Our Second Weekend in Chintsa – Bulungula Lodge

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After our overnight stay at the Mbolompo Home stay, we began the next day with a tour by Roger Galloway, who is coordinating the building of home stays in the of the rural village of Zithulele; located in the Eastern … Continue reading

Our Second Weekend in Chintsa – Mbolompo Home Stay

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For our second weekend we traveled to Mbolompo, on the Southern Wild Coast, for a cultural experience in a traditional Xhosa village with a Xhosa family.  We spent our first night at the Mbolompo Home Stay. The homestead belongs to … Continue reading

Our First Weekend in Chintsa East

Though we were some hard workers in Chintsa East, our weekends were planned to be fun!  We spent our first weekend in Chintsa East and most of the time studying.

We did take time to enjoy the beach!  Because our house was beach front, we only lived a short walk to the beach.

While we were at the beach, we saw people beach horse riding.

We thought about trying it, but we never got the chance.  Though, it was fun just watching other people do it.

GREAT time at the beach!

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Our Work is Done, But Gwegwesha’s Needs Continue

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We are PROUD to see how Gwegwesha Day Care Center has progressed since our arrival! We were able to leave them with a small gift.  Remember, the picture I said, “Remember this picture?”  Well, we had it blown up, framed … Continue reading

Bamboo Siding for Gwegwesha Day Care Center

The shelter for the Gwegwesha Day Care Center was made as a Tin Shack with three of the outside walls already covered with wood.  Tin was still displayed on the outside of the front of the shack.  Our third project was to cover the front of the shelter with bamboo.  Shelter sided with bamboo is low maintenance and blends beautifully with natural landscapes.  Bamboo is fast growing grass.

We began this project by going to another location and cutting down the bamboo.  The men used a machete and hand saws to cut it down.

And we, the women carried it the trailer to be transported to Wellington’s place.

Note:  After our first day of cutting down the Bamboo, Amber broke out in an allergic reaction and had to go to the Doctor for medication.  For this reason, she was restricted from working with the bamboo.

Next, we used the machete to clean the bamboo up.  The guys used the machete, hammer and the hand saw to split each one in half.

We, the women, lined up the bamboo and drilled holes in them in for the screws to be placed through.

That was the end of our week.  The next week the other group from our group worked on putting up the bamboo.  When we returned for our final visit, we were able to see the final product!

We all were so proud, on our final review day we used this spot as our back drop for taking pictures.

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Neighboring Skills in Mzwini

While we worked in Mzwini we noticed other residents using their personal skills in the area.  After Wellington’s naughty pig had eaten some of his chicks and all of his garden, he had to start his garden anew.  He hired a neighborhood man to turn the soil on his entire plot.  This was an elderly man, but Wellington said this is what the man LOVED to do.  We were always amazed how he would already be there working, when we arrived and would still be working when we left.  It was like watching a peaceful artist at work.  He worked alone and never stopped until this day, when Amber went to ask him if she could take his picture.

Denver informed us that he and Wellington had decided to turn the sand box in the playground area into a little garden.  They wanted to use it as nutritional teachable lessons for the children.  On the day we were shoveling up dirt to start a little garden for the Crèche, we noticed another neighbor who was building a house and Wellington told us it was his own house!  Now, that we had a little construction knowledge, we could tell that his house was different.  Wellington showed us another house that he had completed in the village.  We were so intrigued, Wellington walked us over to meet him and look around at his work.  

The builder with Wellington

We were most impressed because all of the houses in the village were one room that was used for the bedroom, the living room and the kitchen.  This man was building this house as a brick house with a small front porch and three different rooms.

The house was on the same lot as his current house.
Note:  He said he was happy we were taking a picture of his house with the chicken sitting on the door.    

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His Garden

He told us that he was building the house for his children.  Once the house was completed, he would continue to live in his current house.  Come to find out, one of the guys working with him was his son.

We were so amazed at the work these villagers were able to accomplish with the supplies and tools they used!  We could tell that it took a great deal of time, but they made everything look so possible!

We felt quite proud of our work to start the garden at the Crèche!

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Outside Benches for Gwegwesha Day Care Center

Our next project at Gwegwesha was to build outside benches near the playground area that would allow the teachers to sit and watch the children while they were playing in the playground area. These were the only tools we used.  Notice:  no power tools.   370 We began by using a pickaxe to break the ground and make holes for the poles.

Next, we used a hand saw to cut the poles.

We placed the poles into the holes. 367 Next we shoveled the dirt back into the hole and stamped it around the pole. 269   Next we used the hand saw to cut down and tailor the poles.

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After constructing the poles, we added the planks for the seat of the bench.

Here is one of the two benches we made. 161   And to show you how strong it is, here we all are sitting on one of the benches! 158   That was the end of our week.

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When we returned for our second week, we tarnished the benches. 211   Now the teachers were able to use the benches, while the children played in the play area. 554   Not only were the teachers able to use the benches, so were the children and US!

Toilets for Gwegwesha Day Care Center

Because Wellington is a very resourceful community leader, he learned of Volunteer Africa 32 South and the work they did to uplift and develop rural African schools.  He reached out to them for assistance.  They agreed and made a commitment to help him, which is how we connected to his project.

Before our arrival, Volunteer Africa had previously connected a group from Germany to work on Wellington’s project.  They were successful in building the fence around the property and refurbishing the inside roof in the shelter.  They did not stop there.  Because the shelter was just one room, there was no bathroom.  The children were using a little potty that was outside on the side of the shelter; no privacy amongst each other or anyone else.  The Germany group saw this as a priority need, when they were working at the crèche and they collected funds from their friends in Germany and purchased outside toilets (portal potties) for the crèche.

By the time we arrived, installing the toilets was next on the agenda.  The Germany group had already completed digging the holes for the toilets.

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The next step was building the foundation for the toilets, which included making and laying cement.

Wellington had different piles of rocks and sand on his land.  We needed to transport the rocks and sand across the road to the creche grounds.  We used one wheel barrel and filed it up with rocks.  After it was filled, Ronald, one of the project helpers or Denver would walk it across the road to the Crèche.

Next, we had to mix the rocks and sand.  Then add water, cement and mix it all together.

Next, the board for the cement had to be laid.

Then tailored with a hole for the toilet.

 

Next, the steps for the cement to be added.

Next, the cement was poured onto the board.

And that was the end of our week.  The work continued with the other four of our group, the next week.  When we returned for our second week, the toilets were installed!

Now, the kids can have privacy when using the toilets!  Denver had to teach them to stand in a line.  

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Gwegwesha Day Care Center

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Gwegwesha Day Care Center was motivated, created and founded from a vision of Wellington Kangapi, who is originally from Mzwini. Wellington moved from Mzwini to Cape Town and obtained a job with the South African Police Department.  He worked there … Continue reading