wk1 of Project
This will be the photos as part of Project 365 but there will be more separated posts dedicated to South Africa. International Student Volunteers is an organisation that gives students the chance to make a difference whilst seeing some of the most beautiful places on earth and so without further ado this is a brief look at my month in South Africa with ISV.
Excitement bubbles inside me. I’m leaving for South Africa to volunteer and see the country. This quickly wears off after the 14 hour flight became 16hours due to delays and mishaps with refuelling in Sydney. We were still sitting in the plane on the tarmac for a good 2 hours. What made touch down in Jo’burg special was the face that is was raining. Toto immediately began to play in my head, yeah you know the song I’m talking about.
an orientation day, we see Dunoon, the township we will be working on. This was taken at Priscilla’s, she runs a creche and so our goal here is to re build a safer fence instead of the one she currently has which is just old wooden palings hammered haphazardly with rusty nails and pieces of tarpaulin.
the view of part overlooking part of the township of Dunoon. The electricity was put in about a year ago, prior to which many people would make their own lines from the main cables on the side of the road. This led to many fires in the township.
the work begins and mixing cement is probably I realise I enjoy the manual labour. Now if you don’t know me, I am what my sister likes to call a bit of a princess, sure I’m adventurous but yes I can be a little precious sometimes. So when our tour leader said we’d be mixing cement I looked forward to stirring up sludge in a giant container by hand. WRONG! completely wrong, there was no large container, rather a rusty wheelbarrow whose flat tire meant that we carried it around when it was full and shovels to mix the cement. we allocated an one corner of the community centre to start mixing the cement and began to mix. Much like a giant gravelly heavy cake mix. the work was rewarding although I was easily discouraged when the cement got to the stage where it looked to dry to even be considered cement.
at the end of work one day we were waiting for the van to pick us up ( T.I.A!) the kids came to play. Be it taking photos and us being amazed as to how they instinctively knew how to navigate and use cameras or to simply sit and talk to us. this incredibly tender moment is somewhat of a daisy (I’ll explain what a daisy is in another post) . This kid came and sat with our project leader and they seemed deep in conversation. Back at the accommodation, out project leader Kyall told us that the kid was telling him how he loved his studying and my project leader encouraged him. Towards the end of their chat my project leader gave the kid his chocolate and told the kid to have it for himself. This was a township after all and the reality is that the ‘every man to himself’ mentality exists in this place.
first weekend in South Africa and we had organised for a shark cage diving expedition which meant we had to be picked up at 3.50am for the 2.5 hour drive to the coast. You would think that today’s shot would be that of a great white shark, unfortunately for them I enjoy my sunrise and sunsets. And yes, throughout the trip, Lion King references were constantly dropped by everyone.
So maybe I missed out on the Stellenbosch winery tour because I forgot to write my name on the list. what a shame, the stories of the 9am brandy shots offered to them by the driver as well as the winery that played baroque music to the grapes made it sound like a great time. Fret not, I had planned to hike Table mountain with Irene, a fellow vollie (volunteer). Now it was recently named one of the 7 wonders of the natural world and I woke up with it in view every morning. Although the Platterklip gorge was no walk in the park but the views were to die for and this wasn’t even at the top yet.
there you have it folks. Week 1 of an amazing 4 weeks in South Africa.