I've lived in Cape Town all my life and only recently have I discovered my love for our amazing mountain(s). Many people who have visited Cape Town have complemented it on it's amazing beauty and natural wonder. They do have a point. Cape Town has beautiful weather, mostly, lovely beaches, and some great mountains to boot. But living in Cape Town one tends to look past these attributes of natural beauty, and, dare I say, takes them for granted. I for one definitely take these things for granted and only recently did I discover my love for the mountain especially.
I recently went on holiday inland, to where there are no mountains, or anything green to speak of, and also no ocean. Like so many other things in life, I only started to appreciate how lucky I am to be living in Cape Town once I had in fact left Cape Town. Upon returning I noticed how beautiful Table Mountain and his surrounding friends were looking, and since that day whenever I drive to work or go for a walk, or do anything really because no matter where you go in Cape Town you have mountains staring at you, I take a moment to appreciate what a beautiful city I live in. Now actually exploring those mountains is another story, but I'll get there.
So I guess the moral of the story would be... um... Instead of waiting til something is gone, start appreciating it sooner... or something like that. Basically, if you ever come to Cape Town remember to notice our mountains because sometimes they feel a bit left out and taken for granted.
Today is a special day, as one of South Africa's heroes is celebrating his 93rd birthday and the nation is celebrating with him in the form of "Mandela Day" (an annual international day in honour of former President Nelson Mandela).
The Mandela Day campaign message is:
"Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes." "We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation," according to a statement issued on Mandela's behalf.
So, wherever you are - be inspired to take some time out and give back in some way...
About a month ago, David Hong (19) from Duke University in the United States came to Cape Town with boxes of equipment and software, working at Hyde Park Primary to teach children about robots. Robots? Computers? Programming? This sounds like quite an exciting but uncertain project. Because let’s be honest, how are you going to teach a 10-12 year old child computer sciences? Math and software? To program a robot? Fortunately for the children of Hyde Park Primary, they got David Hong.
With Projects Abroad, we offer quite a variety of teaching projects. Most of the projects focus on teaching English, Surfing and Sports. But recently, gossip and rumors were coming out of Parkwood and Fairways. At the Hyde Park Primary School, someone was teaching small children to build and program robots to be able to recognize colors, throw balls in boxes, dance and navigate their own way through a maze.
The rumors were starting to get more interesting. Not only did we hear David was at this school from 7.30 in the morning till the late afternoons, the children were also present. As a 10-12 year old, your free time probably consists of playing videogames, watching cartoons or playing outside with friends. Still, during a three week school holiday, some of the children were found in the classroom of Hyde Park Primary. Why? David Hong.
Visiting David Hong at his project was quite a joy. Any outsider would be entertained by what he can do with building and programming robots, and amazed with his methods of teaching young kids to do the same. He has a rare quality to keep the children focused and interested, challenges them to find solutions and assists when needed. His pace and patience, his attention and passion, it’s all shared by the children. Thanks to David, a 10 year old was now teaching me how to build a robot and program it.
As Projects Abroad, we offer programs to help develop local communities and teach volunteers something about themselves. David is getting the maximum potential out of his visit. Not only do the children of Hyde Park Primary get the opportunity to learn something perspective-changing, incredibly original and interesting, they also have the fortune of learning it from David Hong, a volunteer who is practicing for a possible later teaching career.
You are quite the natural David, and what you have shown us at Hyde Park Primary is extraordinary. You are a true Volunteer of the Month.
Volunteers from all corners of the globe flocked to the Newlands office today to hear the sweet melodies of our staff giving them their inductions. Our volunteer co-ordinators were kept on their toes too, as they took 18 volunteers out to lunch and showed them the ins and outs of volunteering in Cape Town. An all round great performance from our staff, and thanks to the volunteers for listening so well and hanging out in our office. Here are some photos: