I recently created an online fundraising appeal to buy solar lamps for students living in Diepsloot who attend the Diepsloot Combined School. Most people in Diepsloot live in shacks made of corrugated metal. Many of these shacks don't have electricity and some have no windows. Some shacks do have electricity but often it's not proper meaning it could be a light bulb hanging from the ceiling and that is it. People in Diepsloot who are fortunate enough to have electricity or fortunate enough to live in actual homes instead of shacks, often don't have electricity because it is unreliable and there are constant outages. Solar lamps will make it possible for students to read and study at night regardless of their electricity situation. Currently many are studying by candlelight. That may have been OK for Abe Lincoln but it's not OK in 2016.
|Shacks in Diepsloot|
|I like this lamp because it is solar but also has a hand crank so it can always be charged somehow.|
Belinda is American but she has been living in Joburg for years and she knows her way around the China Mart. She is a get stuff done kind of person and she is also volunteer extraordinaire as she supports and helps out many causes. Belinda is also a good price negotiator (I'm not) and thanks to her we got a great price on the lamps. Buying all of the lamps that we need is going to be a multi-step process but the trip to China Mart was a good start and I'll be delivering the first batch of lamps to the Diepsloot Combined School librarian on Monday.
When we arrived, the electricity was out. How ironic! This made the shopping a little challenging because each stall/store was in total darkness. The hallway we walked down was bright due to windows in the ceiling but it was hard to see the inventory inside the stores. Some stores had specific items like clothing or jewelry, others were multipurpose and so went into those asking if they had the lamps. Quite a few did not but then we found one that did. It was dark inside the store but the gentleman working there directed us by shining his laser pointer in the general direction of the lamps. We were able to get 29 lamps for R90 each which was a great deal (thanks to Belinda!) The man is also going to check to see if he has more and he is going to call me today with an update.
We then found a few more lamps at another store for R100 so we grabbed those also.
After making certain that we had fully investigated the lamp situation, we looked around at some of the other stores.
There was a jewelry store which for some reason had full electricity so we spent some time in there.
|Do you like this bracelet? I didn't buy it.|
|Holy oil. The photo is blurry but I couldn't not include it.|
|Lots of interesting products for sale!|
|You've tasted Kool-Aid but have you tried Kool U Up?|
|Yum! I almost bought a jar.|
|You can almost see the gun. It is the black shadow to the left of and mostly hidden by the pole.|