FCS Works with Emmanuel Advice Care Center

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We gave the children (12 years and older) a lesson on “Vision Boards;” what they were, their purpose and how to make them.  They LOVED it and really were engaged with them!  The younger children made pictures with paint.

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Then we had each child give a presentation, describing their painted picture or vision board.

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Amber and Nisha joined in the fun; made one and gave a presentation.

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Each day two of us helped Mama Arch in the kitchen.  Amber and I worked together in the kitchen and we made spaghetti.  Never in my life have I ever witnessed anyone make this much spaghetti for one meal!  Mama Arch and Anita have some cooking skills and we were truly impressed!  Look at the size of their pots!!

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They cleaned the dishes as they cooked; so the kitchen was never dirty!

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We made play dough at our flat and brought it in for the children to play with.  Nisha said she had never seen the things made with play dough that these children made.



I was touched with one boy came to show me that he had made the exact replica of my camera!

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Amber taught some children how to play the American version of hand games.


We taught the children how to make jewelry.

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Even Teacher Pumeza got in on the fun!!

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Our last day (September 27), they surprised us with a tearful program and lunch.  The transformed one of the classrooms into a dining room and it was beautiful!

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They began the program by singing “Happy Birthday” to Nisha, because they missed her birthday due to the Center being closed for the Heritage Holiday.

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Zolani read a beautiful poem.


Siphesihle recited a poem titled “Friendship.”


They sang and danced as well!!

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They really made it hard for us to say goodbye…

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Oh, I almost forgot to mention…  They found my name difficult to pronounce, so per Chantelle’s (pictured below) suggestion, they all called me “Mama;” even the workers!!  I LOVED it!!

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Emmanuel Advice Care Center – Spring School Break – September 23 – 30

School was closed from September 23 – 30 for Spring Break, which meant we would have been on break from our internships at Charles Duna and Tshume Primary Schools.  NOT; instead we spent the Spring Break at Emmanuel Advice Care Center, which is a  non-profit community development project dedicated to the high incidence of HIV/AIDS.

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Estolene Esau is the Project Manager, responsible for Finance and cares about the staff and funding.


Thembeka Klaaasen is one of the Founder Members; started as Care Giver and is now the Supervisor.


With her son Emmanuel


Sarah Sass is another Founder Member, who has known many of her clients for a long time and has a close relationship with them.

Sarah with her Daughter

Anita Hutton is another Founder Member; started as a Care Giver, appointed to Team Leader and is now responsible for Administration.


With her Daughter

Veronica Mantile, better known as “Mama Arch,” started as a Cook and when they had to stop the kitchen because of funding, she began to work as a Care Giver.  She still helps in the kitchen, when there is a need.  And boy, did we need her!

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Thokozile Buyaphi is also a Care Giver.

With her Daughter


Vuyo Oliphant started as a handyman and now works as a Care Giver.  He is also a very good keyboard player and often assists with the OVC’s Dancing Group.


Pumeza Ndyenga is the Crèche teacher.

With her Grandson

With her children

Rosaline Pullen began this year as a Crèche teacher and an administrator.

With her Daughter

Night at a Shebeen – KK Sports Bar – September 26

We enjoyed a night at a Shebeen (KK Sports Bar), which is an illicit bar or club where excisable alcoholic beverages were sold without a licence.  In modern South Africa, many “shebeens” are now fully legal and found within the township communities.138

Our transport was greeted by singers!

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We enjoyed drinks and dinner.

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We enjoyed entertainment by the Masiphathisane Youth Club

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And the Mbube Marimba Band

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It was an opportunity to participate in ordinary life and we absorbed the convivial community atmosphere with the locals.

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Heritage Day – September 24

Today is Heritage Day in South Africa, which is a public holiday in which South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people.  Since it was a holiday and most things were closed, we spent the holiday in a day of service at Jerusalem; an orphanage for children. 179 182 183 184 185 The Center is owned and ran by Mama Vinqi and her husband. 191 The children are taught by Nobum, who prepares them for Grade R (Readiness) 206 186 188 189 198 200 Prof (as Dr. Murphy is known in South Africa) gave the children a lesson on animals 215 213 The children sang their National Anthem to us and we sang nursery rhymes with them. 216 219 220 221 We helped Mama Vinqi prepare lunch and we ate with them. 208 211 225 226 227 228 Nisha, a member of our group, celebrated her 21st Birthday on this date.  We had a birthday cake for her and the children sang “Happy Birthday” to her. 115 187 229 230 195 202 203

Their Cat

Their Bathroom

Their Garden

Mama Vinqi and Prof

When we left the children were playing outside

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Backpackers Weekend – September 21 & 22

This weekend was spent as a Backpackers Weekend.  I must admit, before this weekend I had never heard of backpacking vacations.  Backpacking is a form of low-cost, independent international travel. It includes the use of a backpack or other luggage that is easily carried for long distances or long periods of time; the use of public transport; inexpensive lodging such as youth hostels; a longer duration to the trip when compared with conventional vacations; and an interest in meeting the locals as well as seeing the sights. It is typically associated with young adults who generally have fewer obligations and thus more time to travel. They also have less money to spend on hotels or private vehicles. It may include wilderness adventures or be limited to travel within settled areas.

