I work in a building full of non-profit organizations, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Folks work on a range of issues, including helping the food service industry be more green, saving animals around the world, working to make the US health care system more accountable to patients, and other issues to make our world more fair, equitable and just.
One group is South Africa Partners. They work to develop partnerships between US and South African institutions around education, health and economic development. They also sponsor the booksale I've been spearheading the last week. I'm pretty proud of the fact that between our church and an independent book store, we've together raised over $350 for underresourced school libraries.
Once a week in a conference room, a South Africa Partners staff member teaches a class in gumshoe dancing. After months of conflicts, being out with sick kids or travel, I finally got to put on rainboots at lunch time and head to the second floor. She explained to us the mine workers suffered from all sorts of foot ailments due to the water in the mines. Rather than create better drainage systems, the mine owners gave the workers gumboots, or wellies, to wear.
All of the men were unable to bring their families and therefore lived in large dormatories with other laborers from the same regions (in part to ensure that language barriers remained unbroken). To socialize with each other, they created this intense dance that doesn't involve musical instruments and would compete in weekly competitions.
Let's just say that less than half an hour of this and I was whiped.
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