Soup kitchens and neo colonial kitsch near Joburg Zoo

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On the 26 April, instead of going for my morning run at the athletics track.  I went as a stand in to St. Columba’s church for their early morning soup kitchen.  St Columba’s is in a very nice area in Johannesburg, the kind of place where local residents high security guards to patrol the streets, so it is as surprise to see so many homeless men waiting in the park opposite the church. We make a thick vegetable soup.  At 8:00am, the doors of the church are open and soup is served with bread.  Everyday between 30 and 70 men turn up for soup.  Something like 25000 cups a year.  They form a circle and come back in turn, until all the soup and bread is consumed.  The thing that struck me most is that none of them could look you in the eye, they appeared that depressed.  They then go off for a days begging at local robots (traffic lights).

 

I have an extended rest day (Freedom weekend is a double bank holiday here!) and enjoyed a visit to Johannesburg Zoo which dates back to 1904 and is about a mile away from the home I am staying in.   This little Meerkat had escaped and was now wondering what to do with his freedom.  You can get up close with the Lions if you choose as well.  Best when they are asleep.

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The zoo has a lake with an amazing fountain and ….

…..is adjacent the home of relative of a government minister with an unusual front garden. Kind of commentary on neo-colonialism maybe?0_0_0_0_399_299_csupload_45485228

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