Thursday, July 31, 2008

Greetings from Zanzibar!!!

Yesterday we flew from Zambia to Jo'burg. We stayed at a really neat hostel that used to me a mafia mansion. We spent the night eating at Nando's and then going to the movies. The delivery guy frm Nando's gave us a ride to the movie theater.

This morning we flew from Jo'burg to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We flew in too late to catch the last ferry to Zanzibar, so we hopped on a realllly small toy plane that brought us to Zanzibar. Our piolet on the small plane gave us a recommendation of a place to spend the night (because obviously we had absolutely no idea where we were going). Our 3 friends are flying in tomorrow then we are going to the eastern side of Zazibar to lay on the beach :o)

It is BEAUTIFUL here! We spent the evening having a huge meal and drinks right on the beach and are about to go and pass out in our room that is very Moroccan-Muslin looking... with a cool looking canopy mosquito net around the bed.

We are doing quite the amazing race. Ever since we have left the orphanage in Durban, we haven't all been together (all 7 of us traveling) and tomorrow is going o\to be the first time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

greetings from zambia!!!

I am traveling with Emma, Danielle, Johanna, Olivia, Esther, and Tim (only boy to protect us! 1 boy 6 girls… lucky guy)

Day 1 of travel: Flew from Cape Town to Durban. Rented a car in Durban (yes, we weren’t of age, the steering wheel is on the right, and they drive on the wrong side of the road). Being able to navigate the roads of Africa is quite an adventure. After we rented the car, we headed to the orphanage (about an hr out of the city). One of the girls we were traveling with lived and worked there for a year. It was in the middle of nowhere. It got dark out an we got very lost. We ended up in a township after dark… which we were warned as the one thing NOT to do. The roads were terrible and there were people on the side of the road and in bushed waving us down to give them a ride. It was probably one of the scariest moments of my life. If we had hit someone that night, we unanimously said that we would keep driving. I think most of us were almost in tears. If our car had either broken down, we got in a crash, got a flat tire, etc during the time we were lost in the back roads of a township, we would have undoubtedly been robbed and probably killed. We eventually found our way to the orphanage and finally got to sleep.

Day 2: We woke up and went to play and have breakfast with the orphans. We then got on a bus because the orphanage was going to the beach in Durban for the day :o) During the day at the beach, the orphanage bus got stolen. Apparently Durban is a very dangerous city.

Day 3: Woke up very early to fly to Jo’berg then catch a flight to Livingstone, Zambia. We landed at the smallest airport that I have ever seen… there wasn’t even a gate or baggage claim! We are staying at the Zambezi Sun (google it) which is a VERY nice resort and is directly next to Victoria Falls. We can only afford this because we are squeezing 5 people in the room! We spent the day the pool with margaritas.. dodging the baboons that came by trying to steal our food. There is this guy here and his main job is to walk around with a slingshot scaring off the baboons. How awesome is that job?! We walked down to Victoria Falls, which is a short walk from our back door, for the sunset.

Day 4: We went white water rafting down the Zambezi River. Zambia was on one side and Zimbabwe was on the other. It was SO scary! The first rapid we did was a class 5!! We flipped the boat and I got a glimpse of how it feels like to drown! It was a great day… we had a lot of fun and yelled a lot. On the drive home from the bottom of the river, we went through some villages. They were very village-like… not like the townships we experienced in South Africa. These were in the middle of no-where sand and they had one pump for water and one main garden, goats, chickens, etc.

I don’t have a cell phone or internet here (very expensive internet), so I’ll be uncontactable for the next few days.

Tomorrow we are heading to Jo’berg for the night and then to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar until the 5th when we fly back to Cape Town and fly back to the states on the 6th.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good Bye for now Cape Town

We are checking out of our hotel today. We're spending a night in a hostel around here the tomorrow we head to Durban, South Africa for 2 days. We are staying in an orphanage there and then on the 28th flying to Livingston, Zambia. Weare staying here for the 28 and 29 then flying to Jo'burg, South Africa for a night (the 30th) then heading to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania where we are going to land and then hop on a fboat/ferry to Zanzibar. We will be in Zanzibar for the next 3 days and then Dar es Salaam for day. We fly from Dar to Cape Town on Aug 5. We finally fly back to the US through Dakar, Senegal on the 6th arriving back in Boston on August 7th.

That was a mouthful!!