Our Tour Guides Chevago and Chantelle
They were AWESOME!

We started the weekend doing zip lining at TsitsiKamma Canopy Tours.002 004 006 007 DSC02269 DSC02344 DSC02463 DSC02408

After zip lining, we went to the Garden Route National Park, which is a protected area well known as a coastal reserve for its indigenous forests, dramatic coastline, and the Otter Trail.

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Afterwards, we checked into Tube n Axe Backpackers Lodge.  This backpacking experience was new and different for me.

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The lodge holds a nightly roaring campfire and this is where I met some interesting people.  

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I met Julia and Mandy, who were from Germany and on a baz bus tour; which is a hop on hop off backpacker tour.  They were on an extended vacation where they would be traveling to South Africa, Peru, Australia and some other places (I don’t remember).  They were using baz bus tour during their stay in South Africa.  Their vacation will not end until the end of January!  

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Nelson and I met another guy, who was also from Port Elizabeth.


I met another couple from Germany; Christian and Myah.  Christian is a doctor and had been working in Cape Town.  Myah is his girlfriend and came to Cape Town to visit him.  They were doing a vacation before returning back home to Gernmany.


The Port Elizabeth guy went and got his guitar to play around the campfire, which drew the attention of others.  Everyone had a singing good time.

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The next day (Sunday) we went to Ocen Blue Adventures, situated in the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay (20 minutes from Knysna), for permitted boat based whale watching encounter.

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We spotted some whales, but I was unable to capture a picture of them.  And I did get sick on the boat.


The Skipper

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Other views from the boat

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After an unsuccessful encounter with the whales, we went for lunch at Ristorante Enrico, where the terrace of Enrico’s in Plettenberg Bay is a prime site for watching dolphins and whales with swooping views across the bay to Robberg.  As their logo say “Any closer and you will get wet”!


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I enjoyed the Seafood Pasta!

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Addo Elephant Park – September 14

Today we spent an entire day at the Addo Elephant Park, which is a diverse wildlife conservation park and is one of South Africa’s 19 National Parks.  It currently ranks third in size after Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.


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During our visit, we spotted the following:  Termite Mounds,

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Red Hartebeests,

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Burchell’s Zebras

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And mainly Elephants!!

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Red Location Museum

After school on Friday, September 13th we were picked up by Xolani Makhalima, who was born in Port Elizabeth, is responsible for driving volunteers to and from their project sites and currently training as a tour guide for Calabas Tours.

Xolani Makhalima

Xolani took us to tour the Red Location Museum, which  is an Apartheid museum in New Brighton township of Port Elizabeth.

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RED LOCATION  is one of the oldest settled Black Townships of Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. It derives its name from a series of corrugated iron barrack buildings, which are rusted a deep red color.  Building materials for these sheds stem from the First South Africa War (1899-1902) structures – the Boer concentration camp at Uitenhage as well as the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital at De Aar.   

It became a site of struggle during the years of Apartheid.  Many prominent political and cultural leaders were either born or lived in Red Location and a number of significant “struggle” events occurred here.

For example, the first MK (umKonto we Sizwe – former military wing of the African National Congress) cell in South Africa was established in Red Location and the first arrest after the passive resistance campaign (Defiance Campaign, 1952) against the notorious pass laws occurred at the Railway Station in the area.  Red Location offers the opportunity to draw together the strands of struggle that mark the attempts by different groups in South Africa to free themselves.

It is ironic that the activists of Red Location occupied the same sets of spaces that their so-called enemy, “the Boers,” occupied as spaces of incarceration during the First South African War.

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Exhibitions at the Red Location Museum include the Hall of Columns, dedicated to heroes of the struggle.

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Struggle and Music

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Vuyisile Mini was a unionist, Umkhonto we Sizwe activist, singer and one of the first Africa National Congress members to be executed by apartheid South Africa.

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Our Tour Guide

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Langa Massacre – The incident happened when marchers gathered in Langa, a township on the outskirts of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, preparing to move on to Kwanobuhle, 10 km away, where the commemorative service observing the 25th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre of 21 March 1960.  Unbeknownst to the Langa demonstrators, however, the government had banned the event. Police opened fire on the crowd, killing between 20 and 43 people (sources vary). 094 095 093 102 101 099 096 097 098 112 116

September 06 – 5th Day in Port Elizabeth

Today Charles Duna began the day with an all school assembly.

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During the assembly four students performed their recitals that they had previously performed in a competition.  

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After school they held an Abstinence Rally, along with the Children from the local High School, to take a stand for a safer community with less violence and sexual exploitation and experimentation.

The girls from the High School

The drummers from the High School

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