Life's Adventures

I'll be living and interning in Cape Town, South Africa for two months. I will specifically be working in the Nomzamo Township in a primary school and orphanage.
Comment on my posts - I would love to hear from everyone.

Skype me: hulajulajive
My Flickr

Final 2

I am about to begin my last two weeks in S.A. 

For the final stretch I will be placed in Ncelunthu Nursery. Its a daycare center in the township that people who can afford child care will send their children. The profit made by the nursery is then used to help fund the orphanage. The kids there speak ZERO english, so communication may be a challenge and my minimal Xhosa will be put to the test.

I’ll also be setting up a recycling program as part of my internship project. Wish me luck, there is a big lack of “going green” here. 

I put some photos up on facebook, and some more of the scenic ones are on my Flickr. Please check them out!

Thanks for reading.

Love Heather

— 4 years ago
Ikayahathemba Orphange

Since I am interning I will be hopping around a bit between projects. This week I am at the orphanage and working with children who are disabled. In the morning we do therapy with Edward (Eddie) and Rueben, both boys around 11 who have cerebral palsy. Edward suffers from blindness, and both have no words to communicate with. I spend time stretching their limbs and straightening them out - while talking to them and trying to get them to smile and laugh at my cheesy jokes.

Mid morning we work with Thuso and Alueto. Thuso is almost three - although he looks and acts like a 9 month old baby. He is blind and physically very behind. We are trying to get him to be able to support his own head well and sit up on his own. We also are trying to get him to reach for objects. Alueto is about 10 (?) and is blind. He can’t walk without assistance and does not speak. He loves walking around the orphanage, and as soon as you say his name he reaches up for a walk.

Leah is the last child and the only girl. Physically she perfect, but she has severe mental disabilities. She was found as a baby in a dumpster before she was brought to the orphanage, and her exact age isn’t known - but we think she is about 8. She can say her own name - and loves to hold your hand and walk through the grass. She is usually smiling, and LOVES to have her teeth brushed!

— 4 years ago
Week 5

I have finished my month of working in sports. I really enjoyed my time at the school - managing a class of 45 kids 6 times a day is no easy feat. We worked on things with them like track & field, running games, stretching, and after school sports.

I learned a lot of new sports - including netball, cricket, and rugby… I even got to play in a teachers only netball tournament against teachers from another school and the local police department. We got second place.

My favorite time at PCJ Primary School was when classes got out and we would have sports practices/tutoring workshops. My chosen job typically was to manage all the little ones that came and caused havoc. They were my friends, hairdresser, Xhosa teacher, and dancers. I love them so much! I can’t wait until my computer gets fixed so I can  upload pictures and show everyone. Here is a small picture to give you an idea, though:

Some of them are younger students at ACJ who go home and change after school before venturing over to find me, others are their siblings who they look after, and some are the teachers’ kids. The building in the background on the right is the “security office” where some old men sit and gamble [and sometimes open the gate]. If you can make out the structure behind the fence in front of the white building - that is the younger students’ (or learners as they are called here) playground.

— 4 years ago
Quick Update

African children think that nose piercings are ugly, weird, and fun to pull at.

— 4 years ago
My South African health care experience

I’ve been sick for the past week or so with a sore throat and upset stomach. I finally got into the doctor this morning (after yet another communication issue with my program coordinator, which is a story all in itself). I made an appointment with the clinic doctor around 11:45… so I showed up at about 11:30. Instead of the typical half hour wait in the states, I was seen to a room right away. The doctor herself came to get me from the waiting room, and then showed me to her office. I was amazed to not have the typical 45 minute wait in the room like I do in the states. She sat me in front of her desk, asked me what was wrong, examined me, and got me out of there. She had most of the medication I needed right there in office, and the entire visit (including meds) was only 250 rand… which is about 30 US dollars.

Amazing? Yes.

— 4 years ago with 1 note

Africa National Congress’ Mandela’s Freedom Celebration

— 4 years ago
Nomzamo Township

Here are a few borrowed pictures of the township. My computer cord has broken so I am waiting to get that mailed before I can upload my photos.

A pretty nice township house

wildlife is abundant - i.e. goats, chickens, pigs, millions of dogs

my favorite part of our drive to and from work - the smiley stands.. usually these are heaped with sheeps head, intestines, and stomachs that are waiting to be cooked on the “braai”.  My favorite part is that there are always about five dogs sitting patiently and waiting for something to be dropped. It smells pretty good - not sure how it would taste, however. I think I’m going to try it this Friday - I’ll let you know.

— 4 years ago
Shared Taxis

One of the cheapest ways to get around South Africa are the public shared taxis. The taxis are basically big vans that pick up people from the side of the road and take them to wherever. For about 14 rand (approx. 2 US dollars - cheaper if you are a local) I can get from Gordon’s Bay to the mall in Somerset West, which is about 15 minutes drive if you were to take a normal car. It takes longer in the taxis, though, because a) they won’t go to the destination unless the van is full, and b) they take the round about way to drop people off at their desired destination.

To give you a picture there are two guys that usually work on the taxi. One is the driver, and the other leans half of his body out the window to whistle, honk, and yell at people on the side of the road and get them to take a ride in his taxi. Its the funniest form of public transportation I have ever been a part of. The only problem is sometimes the drivers can be crazy, or shady, and you have to be sure that you are with people and that you are careful with which taxis you hop on in to.

I’m being safe, I promise. :-)

public taxi

— 4 years ago
Celebrating Mandela’s release from prison 20 years ago

On Wednesday our group got a special invitation to attend a political celebration/rally that was being held on Feb. 11th by the African National Congress (ANC). With some last minute planning, we got to go. The ANC is a S.A. political party that the current president, Jacob Zuma, is a representative of (look into his own personal scandal, its interesting). For those who don’t know, the ANC was one of the main forces that fought against the apartheid regime and one of the party’s most prominent figures is Nelson Mandela himself. The rally was held yesterday to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s release from prison on this date 20 years ago. The rally was held in Paarl (about an hour away from Gordon’s Bay) at the same prison in which he was ultimately released from.

The rally was really cool - thousands of people attended, most wearing ANC shirts, colors, flags, and beads. The speakers on stage were really powerful, and used various chants such as “viva Madiba!” to pump up the crowd. The theme was that while Mandela was an important man - his cause was what should be getting regonition.

A lot of the speeches given from the stage were in languages other than English - such as Xhosa, Zulu, or 4 other tribal languages… so when we couldn’t really understand what they were saying, we walked around the event and talked to various people. I was surprised as to how keen people were to embrace us random outsiders in their rally. They were so excited to have us there, and were keen to discuss the importance of the party/rally with us, ask us about our work and why we were there, give us S.A. tips, or teach us how to dance.

Which brings me to my favorite part of the day… how the ANC uses music and dance as a political tool. The rally had an official DJ, the ANC has an official song (one that you can dance to, not some dry anthem), and half of the rally was a mix of different South African music. The performers included traditional women dancing and singing, the Drakenstein Choir, and two famous South African performers (who I can’t remember the names of). Lots of people were dancing throughout the rally, and my favorite point of the day is when some ANC supporters grabbed me and a few of my fellow volunteers to dance with them… it was so much fun and they gave us some new dance moves. :-) They were so excited to include us in their day of celebration, and it made me love South Africans even more.

I hope to post pictures of the event soon!

— 4 years ago