When I was asked if id like to go to a place called Atlantis to help facilitate a youth seminar. I jumped at the opportunity. I pictured an ocean paradise with waterfalls and sailboats and good looking people in swimwear. So when they told me that id have to take a 30 minute train to catch a bus for a 2 hour I didn’t mind. As I was on the bus I began to realize that I was heading further and further away from the coast and further and further inland. It was only about a hour and a half into the bus ride I realized I was not going to the beach. So I put my swim trunks and my life jacket and arm floaties back into my bag and awaited for what the true Atlantis had in stored for me.
I got off the bus and caught a taxi with my coworker to the venue, I walked inside and there was thirty bright eyes and cheerful 13 and 14 year olds from all over the greater capetown area. I sat down in the circle and then the fun began….
After some fun ice breakers we dove right into it breaking up into small groups to discuss the theme of the workshop, what is culture and what good can come from being able to develop a personal cultural identity living in diverse and multicultural communities. They live in places where you might find two or three different languages spoken regularly.
These teens together came upon some wonderful realizations of how they must know themselves, and know where they come from and their family and cultural histories in order to be able to cherish the differences between the many cultural groups that share the same spaces as they do.
We sang together we danced together we shared lunch. The workshop lasted all morning into later in the afternoon. And when it was time to go, the teens that lived in Atlantis all left. But there still was a large group of kids who were going to a place called Langa, which was about 45 mins away. Because the facilitators are responsible adult we had to make sure that these teens got home all right. So we organized to have a taxicab bus take these kids home. Well that taxi driver must have been really unorganized because we had to wait around for him for an hour. We all pile into this cab that really shouldn’t have let us all in and with the dance music blearing we take these kids home. From there my two coworkers and I needed to take another taxi to the train station, we do, and then get on the train when I realize that I didn’t get a return ticket home so I jump off the train to get one to find that there was no ticket window at that stop and then the train takes off without me. So there I am all alone forced to navigate my way back home. Some how some way by the grace of God I managed to find my way home after another hour walk and a final cab ride.
Definitely not the original idea I had when I was asked if I wanted to go to Atlantis J but all’s well that ends well and it really was an amazing workshop, where a lot of good work was done. Anywho here are some photos! Enjoy!