The easiest way to get in contact with me is through email. I may not be able to check it regulalry, but I'm sure I will be able to check it at points. There is now a total of 7 people traveling (some more added on!) including 1 boy to protect us :o)

Ciao for now!!

Shark diving!!!

Good, Better, and horrible news:
Good: I’m alive
Better: I got some great pics
Horrible: My camera broke

We went great white shark diving today! We left the hotel at 530 and took a 2 hour bus ride where we had breakfast then walked to the boat. We went out about 20 minutes and then got into our wetsuits. 3 others and myself volunteered to go first… I was so excited!! I got to bring my underwater camera into the cage with us and got some great pics. That was before a door on my camera came open and it got very wet. I’m now taking donations for a new camera. I really don’t want to be camera-less on my ventures to Zambia, Tanzania, and Zanzibar, but my other friends will have their cameras ass well.
Although the situation with the camera is really horrible, being able to be so close to sharks (great whites!) was amazing!!! As always, be sure to check out my pictures. Until I get enough donations for a new one, there is going to be the last pic update for a while!!

Danielle, Tim, and Nils

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wine Tour!

We went on a wine tour today to 3 different wine tastings at 3 different vineyards. The wine was unbelievable and I now have 6 bottles to somehow bring home. The scenery and the different vineyards were so beautiful and we even met some local students who were just there to enjoy the nice day (and load up on wine).

Tomorrow is SHARK DIVING! I’m so excited! We have to wake up and get on the bus to leave at 515 am. We also booked our smaller flights for our travel after when we got back to the hotel. We are going from Cape Town to Durban for three days where we are going to stay in an orphanage. We are them catching a flight to Jo’burg South Africa to then catch a flight to Zambia (Victoria Falls). From there (spending a day or 2) we are flying back to jo’berg to get on a flight to Dar Es Salaam then boating over to Zanzibar. After a few days there, we are going to go back to Dar and spend some time there. Seems very confusing, but I think we have it down pat! 3 more people joined our group of traveling afterwards as well.

OK, check my pictures for the latest and hopefully I’ll make it back alive tomorrow to update more :o)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Safari @ Aquila Game Reserve

Today and yesterday we went on an overnight safari at Aquila Game Reserve. We went on a game drive at night and them early in the morning. Aquila was SO nice! We stayed in these huts with wood burning fire places and an outdoor shower.. they were actually veryyy nice. This morning we went out and got chased by a tiger. We were in an open jeep, and as we tried to drive away the tiger came running and then tried to get in front of the car. See my pictures and my youtube.

I’ve decided I was to take home a giraffe :o)

In the process of being chased
The group

Giraffe :o)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Be sure to...

check my pictures and my youtube!!! New additions just made


Friday: We went to Izoko to visit a paper making business and a township (see pictures). We then had a final group dinner on the water.

Saturday: We went to Greenmarket Square which is a craft market… if was really fun to barter the price! I realized how bad I am at negotiating haha

Sunday: We went on a day-long tour down to the peninsula to Cape Point… this is the south-western most point of the African continent. We rode bikes down to the final point and hiked around. It was so beautiful! You have to check out my pictures to see it to believe it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

***Link to my YouTube video

Here is the link to a video I just uploaded. My user name is katiejerdee... I'll be uploading more when I get time. If you search that name on you should be able to see all the results

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A video of Kheyalitsha

It's different than seeing the million still shots I took

Wed & Thurs

Yesterday we went to visit University of Cape Town (its beautiful!) and on a tour of a colored township and got to view a school. We saw one of their primary (elementary school). They only have a budget for the year of about $30 per student and that doesn’t include teachers salaries.

Today we went to visit the Kheyalitsha township. We walked around and then went to visit Africa Jams. This is a township, kids group that is based around drama, singing, etc. They were awesome and visiting them was really fun.

Tomorrow is our last day of the “official school trip”. During the week next week we are going to Aquila Game Reserve, a wine tour, and shark diving. Can’t wait :o)
Pictures will be coming….

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some Pics From Yesterday



Steetwire Workers

Blue Prints for the Guguletu Mall

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mon & Tues

Yesterday we had a heated class discussion then headed to the Guguletu township to have lunch at Mzoli’s Meat…. Which is an up-and-coming restaurant located in the township. The food was all meat, and the sauce was really good. They didn’t have napkins… instead they had a giant communal pot of water to wash your hands (there was also no silverwear)!
Of my time I have spent in South Africa so far, it is safe to say that I have eaten more meat than I have eaten in the last 4 years of my life. I have also eaten more puff pastry/break than I have ever eaten. EVERY meal consists of meat and bread somehow. I have never seen so many creative ways to combine the two?! I am in desperate need of a salad.

