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The Projects Abroad Building Project in Lavender Hill is currently in its third phase of development.
Volunteers at the project are responsible for tasks such as the plastering of walls, filling of sandbags and sandbag wall construction, roof construction, general painting, wall artwork, timber eco-beam construction and rubble removal.
Optional tasks include organic gardening, recreational activities with the kids onsite, teaching and care work at the crèche and assisting the ladies of the community in the serving of breakfast (porridge sponsored daily by Pollsmoor prison) to the people of the community.
One of the great things about volunteering at the Building Project is the satisfaction gained from seeing the tangible fruits of one’s labour.
Human Resources student Justine Laplace (24) from Troyes decided to take three months off her studies to volunteer with Projects Abroad in Southern Africa.
Justine needed to learn to speak English in a foreign country in order to qualify for a diploma in English and spent every day in Botswana and then in Cape Town practising her English skills with locals and fellow volunteers.
‘I found myself speaking English all day at the projects. I learnt so much without having to sit in a stuffy classroom with a notebook.’
Justine began her Southern African experience at the Projects Abroad Conservation Project at Kwatuli Game Reserve in Botswana, where her daily responsibilities included everything from repairing the roads and fences of the reserve to identifying its animals and their spoor. ‘My favourite activity at the Conservation Project was the animal identification. I saw everything! Elephant, leopard, hyena, zebra, impala, steenbok, kudu, wild dog, giraffe, blue wildebeest, lots of baboons, birds, scorpions and snakes…you name I, I saw it!’
After her time in Botswana, Justine travelled to Cape Town to volunteer at the Projects Abroad Building Project in Lavender Hill. Her daily tasks changed to filling sandbags (the project’s eco-friendly alternative to bricks), sanding walls, mixing cement and smoothing floors. Although Justine missed the animals of the reserve, she fell in love with the children from the crèche that she was helping to expand in Lavender Hill. ‘My favourite part of each day at the building site was break time – the kids were so much fun to hang out with!’
Justine is glad that she was able to gain an experience of both the animals and the people of ...
The endangered Western leopard toad
Little terrapin friendy!
Volunteers Julia and Nicholas Gerk, Michael Schudzich and Michael Fischer with volunteer co-ordinator Meschak Bugaye
The view from one of the lookout points at Rondevlei
Last week we took a group of German volunteers to visit Rondevlei Nature Reserve in Grassy Park.
The 960 hectare reserve forms part of the greater False Bay Nature Reserve, which spans a total of 2300 hectares.
The wetland eco-system and Fynbos vegetation of the reserve are both important and vulnerable and are managed by the reserve staff as such.
The main focus at Rondevlei is the preservation of biodiversity, while environmental education comes a close second.
As a city reserve, Rondevlei encounters countless problems from surrounding human settlements. Factors such as fencing theft, truant teenagers slipping into the reserve to take drugs and the poaching of the plants and animals (for both food and entertainment) pose threats to the area’s diverse flora and fauna. Members of the local community are encouraged to learn about the importance of the reserve and of conservation in general, and almost 3000 school children are brought to the reserve each year to experience first-hand environmental education.
Rondevlei is the only reserve in Cape Town with a resident pod of hippos. The volunteers visited the reserve at a good time for hippo spotting but unfortunately did not catch a glimpse of the giant mammals as they generally only come out at night. As hippos like to expand their territory and form new pods, the reserve staff often has its hands full with renegade hippos venturing into nearby settlements.
Originally proclaimed a bird sanctuary in the 1950s, the reserve is a must for bird ...
I thought Madurai was an impossible city to come to know, just mess of shops and identical buildings and painted-on advertising and thatch-roofed huts, but after two months I have finally got my bearings. It really takes time and exploration and mistakes, but even the most foreign came become the familiar. Essentially everything I first posted about Madurai must now be amended or readdressed now that I have the hindsight of each passing day and confidence as I take to the streets. My morning walk to work had transformed from something new every day to a memorized trail of landmarks, although every so often new stores or juice bars or watermelon carts will pop up like mushrooms over night. We pass the Moolakkari bus stand and face the daunting task of crossing the street. This can be achieved by either joining a shielding scrum with other roadside warriors, forcing on-coming traffic to yield, or otherwise by singly sprinting across when a gap opens up or inching progressively like Frogger to the rows of motorbikes. We pass a breakfast place, then a bicycle repair hut, then a barber hut always with a full chair, and then Poori Man, who will look up from his wok of oil, sitting in perfect Sukhasana on the dirty ground in all his greased-stained-tank-top and frizzled-hair glory, raise a hand and say, “Good morning Krista!” The Poori Man makes the best poori, but only on days we see him rolling out the fresh balls of dough, not peeling them out of packages, ready to puff up into perfect air-filled crisps. If our morning breakfast is runny oatmeal or bizarre instant noodles, we'll sit down on the little wooden bench and have breakfast treats piled on our plates and slathered in sauce by the Poori Man's son and daughter. Peeling ourselves away from the cheap fare, we pass ...
Ik zit nu in het kantoor van Project Abroad in Togo. Delphine( een plaatselijke staffmember) is de laatste dingen in orde aan het brengen en aan het wachten op de plaatselijke directeur en dus mocht ik even mijn familie op de hoogte brengen. Sewwes gaan we nog verder de stad(met de scooter! niet evident als je weet dat ik al schrik heb vanachter op ne fiets) in en dan ook al naar de school kijken waar ik zal proberen les te geven. Die brommers/moto is wel het meest aangename vervoersmiddel dat ze hebben want de wind doet echt wel deugd.
De vlucht heeft dus veel langer geduurd dan ik had verwacht( 9 en half uur in totaal), met een tussenlanding in de Ivoorkust. De vlucht is wel goed verlopen alleen hebben men oortjes wel wat geleden met die 2 landingen. De vlucht zelf was chill want ik zat aan het gangpad en de 2 zetels naast mij (2-4-2) waren leeg en dan zat er iemand aan het andere gangpad. En er waren natuurlijk film en series om te kijken en veel voetruimte ( toch tegenover wat ze bij Ryanair geven :P)
Omdat ik nogal laat aangekomen ben heb ik nog niet echt kennis gemaakt met de familie, enkel al een paar leden tegengekomen. Stephan was een praatje komen maken met Fanny en Fabiola was is nieuwschirig komen kijken, Flaro is gisteren dag komen zeggen. Er is dus ook nog een ander meisje bij de familie. Ze noemt Fanny en is franse en werkt in de chreche. Ze blijft hier ook een maand en is van denk ik disndag hier. Mijn frans zal dus zeker geboost worden ( en het is echt dringend nodig!) Dus mijn frans moet nog wat terug naar boven komen want het valt toch niet mee, de mensen praten vlug en hebben ook de neiging om te mompelen wat het niet makkelijker maakt.