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Beach Cleans & Social Justice

Hello friends!

Another week has gone by, and I’m hoping that you managed to spend time with friends and family, rest and still get some water time! South Africa has recently moved to lockdown level 1 which means international travel will be allowed soon, in consideration of all the good of foreign lands, I hope you start locally to help your tourism sector find its feet again, it’s been a hard going for most businesses.

It’s possible that I’ve started this blog on a hard, this is not the intention but encouraging us to be mindful of what we need, and also what we can do for another.

So this weekend I joined the Beach Co-op for International Coastal Clean-up Day in Strand, the team had gathered to clean a pool that isn’t visited often and I had observations, but before we go into that, let me tell you about the day,

I had finally come to meet these amazing humans who I have met online through IG lives, and let me tell you, they are all the love and a hundred times more in real life!

Watching Aaniyah and Megan from the Beach Co-op invite the kids in, share about the dirty dozen and start the beach clean reminded me of the importance of handing the torch over to little people, the more we can get them to see and care about these vast oceans, the longer these magical oceans will be protected,

Later Naszoea and Nelson from Argonaut science took over, teaching the kids about #citizenscience, showing them the life found between the rocks, the smaller animals we don’t often talk about when we burst into excitement about marine life. They spoke about the identifying of these animals and apps the kids could use to actively contribute towards science, I learnt just as much as the little people, a reminder that the things that can be basic knowledge to one, can be life changing for another.

As I walked the beach with my waste collection bag from the beach co-op, I thought about many things, earlier I had gotten a chance to speak to a local fisherman who allowed me into his space. I asked many questions, including the question about the fish he catches, how long it takes, how long he’s been fishing and and and, at my disbelief that some days he can fish for 3-5 hours and catch nothing, he responded saying that it was okay, as this was his time.. there is work and home and this had become a space where he can get away from it all, in addition to the harder spaces like alcohol and violence, this was a place he could find peace.

He went on to share about how the fish had become less and less through the years and I was still stuck on his words, about his escape.

Later as the Argonaut science team demonstrated to the kids in attendance about marine life, there were more little humans who came to observe, the question further going into the idea of access and our efforts to reach everyone..

Lastly, hearing a hard story of how this beach carried its own pain from the group areas act, where people were forcibly removed from their ocean facing homes, to lesser desirable places. As the emotion overwhelmed her many times, was the arrival of how we often don’t realize the importance of the healing work we need to do, as any country where one has been oppressed by another… there is a pain that lives within us, and it’s in the facing of this pain that we are able to heal… healing taking however long it takes, and this being okay too.

South Africa holds a hard history, not only in racial matters, but in land and access to the ocean, the human told a story of a woman who was arrested while walking on the beach, where non-whites were not allowed. She was non-white, but was very fair and had bone straight hair as was part of the system to ascertain race, ‘the pencil test’, though she had passed it… she was arrested and due to the education she had had, fought the system and ended up winning, she won the case on a technicality - by saying that the rule said non-whites are not allowed to bathe in the ocean, and she was walking not bathing, she won and the government of the time took down the old definer to correct it to include that non-whites were not allowed to walk or bathe in that beach.

The day was incredibly emotional for me, all this to say, we have a responsibility to acknowledge the pain of the marginalized. To realize that no one person can determine how the healing process happens nor dictate an allotted time period of this healing, for another. That it is in the acknowledgement of wrong doing and story telling that we heal, and the importance that we make room for both.

Happy Monday good people <3

We have an exciting live scheduled for this week, I’m not on the move on the day so see you at 18h00 sharp!

Ps, you can check the apps referred to in my post, here.


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