Projects Abroad, South Africa, are very happy to congratulate our Social Media Manager, Emma Muller who got married to Richard on Saturday, 23rd October!
Above: Dana Myers and Alyssa Myers with Sophiya, Aaron Baxter, Shuan Solomons, Emma Graham (nee Muller), Gisela Madden, Andre, Rebecca Saraceno and Grant Palanyandi.
A Dirty Weekend was organized at Little Eagle's Educare, a Projects Abroad Care Project in Cape Town. Volunteers got together to clean the yard, and to paint the project.
Above: Little Eagles, before and after.
Above: some of the volunteers who helped with the Dirty Weekend. Jutta Koemm, Sarah Oezogul, Trine Svanholm, Gry Harrit, Kristine Bayer, Tina Wunram, Marlies Jansen, Jeanette Norgaard.
Thank you, Tina Wunram, for your photos!
Road clearing is one of our regular activities, a hard job that requires patience and stamina. We make regular trips along most of the roads inside Legodimo, sometimes just to get somewhere but also for research drives to count game. This last becomes a little more difficult if there are always branches and leaves brushing against the car: many of them have spikes on so the volunteers are distracted whilst trying to get out of the way, but also the sound can disturb the wildlife, giving them advance warning that we are approaching and causing them to disappear before we can spot them. After many hours of activity since the beginning of the year, we have managed to complete the clearing along the ‘Long Loop’ research drive route, giving us a much more peaceful ride and allowing us to spot animals in their natural environment without disturbing them.
We all know that Cape Town is a thriving city, filled with opportunities for adventure and African experiences, and I certainly felt the buzz last weekend! After a busy week in the Human Rights Office, a group of volunteers and 2 staff members met at Mzoli's for a relaxed afternoon around a huge bowl of meat, a bag of bread and a mountain of napkins.
Volunteers Darlene Sainvil, Pamela Kechter and Laura at Mzoli's
With music blasting and people dancing all around us, we were more than happy to soak up the atmosphere, eat way too much and, as Ellie mentions in her blog on Mzoli's below, enjoy our "This is Africa" moment. A taxi ride home with Archi completed the day, as he regaled us with stories of his life in Cape Town and his work as a paramedic.
Steenberg Wine Farm Tasting Room
On Saturday morning, I joined a friend for a morning of wine tasting along the Constantia Wine Route, the oldest wine growing region in southern Africa. Steenberg set the tone for the day, impressing us with beautiful gardens and water features, a stylish tasting area and of course, excellent wine. Constantia Uitsig was next on the list, followed by Buitenverwachting (not an easy one to pronounce after an hour of wine tasting!) and a hearty lunch at Peddlars on the Bend.
The afternoon saw us shopping in Cavendish and then meeting friends for an evening at Active Sushi on Strand Street where we aimed to score highly in the "all you can eat" stakes. At only R99 per person, it's a bargain but remember, you will be charged R5 for every piece of sushi left at the end of your meal! Happily, we incurred no extra charges but despite eating a mountain of sushi, our waiter scored us a rather disappointing 6 out of 10. There's always next time...! After a day of good food and wine, I decided to walk off some calories on Sunday and after a wonderful service at Harfield Church, I set out to conquer Devil's Peak. I had climbed Table Mountain on a previous visit to Cape Town so I was eager for a new challenge and standing only 100 metres lower than Table Mountain, Devil's Peak promises beautiful 360 degree views of Cape Town. At the top of Platteklip Gorge as the paths split, I soon understood why people refer to Devil's Peak as the poor brother of Table Mountain as it is not climbed nearly as often - it's steep, exposed and unforgiving! In 28oC heat and without a breath of wind in the air (where is the wind in Cape Town when you need it!), it was a challenging hike but well worth it. As we hit the beacon at the summit, the beautiful views were overwhelming. Cape Town was spread at our feet like a child's Lego set and surrounded by the clear blue waters of the two oceans. The views were outstanding and as we sat in the sunshine gazing at the surrounding mountains, the vast oceans and the clear blue sky, I enjoyed my second "This is Africa" moment that weekend.
Back in the office on Monday morning, feeling tired and nursing aching muscles, I promised myself a quieter weekend to follow. Who was I kidding? By midday, the infectious buzz of life in Cape Town had surfaced and I had already planned a trip to The Old Biscuit Mill, an afternoon in Simons Town and a hike up Lion's Head... be warned, once you fall in love with Cape Town, you can't sit at home and be quiet!
by Laura Rodgers (UK, Human Rights)
Volunteer of the month is a new endeavor by Projects Abroad South Africa. Every month, Projects Abroad staff will select a volunteer who deserves special mention. This accolade will be awarded to the volunteer who shows outstanding character and performance at their project, as well as going above and beyond expectations. A good indicator of this is a volunteer taking initiative and doing more than their project asks of them. Making use of additional resources is encouraged. This includes taking advantage of Dirty Weekends, where volunteers can make a difference in their community by beautifying a crèche, building a much-needed wall, fixing up a yard, erecting soccer posts or making any other positive, lasting impression on the community.
The volunteer of the month will be commended in the monthly newsletter, as well as have their photo and contributions added to the Volunteer of the Month board in the Newlands office. A prize will also be awarded, compliments of Osumo restaurant.
