Mamre itself is a place with a lot of poor people. Most of its citizens live here since their birth. After a while they all buy houses, or get a fairly small one by the government. After receiving a house the people spend all the savings they have to expand their house. My host families house was quite big, nearly 150m2 which they all build by themselves.
On the streets you find a lot of Toyotas, wild cats, dogs and horses. The people are too lazy to lock their horses in sheds. Every now and then they try to catch them and bring them home, but a few days later you see them running down the streets again. The main sport is rugby and people are getting really intense about it. It is like soccer in Germany, but with a weird ball and more brutality. At least the players are looking good.
Together with Petra, my professor, we have arrived at Cape Town airport around 11am. Compared with Dubai the airport is small. To get situated in Cape Town Sofie and Hugh picked us up. They are really nice and helpful people and friends since they were young (something between 40 and 50 years of friendship and it is definitely time for an anniversary.) Sofie is a retired teacher who is still teaching, because it is her passion and she is working hard for the Mamre community. Years ago she initiated a flower festival, which is also being celebrated in big cities. Hugh was a retired mechanic In fact he was fixing everything from cars to houses and a good all-rounder.
We were brought to a family called Carlse. We came in 1.5 hours late, but supper for still waiting for us.
The Carlse-family, which we had the pleasure living with consists of: Stewart Carlse, a strong man and hard worker, who survived when even the doctors gave up; Loretta Carlse, the heart of the family, always calm and one of the best cooks in town; the first son Stefan Carlse, who does not talk too much, but eventually makes good remarks. Whenever he shares his thoughts; the younger son Karl always smiles very bright. He introduced me to Mamre’s nightlife. Stewarts sister, who came every evening to laugh a bit about funny stories. Last but not least there is Tailor the stepdaughter of Stefan, who is very shy, but loves music and sings, when nobody is watching (or when she thinks that she is alone).
This great family invited Petra and me for the whole week into their home and discuss Apartheid, from todays perspective of colored people living in South Africa. This discussion is going to be a topic in one of my later posts…just so much: it does not seem fair and is a bit crazy, too.