Posted June 29th, 2008 in South Africa by Frérieke
a Muslim introduction

I met my new friend Habiba at Landmark Education. She grew up in the Muslim Community of Cape Town. A new day, a new experience here in Cape Town. Understanding the history of this country is not easy! whites/blacks/coloreds…and each of those groups are divided into several groups. The Muslim community used to be sent to ‘colored areas’ during the Apartheid. Not all colored people are Muslim. And to make it even more interesting: not all Muslims are one….there are those with an Indian background and those with an Arabic background. Habiba speaks Arabic. Her first language is English. Most ‘colored people’ speak Afrikaans. For Habiba, this was the language of the oppressor…she still refuses to speak it!

Yesterday i was part of a Muslim fundraiser for a feeding scheme for 4000 orphans in the black townships. 300 Muslim women (no man allowed! otherwise the women would not be able to dance) gathered in a hall next to the mosque. Their head scarfs in all happy colors made me feel as if I stepped into a beautiful field of flowers. I was the only not-Muslim in the audience. It was a great experience. The community was very welcoming. I was really happily surprised by this community. Most of them are not living in a lot of wealth either, but they care for the people in their country. White South Africans can learn something from their Muslim neighbours!

Posted June 22nd, 2008 in South Africa by Frérieke
Shit = Fun
Landmark Advanced course. Jep powerful! You know what I really get? Dealing with the shit in my life is fun, really fun. Dealing with everything in the past that just sits there and wants to be hided away….oeh….opening up, and sharing this with others….it is just so exciting! A few years ago I would have been so afraid of judgements (what will people think about me when I tell them about the bitch I was being?) and now?… I actually really do not care what kind of story you create around my actions. I know I am here in this world to empower others, as many as I can (so if you do not take my word as it is, that’s up to you). And what I will be in that? open, honest, direct and a girl that’s having FUN and enjoying life!

Posted June 1st, 2008 in South Africa by Frérieke
The situation now…

It seems to be quiet. Saturday, we (Anasuya, our visitor from The Netherlands Reinier and me) drove to Khayelitsha and didn’t experience any abnormal situation.

Lots of churches have opened their doors, refugees camps have been created at different places in/around the city. We drove past a Church in Observatory and saw lots of refugees standing in the garden. There was confusion in their eyes. Or was it fear I could see? Refugees on a hunger strike, demanding a better place to sleep. Aid gets commented (by aid-workers): why does this South African society wake up and get into action at this Xenophobic crisis moment, but does not do anything for its own community on a daily base. Do they know how many of their own, South African people need participation, integration, action, sharing and care????!!!!!

We organized a compassion diner for our 3 Zimbabwean friends this week. They are fine! The fireplace in our new house in Woodstock works well. Thank god, because the evenings start being very cold.

For the Dutch-speaking readers: I have started an online public conversation with Petra Kroon, the Founder of ‘Goedgeefs’, a Dutch organization that forms an intermedium between Dutch Corporations, who want to work on their CSI (Corporate Social Investment – or Dutch: MVO – Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen) and projects in South Africa. Petra has a big passion for South Africa, lives in Amsterdam, is a very creative and intelligent woman with lots of great ideas and actions! We had a inspiring meeting, a few weeks ago in The Netherlands, after our online correspondence the past months. You can find our online conversation, along with more information about Petra and her organization at the Goedgeefs website;