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Ok, I've got some catching up to do...It's been about 3 weeks since my last post, and between traveling and working, I've just been too lazy to write... but I think it's time to recount the past few weeks. Let me start with our trip to see the elephants, then my week intermission to Korea:
Mole National Park
Seriously, if there's any trip more grueling than the one to Mole National Park in Ghana, I wouldn't do it! The park is located in the Northern Region and takes anywhere between 12-15 hours from Kumasi to get there. Sure, if it was just one nice bus ride from Kumasi to Mole, it wouldn't be so bad, but transportation seems to get even worse further north. The only bus system we could take to get there was the Metro Mass. I guess you could imagine it like a really really old RTD bus...but the seats are too close together and the aisles are way too narrow. Anyway, the buses here don't run on a time schedule. Basically, they wait till the bus is full (and I mean every seat FULL - no matter how long it takes), and then go. We got to the station around 7am, but there were already so many people waiting to go to Tamale (the capital of the Northern Region we would have to pass through to get to Mole). We waited and waited... Kofi (a volunteer from N. Carolina, whose parents are from Ghana) pulled some strings and made friends with some guy working at the station to help us out. (Kofi is really good at using his "Ghanian American" card to his advantage... which works out well for the rest of us too :P). Even then, we waited for over 3 1/2 hours before we could be on our way... but Kofi's new friend gave us the entire back two rows for more space^^ the rest of the bus was crammed, so we got a lot of mean glares ...
Following reports of large numbers of strays roaming the Blikkiesdorp area in Delft, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA launched a sterilisation drive. Twice a week, inspectors take to the streets to talk to pet owners about the benefits of having their animals sterilised.
The response has been encouraging, with many owners more than willing to hand their animals over for sterilisation. Most of the dogs brought in are in good condition and are clearly loved and cared for.
A similar program has now launched in the Klein Dassenberg informal settlement near Atlantis. The aim of the SPCA is not only to get pet population under control, but to educate the public about responsible pet ownership and to control disease between animals and people.
Programs like these would not be possible without support from animal lovers like our animal care volunteers, and the SPCA extends its gratitude to all involved.
Hellow Yovos (wat blanke in Ewi betekent)
Overal waar je wandelt roepen ze dat en vragen ze hoe het gaat, het zijn wel vriendelijke mensen hier! De kindjes vinden het super als je zwaait en lacht!
Het weekend zit er weer op. Het was heel leuk. Fanny, Yohanne(=Johan), een plaatselijke vriend van hem wiens naam ik vergeten ben en ik zijn zaterdag naar Lac Togo en Togoville geweest. Ook hebben we een 'Dierenmuseum bezocht' een atelier van de plaatselijke niet erg talentvolle taxidermmist. De geur was niet te harden en dat om 8u in de ochtend na een nacht van 3uurtjes. GOEDEMORGEN!!! We waren dus niet al te vroeg terug van de regeaclub. Oohja ik heb ondekt dat ze in den avond nog rapper rijden met hun moto taxies.
Daarna dus een uutje in een gewone taxi gezete, onderweg nog een extra passagier opgepikt, en dan aangekomen in de regio van Lac Togo. Eerst heben we een oud slavenhuis bezocht dat dringend aan renovatie toe was en dan zijn we gaan pootje baden in de oceaan. Volgens de plaatseliljk vriend geen goed iedee wegens te koud. T water was zaalug, maar niet veilig om in te zwemmen. Sterke branding, sterke onderstroom. Dus zijn we iets gaan eten en daarna naar het Lac gegaan. Lekker in de schadus gelegen onder een palmboom. Ik heb wel niet gezwommen want twater vond ik er niet erg aangenaam uit zien. Mja ik ben nogal kieskeurig op dat vlak. Dan zijn we met een typisch bootje van hier over het meer naar Togoville gegaan. Daar is de religie voodoo en heeft een gids ons wegwijs gemaakt. Twas een plezant dorpje, heel rustig geen autos en maar een paar motos en veeel super schattige kleine geitjes.
Dan was het al late namiddag en waren allemaal moe dus zijn we huiswaarts gekeerd. Stephan (de zoon) had ook gezegd dat we zeker voor het donker moesten vertrekken omdat dan de ...
Tens of thousands of young people have travelled to Third World countries in Africa, India and South America since a pioneering company aimed at transforming the experience of gap-year students was formed by a County Durham couple 21 years ago. NEIL MCKAY reports.
BACK in 1992, when mobile phones were still a newfangled invention and emails were more like letters sent in an envelope, a fledgling company called Teaching Abroad sent a coach-load of wide-eyed volunteers to Moldova, a landlocked Eastern Europe former Soviet satellite state.
Waving them off from Victoria Coach Station in London was Peter Slowe, an erstwhile geography lecturer at Durham University, and his wife Karen, a nurse from Sacriston, Durham.
Last month Peter hosted a conference to celebrate not only his 60th birthday but also the 21st anniversary of his company, now called Projects Abroad, at a hotel in Arundel, West Sussex.
The delegates, among the 600 employees of Projects Abroad, read like a league of nations, with representatives from India, Nepal, Togo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Senegal, South Africa, Peru and Costa Rica, to name but a few.
Peter took the time to reflect on the progress of the company he founded after taking a year's sabbatical from academia - the one year has spread to 21. At the time he thought his brainchild may last no more than 12 months.
The first trip to Moldova was anything but auspicious.
Continued "Some of the students were staying with an old man and his dog, and others with two ladies who were apparently practising the world's oldest profession," he reminisced. Things are greatly different now.
Volunteers are placed with host families, and the organisation has spread to include care and teaching workshops ...
Danish High School graduate Estrid Pedersen (19) got wind of the excellent work undertaken by the Cape of Good Hope Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Grassy Park during her final year at school and decided to spend a month volunteering at the centre with Projects Abroad South Africa upon graduating.
‘I had always considered becoming a vet and have been keeping abreast of what goes on in the field in Denmark, but I wanted to gain exposure to a foreign system before making my decision,’ she told us. ‘I really wanted to see Africa because of its great diversity, both in terms of its people and its natural environment, and the fact that the Cape of Good Hope SPCA is doing such good work made my decision to visit even easier,’ she continued.
Estrid learnt more than she had expected to learn during her time at the Projects Abroad South Africa animal care partner project. ‘I didn’t think they would allow me to do so much,’ she enthused, ‘I prepared animals for operations, incubated infants, put up drips, cleaned wounds, bandaged animals and helped with x-rays.’
Estrid enjoyed her time at the SPCA hospital the most. ‘I worked in the horse care unit for a week and it was great training and feeding horses, but I had done it all before with my own horses and preferred the extreme learning experience provided in the hospital. I also went out to nearby townships with the mobile clinic, assisting with worm, flea and tick treatments and observing dog sterilizations.’
Although Estrid met many animals during her time in Cape Town, she said that she would miss the people she had met just as much. ‘My host family in Grassy Park was so welcoming, I could ask them ...