I met Zoe as a waitress at The Meeting Place cafe in the southern suburb of Cape Town where Sally and I live. Over the last few months of appointments at The Meeting Place, I came to be impressed with Zoe’s work ethic and friendliness. Zoe's a great waitress. I would describe her as responsible, hard working and honest, with a very sweet spirit as well. On one occasion I observed her being mistreated by patrons, but without complaint.
Waitressing can be a thankless job. Your income is dependent on the generosity of those you serve, or sometimes, the lack of generosity. Both my kids have worked as waiters and both have strong feelings about giving generous tips as a result.
Last week I asked Zoe to tell me her story. She lives with her boyfriend in a one-room shack home in a very poor community, in someone’s very crowded back yard. She lives in what we call in South Africa a “township.”
Zoe and her partner, Johnno, have three children. When I asked Zoe her dreams and desires in life, she said she is saving to buy a nicer, bigger “shack” to be able to bring her family together. Zoe and Johnno are desperate to have a home of their own.
I was intrigued. I asked her to take me and a few friends to see the shack she wants to buy to use as building materials. We saw it yesterday. It is 4 x 3 x 3 meters (13 by 10 by 10 feet). Then she and her partner took us to see the plot of land where they want to build in a small “informal” settlement. About 60 people live in this informal settlement, behind Ocean View, a township of about 35,000 people. The informal settlement is primarily inhabited by Rastafarians. Everyone lives in simple bungalows, what many call shacks.
I was impressed with the industrious of the community. I saw a wind turbine, gravel roads built over sandy dunes, land cleared of vicious alien plants called “Port Jacksons”, and friendly neighbors.
I’m sure there is much more to Zoe and Johnno’s story in life... I look forward to building relationship with them and hearing more of their story. But right now, they need help getting established in their own home. So, here is the immediate need, if you would like to help us partner with Johnno and Zoe:
They need $3000 (R35,000), to build themselves a three bedroom beautiful shack. It will be very small, just 4x6 meters (13 x 20 feet). There will be no running water or inside toilet. But with some of my very creative, green friends, we are full of ideas about how to partner with Zoe and Johnno to make it cozy and sustainable. This is their dream, and we believe the dream is going to happen!
We are in this for the long-haul of relationship. We will walk a journey of friendship and partnership with Zoe and Johnno.
Would you like to be part of it with us and them? Join us, won’t you! If just 35 friends give R1000 or $100 each, we can do this for Zoe and Johnno!
To give, you have several options:
1. Give through our PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send a note saying it is for the Beautiful Shack for Zoe and Johnno.
2. Give through our personal bank account here in South Africa: Floyd McClung, Standard Bank, Fish Hoek branch, account number 072079517. To send an international wire you need the swift number: SBZA ZA JJ
3. You can give to us through All Nations in the United States. Send a check made out to All Nations and attach a note that says, “Beautiful Shack, Floyd and Sally McCLung” and mail it to
PO Box 55 Kansas City MO 64030 United States
Let me know if you sent a check, will you?