Act 3 Scene 2

One Team, One Family


Our day began with a stop at a construction store, Cash Build, not the usual Build-It we usually go to, but a store with a much larger selection of products. The majority of the sunny and warm day was spent in the WaSH facility and the surrounding outdoor space with one quick trip up to the Zwelitsha Facility.


Our team was able to buy many games, books, and aftercare equipment at Osmond’s, but WaSH-Biz had no such luck at the construction store the previous night. Therefore, the group planned to stop at a construction store on the way to Langrug. Both groups needed the items to fulfill the long agendas planned for the day. With only two more working days before Thanksgiving break, we wanted to get as much work done today and hope the Aftercare Programme and library will be operational by next week.

We finally organized with WaSH-Biz how many Cape Town Project Centre shirts we would need for our working groups and what size each community member would need so we were able to finally bring those to our co-researchers.

Cast of Characters


The day begins with Sizwe leading us to the construction store where the WaSH teams purchase paintbrushes, more paint, and dye. WaSH-Biz needs a lot of paint for the exterior of the facility and storage bungalow, the Wendy House, and we need small paintbrushes and different colors of paint for the interior decorations. When we arrive in Langrug, we bring out the bags of posters, crayons, puzzles, balls, books, hula-hoops, jump ropes, hand towels, soap, paper, and binders. The women are incredibly excited and begin rummaging through looking through the purchases. Danielle holds up the posters and when the women see the South African national anthem poster, they all sing together. Their rendition is incredibly beautiful and they sound so proud while singing their national anthem. The women read through all of the other posters in Xhosa, English, and Afrikaans. Then we quickly go over our long to-do list and separate to fulfill as many of our goals as possible.

Finishing the New Look

Mama Tandi Painting

Mama Tandi Painting

We begin with finishing painting the book shelves so the paint has time to dry before building them later in the day. Danielle and Victoria finish painting the boards for the shelf unit. Meanwhile, Heather, Mollie, Amanda 2, Mama Poto, and Mama Thandi sketch and then paint the children’s bathroom doors with red and yellow patterns and then begin sketching the numbers 1 through 10 on the sinks before painting them red and yellow. Nathan works with Siyanda on the computer writing the WaSH Facility Aftercare Programme Operations Manual and other notes to add to the manuals about the new caretaker responsibilities. WaSH-Biz, Zodwa, Amanda, Alfred, and others finish painting the side of the WaSH Facility then move on to  the storage bungalow, painting it the same blue with red trim. Even Jan joins in on the painting fun!

After painting the shelves is finished, Danielle walks to Zwelitsha to ask for a drill to help build the shelves and install new, better locks on the showers and the caretaker office. Kholeka is there and gives WaSH a drill to borrow. Danielle tells Kholeka that there are shirts for her and Nobathembu, but Kholeka says Nobathembu had already left work for the day.

With the drill, Danielle, Kostas, and Jan are able to install the new door handle and lock in the caretaker’s office. The new door handles and locks will allow Mama Poto and Mama Thandi to lock the caretaker office and the showers when they are not in use so people are unable to use them without paying the caretakers first. Before installing, Danielle and Kostas speak with Alfred and Trevor to drill out a hole in both doors of the showers to be able to install the handles. Conveniently, the door to the caretakers office previously had a similar lock that is being replaced and as such had the right size holes. Alfred and Trevor promise to do this on Monday so Mama Thandi and Mama Poto can have the keys to unlock the showers.

With the drill and the shelves dry from Danielle and Victoria’s painting earlier, Nathan and Kostas, with some help from Jan, work on installing the shelves next to the sinks. Though they hit some bumps working in the facility, which has uneven brick floors, they are able to get it finished. Once installed, Mollie and Siyanda set up the binders for Library Sign-out, Game Sign-out, and Aftercare Registration, and place the binders on the shelves. Siyanda is very excited to be the first to officially sign-out a book; she borrowed the First-Aid Manual. Later, Danielle and Siyanda brainstorm ideas for flyers advertising the Aftercare Programme.

Painting the Numbers

Painting the Numbers

Additionally, Mollie and Heather help paint the white shelves in the kiosk. Khungeka and Amanda 1 take on the big task of cleaning out the trash from the grey water channel that flows under the facility. We had seen maggots in this area after a big storm in Langrug and are anxious to make sure that the facility remains clean and hygienic. The water in the channel is loaded with bugs and trash and dark gray watery sludge. The smell is extremely unpleasant, but the smell of paint mixes in and makes it easier to handle. Nathan joins in the hard work, and together the three of them are able to clear out the trash and sludge and wash it away with clean water.

Individually Unique, Together Complete

With the WaSH facility exterior painted recently by WaSH-Biz, we have plans to decorate the outside with handprints.  With the congregation of many children outside, Mollie decides to ask the children to paint their hands and make handprints on the front wall outside. Mama Thandi and Stephanie quickly jump in to help. Many children happily oblige so the WaSH teams and Mama Thandi paint the children’s hands yellow and red so they can make their handprints. Though only six children are there to begin with, many kids walking home from school see the excitement and soon there is a big crowd. Many of the women come out of the facility with the students to have their hands painted and add their handprints to the exterior of the facility. Everyone has a ton of fun painting each other’s hands. The children seem thrilled to be a part of the activity! Washing the paint off of everyone’s hands is more of a hassle than anticipated. Many children use rocks while washing their hands to rub off the paint. Paint thinner also helps to get the paint off. Our teams decide that water-based paint, as opposed to the oil paint we have been using, would be much better in the future.

Proud to be in WaSH

Lastly, we take out the WPI shirts and give them to all of the co-researchers. As soon as the women see the shirts, they get very excited and seem proud to be able to wear their shirts as part of the WPI team. Everyone poses for many pictures and many kids jump in too. Our team spends a lot of time taking breaks from cleaning up to play and dance with the kids. The kids love being swung around and thrown in the air over and over again. It is really hard to say goodbye, especially with the kids chasing behind the van as it is leaving Langrug, but we know we will see them Monday.

WaSH 2014

WaSH 2014


The amount of progress made today was incredible. The changes and development are more tangible now and you can feel the subsequent excitement. Having so much interaction with the children today made us realize how important a safe, fun place is for them, and gave us a great opportunity to see the facility in action. They were having so much fun that we can really see the potential success of the Aftercare Programme. The co-researchers worked incredibly hard with the WaSH teams and even Jan and Alfred helped out a ton. We hope that with the progress made today, we’ll be able to open the Aftercare Programme and library soon, after the trial run this week. Everyone is really uniting to make tremendous strides and we are still having fun with one another!

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