Kliptown

Soweto is a township, a urban residential area where only blacks were permitted to reside until the end of apartheid.  The area remains almost exclusively black, are often underdeveloped and sometimes lack basic infrastructure.
I visited Kliptown, which is home to around 50,000 people.  It is one of South Africa’s poorest communities.  They have no official power supply or sewage disposal.  There are around 50 water pumps for all of the residents’ water needs (laundry, drinking, cooking, washing, etc.)!
Living in one of the richest countries in the world, I have found myself the only woman at my tram stop not carrying a Louis Vitton handbag.  While I know that’s not most people’s reality, Kliptown definitely helps put things in perspective.  Geneva, Switzerland is a world away from Kliptown.  The living conditions were startling and heartbreaking.
One lady was nice enough to let me tour her home. She was older and never saw herself moving.  Her tiny home was extremely clean and just like us, she hung certificates and awards up.  Although there’s no official electricity there, where there is a will, there is a way.
Nevertheless, any electricity is sporadic and unreliable.
The Orlando Pirates are one of the most popular area soccer teams in the area.
I also toured the Kliptown Youth Program.  It is one of the pillars of this community.  If you are looking to donate time or money to a charity, theirs is an excellent one.
They have a trailer with 6 computers for communication, information and to learn computer skills.  They also provide tutoring, have a library, educational programs, garden, sports and recreational areas.
I can’t explain their watching John Travolta’s acting (or lack thereof).
They also provide meals to children who would otherwise go hungry.  After seeing six women cheerfully getting ready to cook for hundreds in a tiny trailer, please don’t complain to me about the size of your kitchen.
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Mad Channels

We have Swiss Cable through Swisscom.  It was part of our wireless package and wasn’t much more expensive than basic wireless. I wanted to be able to watch the French channels to practice my French, so we got it.  I am astounded by the number and variety of channels we have. We get over 160 TV Channels, over 130 national and international radio stations and thousands of internet radio stations.

When he leaves for work in the morning, I turn on French TV and watch the news in French. To practice, I try to have French TV on whenever he’s not here. I hope it helps because one afternoon, I watched a bad French soap opera.

If you have favorite French (or British) shows, please let me know. While I am asking, if you know of great international radio or internet radio stations please let me know those as well.

Here are some of our favorite viewings thus far:

  • Coming to America
  • A British show where they check in on people restoring an old property and do detective work to learn about the house’s history
  • Autrefois (a show that shows Geneva through the history with interviews, photos and old film clips)
  • The French history channel’s 2 hour show about historical figures
  • Carson from the Queer Eye‘s new show dubbed in French, please don’t judge. It’s definitely cheerier than the constant news of the dollar dropping.
  • The French like to combine their love of food with their love of love. This yields some bizarre dating shows.
  • Horrible Histories. Yes, I know it’s a kids show, but it’s just so funny.