the Flamingo team find a small restaurant nearby to use the bathroom and grab a bite after the long car ride and wait in the van. WaSH-Biz finishes the meeting and everyone is then able to go home.


At first, our team was concerned that only two co-researchers were present for work on Thursday. However, we still got a lot accomplished due to the commitment of Siyanda and Amanda 2. Moreover, it is very understandable that people need to go to the clinic and refill their ARV prescriptions. Eventually, more co-researchers arrived and we were happy to have their help and input in the meeting. Besides discussing a lot of management logistics of the aftercare programme, we were able to bond even more. Having time outside to jump and laugh with one another really pulled everyone closer, and provided an entertaining environment to see how community members have fun!

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