Each volunteer will then be in the running for Projects Abroad South Africa’s volunteer of the year, which will be announced at the end of the year.
The first Volunteer of the Month is
(Hyde Park Primary)
Tara has shown a tremendous amount of independent initiative, strong communication skills, and a natural leadership style together with empathy and humour and through this has achieved great things. The reason why Tara has been awarded ‘Volunteer of the Month’ is firstly because she exemplifies what it is to be a hard working, diligent volunteer. Furthermore, Tara’s positive, enthusiastic and infectious personality has raised the morale and has given Hyde Park something to talk about as many talented children have now been given the opportunity to express themselves through art.
‘Tara is the best; she is changing Hyde Park by the day! The children and students love her and love having her around. I honestly wish that Tara was a full time teacher here and I dread the day she leaves...’ Mr Jurgens, Principal of Hyde Park Primary.
See the November Newsletter for more (coming soon)!
By Ellie Kirby, UK, Human Rights Volunteer
Sunday was a miserable rainy cold day. My roomie and Dutchie (whose kind of my boss at the office) decided to go to Muizenberg flea market on the coast. Muizenberg is where all the cool surfer types hang out. None of the stalls we wanted to visit had turned up, there were no scarves or earrings or any such things. The gusty blustering wind blew off my little red cap which was stopping my ears from looking blue. I thought to myself...what are we doing here?
We sat in a cafe and drank coffee to warm up. We had planned the day before to go to a braai party in the township of Guguletu called Muzoli’s. Should we still go, no one seemed keen. We were close to abandoning the plan, put off by the rain. In the end we were lured along with the promise of cheap juicy meat.
Our driver dropped us off outside the restaurant. You could hear the party before you could smell it. We met up with one of Dutchie's friends, a really nice guy who showed us how it worked. It was a covered shack. It was a loud party rammed with a sea of people pulling apart charred meat with their bare hands. He found us a picnic table under the plastic cover. Showed us where to buy our 6 pack of Savannah ciders. We walked with him to the butchery where we chose our meat raw, paid for it and then took it to the smoky fires at the back to get it braaied. Even though they accidentally put my sauce on Dutchie's chicken, it was still delicious!
When I first arrived in South Africa I had a lot of TIA (this is Africa) moments. In the minibus, looking up at Table Mountain from the Projects Abroad office, meeting people, even eating dinner with my host family. Life here has become more normal and I haven't had one for a while. But being at this braai party sent little prickles down my spine and I really felt "OK, I'm in Africa!"
By Ryanne van Dormolen, Volunteer Supervisor at PAHRO
On 13 October 2010 I had organised a Sunset Champagne Cruise as a weekly social for a group of eager volunteers. We could hardly imagine a better way to end a day then to sip on South African sparkling wine and watch the sun set on one side and see beautiful Cape Town surrounded by its gorgeous mountains on the other. The only setback was the strong Capetonian wind that prevented us from boarding a sailboat. Determined not to let this spoil the fun we ended up on a robust boat where we found shelter from the weather. The brave among us dared to step out onto the deck to enjoy the amazing panorama. The view, sunset, sparkling wine and a group of enthusiastic volunteers made this into a wonderful evening.
District Six is a suburb just outside of Cape Town, which was mostly flattened by bulldozers in the 1960s under the Apartheid government. Only very few buildings survived the demolition, and the suburb stands largely empty to this day; a physical scar in an otherwise picturesque city.
One of these buildings is the Lydia Williams Centre of Memory, named after a freed slave who lived in the area in the 1880s. Lydia Williams established a school for slave children, and it’s this building that is now the Theatre in the District. During the eighties, it was the home of the Community Arts Project, which provided alternative arts education to the disadvantaged. Through the many dramatic performances enacted on the stage at this venue, the many school children of the District were given a vision of the possibilities of freedom beyond the shackles of apartheid.
The Lydia Williams Centre of Memory is where the Theatre in the District is now housed. This local theatre provides Cape Town’s youth a place to express their talents.
Projects Abroad South Africa is hosting a social here on Monday, October 18th, where volunteers will be able to enjoy a delicious South African meal, as well as an entertaining show about three Cape Townian men – one white, one coloured, one black. It’s sure to be a great evening!
The Cape Doctor, or the South Easter, is a strong south-easterly wind that visits Cape Town from spring to summer. It’s called the Cape Doctor, because it clears this area of pollution, and it’s usually accompanied by sunny weather. The most famous physical manifestation of this wind is the ‘table cloth’ of Table Mountain, which rolls down the face of the mountain in a waterfall-like cloud, giving the appearance of a cloth covering the mountain.
On Wednesday, September 29th, 3 volunteers (Rick Mildebrath, 20, Germany; Daniel O’Keefe, 21, UK; Andrew Friedenberg, 18, USA) joined 27 children ranging from 1 to 17 years old on the Zeekoevlei Nature Reserve, Grassy Park, Cape Town. Our actual building project was located in Overcome Heights. This camp was an opportunity for the children to get out of their impoverished community and learn about nature and sustainable living while playing fun games.
Visit Our Main Sites
Be Our Friend