One would think that after all this time of being a part of the Boeber Run, we would have seen it all. This past weekend has taught us yet again to remove the filters we view life through.
Friday evening, in the freezing cold, standing infront of the VOC Studios to commence the evenings proceedings, VOC presenter Shafiek Sedick addressed the Boeber Runners with a beautiful prayer of encouragement which led to an impromptu collection towards the VOC Studio upgrades. A collection from those present amounted to R260 whilst challenging other groups to equal or better our collection.
Braving the cold, our runners hit the streets heading down Voortrekker Road towards 6th Avenue Kensington, where we served our first host of guests. Immediately, our friends at MeloMed were put to work attending to a guest with a head injury who was eventually taken to hospital.
Saturday evening showed us the mercies from our Creator. Heading to Hout Bay, most of the convoy arrived late due to heavy rains and flooded streets. But the moment we got out of our cars to start the evenings proceedings, the rain had eased up making our job of distributing the warm foods alot easier.
Sadly, the large volumes of people we expected in Hout Bay did not materialise. Not wanting to waste the generous donations received, we headed to the Grand Parade to distribute what was left. Most evenings, we can expect anywhere between 350 and 400 people, but on this cold and wet evening, we only managed to feed about 150 guests.
Now the initial thoughts were that our guests were in warm homes or shelters keeing out of the cold and wet conditions. Upon speaking to our guests that were present, we came to learn that most of the “regular guests” were hiding out deeper in town on shop doorways, or wrapped up in their plastic shelters and not willing to come towards us because they could not carry their possessions with them and carry the warm parcels of food. Therefore, it was much easier for them to stay where they were, in an effort to stay dry and protect their belongings.
The initial thought of them being warm and in bed was so wrong. Although we go out every evening to help our guests, our perceived filters led us to believe that they were someplace else, warm and secure when infact it was the complete opposite. We could not help feeling torn between being thankful for the much needed rain and concern for our guests.
This leads one to think about the perceptions we make everyday based on what we see. For some, seeing a begger on the street, that person is lazy and looking for an easy way of making money. For others, they see someone desperate enough to stand in cold & wet conditions for something warm to eat. The challenge is to perceive people as human beings and being empathetic to the situation they find themselves in. After all, we see the world not as it is, but rather as we are.