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NEWS FLASH! ATTENTION TO ALL OUR PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE BUILDING VOLUNTEERS of PROJECTS ABROAD CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA!
OUR BUILDING PROJECT which is part of 'THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE' initiative has been accepted as a project for the WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL 2014.
An email sent from Stephen Granger (City of Cape Town Environmental and Spatial Planning Department) reads:
'Projects Abroad continue to deliver good work at the centre, with their constant stream of international volunteers under Deen Singh making a tangible difference to the lives of the children at the Creche and Village Heights’ -“The Other Side of the Fence” -has been accepted as a 2014 World Design Capital project from the City’s Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning Directorate of the City of Cape Town'
'The present Biodiversity Garden is not part of a competition, but our entire work at Village Heights has been chosen as one of the City of Cape Town World Design Capital projects. This was decided by City leaders and includes the playground and the veggie garden. Also the alien vegetation clearing and waste issues'.
'This category of World Design Capital projects is limited to the work by the City of Cape Town (as opposed to those under the umbrella of the Cape Town Design Company). So strictly speaking we cannot presume to include the excellent work done by other parties (like PROJECTS ABROAD). However, the nature of our work at False Bay Ecology Park (“The Other Side of the Fence”) is that of partnerships with civil society members and the inclusion of broad-based stakeholders in our workshops. PROJECTS ABROAD has been a strong supporter in this respect and so we would like to include your work within the context of the City of Cape Town project ...
Great news! A MIRACLE HAPPENED! Mijn schoonmoeder is wakker geworden uit haar coma en reageert weer op kleine dingen! Minder dan 1% overlevingskans hadden de doktoren haar gegeven! Misschien is het nu toch nog mogelijk om na terugkomst met haar de verhalen en foto’s van Ghana te bespreken! Fantastisch! Het is ongelooflijk maar waar! Dit alles maakt dat wij nu toch weer veel positiever en met meer enthousiasme aan de allerlaatste voorbereidingen van onze reis kunnen beginnen! Nog 19 dagen .. dan is het echt zo ver! Tussen alle ziekenhuisbezoekjes door proberen wij nu toch echt de laatste spullen te verzamelen! Tjonge wat lastig om te kiezen wat je mee moet nemen aan kleding! Haha… als wij op vakantie gingen naar Frankrijk kon ik de caravan als vrachtwagen gebruiken! Massa’s kleding gingen mee (om ze vervolgens helemaal niet te dragen)! Tja, en nu moet ik toch echt beperken … Probeer maar in mijn hoofd te houden dat ze in Ghana ook ondergoed en kleding verkopen … dus kom ik nog tekort… zal daar ook wel iets op de markt te koop zijn! Heb me ook nog even iets meer verdiept in de Malaria. Mmmm… kans is groot dat we het ondanks onze dure Malarone pillen, toch nog krijgen! Voordeel is dan, dat er meer tijd is om te starten met een goede behandeling! Meisjes maar op de vitaminepillen en echinaforce tabletten gezet! Even een bodempje ‘weerstand’ leggen voor de kleine dames! GHANA, WE ARE ALMOST READY TO VISIT YOUR COUNTRY!
Thats such an interesting title for a day isnt it? Well I got up this morning and I had forgot that yesterday the water in our house stopped working. In order to wash my hands it took 3 mins just because it was a constant drip and not a stream like it should be and this situation was ironic as it rained a ton yesterday. But today we painted for 3.5 hours in the blistering sun. The weather here makes you feel tired, exhausted, and sluggish which are not the best painting conditions. We are painting a court for basketball, soccer, and volleyball. It is difficult because we spend like an hour each day sweeping off water and it takes forever becuase it is super inefficient. After we left, we talked to our supervisor and got friday off so we can travel to Montezuma as it takes around 6 hours by bus and ferry. While I was in the office I met the two new volunteers, Sam and Victor. Sam is from NY and Victor is from France. I do not know how much Spanish Sam speaks (she is a girl) and Victor speaks very little English and no spanish. After that I went home, ate and then went to teach. Today, we taught directions and different places around the city in English. It was a lot of fun but still energy sapping and hot. I havent felt well all day (stomach ache and headache) but I wasnt going to let it stop me. After 4.5 hours of teaching I came back, ate and then went to dance class where I learned a bit more merengue and how to swing. I also saw a performance of local dancers that was choreographed really well and was fun to watch. After that we went and got pizza at a local place but got pushed out by the increasing number of moths. It has been raining all afternoon and it was pouring when I got out of the cab. I also got out of the cab and there was a convict sitting right in ...
Visiting Churches in Ghana was something that I was most looking forward to. I had imagined attending Churches that would be highly Gospel focused, where the congregation will be so filled with the Holy Spirit that I would be reminded of my home Church- Ruach Ministries. After some 4 sundays had passed I had finally scheduled to attend a Church service. I was really looking forward to it and nothing was going to come into the equation of me attending Church.
Two other volunteers and I was invited to attend our host mothers Church as it was the memorial service of her late brother. Because it was the first anniversary the family were making a big deal in terms of celebratory, deco etc. The Church we attended was a Roman Catholic Church, while the service was delivered in a bilingual way, both english and the Ghanaian language Twi were spoken. Like I expected the service differed distinctively compared to RC Churches I've visited in the UK. As well as offering being collected twice there was also a lot of singing, dancing and clapping of the hands. The atmosphere was vibrant and very up-lifting- Ghanaians sure know how to worship, from the old to the young- all were in on the act. The family of the late relative had all dressed in the same cloth to commemorate their relative. This symbolised respect and honour for their loved one. The floral attire was centred around a black and white theme. After the main service the whole family was called for prayer which was conducted by the Rev who paid tribute to the late relative. To continue the celebrations the family held a reception in their compound with a canopy built-up and a sax band to entertain guests. Traditional Ghanaian lunch was served and light conversation was heard.
As I started to interact and meet ...
Micheal Vick had dog fighting, many have chicken fighting, but we, the projects abroad builders have lizard fighting. Unlike Micheal Vick, however, we were not tried for animal cruelty. All the lizards brought bravely, well actually only one fought the other two sat around and were bitten. The fight lasted about ten minutes during lunch, then us workers went back to work for three hours. Working hard to accomplish something and help others, something that medical students have never done.
This leads into the diverse and interesting wildlife in Jamaica. While on the building site I have spotted countless nubers of lizards, beetles, flys, mosquitoes, and a few dogs and goats. it is not only the fauna that is eimpressive but the flora too. THere are countless numbers of different plants ranging from bananas, grasses and pears (which are really avocados).
At my house there are four dogs. Where I live dogs live in the house among people. In Jamaica dogs are seen as more wild, they live outside at almost all times. My favorite dog among the Glannville's many is Barka. He seems to reciprocate the love as he follows me into the house even though it is not allowed. ALso, Barka is very cool because he becomes jealous and excitted very easily causing some of the guests to become nervous, *cough* Phillipp *cough*.
Compared to the Untied States, JAmaica is much more diverse. Even though it is a smaller country compared to the US. The wildlife and it's dsiversity is really unique to me.