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                Stellenbosch in South  Africa by Stephanie from Sweden.

In December 2009 I visited a shanty town just outside Stellenbosch in South Africa.

It was an incredibly powerful and emotional experience. To see these shedslined up one by one and at the same time feel a mixed smell of smoke, urine and food made me shudder. Until we meet people in this shanty town.

We are confronted with such a joy, warmth and a great curiosity. Everyone smiles and looks curiously. Many also want to be photographed, preferably together with any of us. It's a strange feeling that presents itself, a mixture of joy and sorrow.

A joy at seeing and hearing these grateful and happy people and sad that anyone should have to live like this. Children run barefoot on a hot asphalt, which is full of broken glass. People who must sleep on the wet mattresses to the roof leaking, if they even have a mattress to sleep on.

South Africa is a beautiful country with an incredibly strong story. Racial differences remains high, even if the distance between the poor townships and luxury villas are small. Despite this, there is no contempt or anger towards the white of the people we meet. On the contrary, there is an exuberance, a willingness and a dream of a better life.

I am amazed at their priorities over material things, clothes, stereos and televisions are a top priority even though they live in a shed. But they are people like us, and we live in a material world, only difference is that they live the other side the highway, next to the airport, there many of us choose not to see. But that's just what they need, someone who sees them and listening to them for they are just like us, people.

Best regards  Stephanie