June 23, 2019: This weekend, we spent a day taking a tour in Langa, one of South Africa’s oldest townships which is just under 30 minutes’ drive away from Vrygrond. There, we learned a lot about the culture, with a crash course in drumming, a dance performance (including gumboot dance) from the kids involved with Happy Feet Youth Project, and a scrumptious feast cooked by a woman who opened her home to us. 

Though it isn’t very far, Langa looks entirely different from Vrygrond. Our tour guide explained that a lot of people choose to stay in Langa and build a life, including small businesses. This gives me hope for the community in Vrygrond: that with the proper supports put into place, they too can make substantial developments and become a better place to live. 

Below are some photos of the performers from the Happy Feet Youth Project:

Performance of the gumboot dance, originally developed by mine workers. The dance involves rhythmic stomping and tapping on rubber boots.
A group of girls performing a fast-paced dance to the beat of a djembe (drum).
Gumboot dancers from the Happy Feet Youth Project socializing after their performance.
A couple of young children from the neighborhood taking in the excitement after watching the performance.

— Kristen

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