Arriving to South Africa
It was on April 23rd when we left Santiago – Chile to arrive in Sao Paulo – Brazil where we stayed one night at Sheila’s, our dear friend. Then on the 24th we left at noon very anxious and nervous, at the airport sitting waiting for the plane to take off. We clearly saw African people, including a large man with a typical costume from Mali … then another stewardess filled with amazing colors and with a beautiful turban, then we began to feel that our fate was in our feet.
Finally we landed on April 25 in Cape Town, South Africa.
With two goals in mind, the first to learn “good” English, by that we mean to read and understand and of course start to communicate naturally, and second and more relevant than the first, making our education, social and cultural exchange project , bringing with us a piece of Chile, specifically from our indigenous peoples, in this case the Selk’nam.
As soon as we got to South African we thought that we lost the lambe lambe, because Jorge lost his suitcase. We approach the South African Airlines office where a very loving lady greeted us and tried to understand, because at that time our English was almost zero (Jorge was able to discuss and understand more) we began to describe her by using a document that they have printed with pictures of different luggages, -Apparently it is common for passengers to loose luggage here- which type was ours.
In parallel Florencia –hysteric for Theatre- tried to explain the lady but dialogue and communication was not possible between them. Finally she said; Did you go to That area to see if your Theater is there? …. We looked at each other saying “no”, and we left the place running. Luckily there was our beloved Lambe in a corner of the airport with all objects such as; puppets, bag with equipment, etc, scattered across the floor. For us at that time we did not matter, because at least we had our project alive and with us.
Florencia ran immediately to the lady to thank her. Unfortunately Jorge’s suitcase didn’t appear. Half hour later we said ok let’s go to the apartment that we rented and see what happens within the first two days. They spent four days where we didn’t knew anything, but one day knocked our door and there it was Jorge’s famous red suitcase, it was a relief for both.
At first we had difficulties communicating because here there are 11 official languages, it was a challenge for both and we felt cut off from around us.
But after classes began our English slowly progressed and as a result we began to have friendships with people from different countries like Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, Libya, Gabon and Angola.
We began to generate and make contacts for our project “Lambe Queltehue for Africa”, where we were very fortunate it was with our landlady and now friend Elspeth, she generated a contact with Cristel House School. There we had the privilege of being accepted for the first time and going for three consecutive days to show the play “The great granddaughter of the Chief Kankoat”. We also made our workshop writing a letter to ANNAKEN, where he had an incredible reception and the children loved our work and the Chilean culture (where many believed that Chile was in Asia or it was a chili pepper).
Moreover it was giving us contacts with more foundations, orphanages and NGOs in Cape Town where we have had a good welcome and very interesting feedback, full of positive energy. (In the next blog we will give more details on the shows and workshops we had elsewhere)
For now Lambe Queltehue is able to generate its message; “keep alive your roots and feel proud of them“. At the same time the mission of our company is; “Create cultural exchange between communities around the world.”
Support us and follow our journey on our fan page Lambe Queltehue and if you want to comment you’re welcome to do, will be a pleasure!