Anyway, today we had another interactive class, then we headed over to District 6 to drive through and go to the museum. District 6 (where our bus driver we have had since we’ve been here originally comes from) is a mainly Muslin/colored area where in the 70’s, the residents got completely displaced to colored townships outside of the city. Their whole community was torn down and now just vacant fields are in their spot. There are still traces of where roads used to be. It was really sad to hear about. It kind of reminded me of the holocaust minus all the lives lost. The whites that kicked them out did nothing with the space… not even plant any trees. Its just long grass and weeds that grow there now. We went to the District 6 museum that was really interesting to hear about. District 6 happened to be next to Bo-Kaap which is an area of Cape Town that is also very Muslim that is known for the brightly colored houses. If you have seen pictures of Cape Town, you have probably seen pictures of Bo-Kaap.

We visited Streetwires which is a South African art company that focuses of using wire and beads. It’s hard to explain, but go to my site to see pictures. There were dozens of people using pliers and beading in the basement. The arts that they made were awesome!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Solja Boy goes to South Africa

Love this kid.

Table Mountain & Robben Island

Orphanage in Guguletu

Today we went to make lunch and play with the kids at an orphanage in the township of Guguletu. There turned out to be over 150 kids there everywhere from 6-21 years old. We got to make lunch for them which was MUCH more craziness than I expected!! The kids were SO cute! We brought soccer balls, Frisbees, and other games to play with them, but they just enjoyed playing anything with us…. Especially having us give them piggy-back rides. One little girl asked me to be her mother and asked when I would be back to visit again. It was really kind of sad!

Here are some pictures from today, but be sure to check my Picasa pictures to see them all!

Short Update

So you don’t think I’m dead, I’ll give you a short update. On Friday, the presentation went very well, and I went out to eat with some of the group to a Thai Seafood place down by the water. On Saturday, we went to Robben Island. This is where Mandela was kept and we got to see his cell. Next we went to Table Mountain and took a cable car up and down. The view was AMAZING and I got some great pictures. I’m about to go out for my friends birthday, so look forward to seeing the pictures tomorrow. Also during the day tomorrow we’re going to an Orphanage in Gugulatho (township). We just finished going grocery shopping to make all the kids lunch and got SO much food!

I’ll update more with pics tomorrow.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Procrastinating work...

These are my friend, Ben's, photos (hes a much better photographer than I am). The internet here is very slow, so you can imagine how long its taking me to psot all of these... which is why I'm taking the time to upload them and its already past 11pm and I still have work to do!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just another Tuesday

No big update today. Cold and rainy again. I still love Cape Town though :o)

I have pretty much spent my week so far at TSiBA working on my project and having a class in the morning. My project now has changed to putting together a ‘documentary’ type video of the program that will eventually lead to gaining support from donors for this program. It is actually pretty cool and will probably require a lot of follow up work when I get back home.

Today we heard about Banco Comportamos which is a bank that operates in Mexico and gives loans to the very poor people that can’t get loans from any other bank. Banco gives them HUGE interest rates (about 100%), so we had a discussion about those and if they are ethically correct to do that. We also talked about Freeplay Energy that created the wind-up radios to give people in very poverty communities and also (to make a profit) sell to campers, rescue people, emergency crew.

This week we have no big plans besides working on our projects. This weekend we have plans to go work in an orphanage right outside of Cape Town.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Kirstenboch & National Gallery

Today we took a group outing to the National Gallery and then to the Kirstenboch Botanical Gardens. The weather was horrible out, but we were champions and stuck through it. Kirstenboch was awesome and would have been even better if the weather had cooperated. We were supposed to go to either Table Mnt or Robbin Island, but the weather was bad so we postponed those. Check out my pictures for today. A warning that it’s a lot of (probably boring to you) scenery shots, that you might have had to be there to understand. By the way, I love Cape Town and I’m not sure I’ll be returning.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tedy's Team Shout Out

Although I'm busy saving the world down here, my fundraising has not dissapeared! A few days after I return in August, I'll be running the Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod for Tedy's Team (the team I ran the marathon for). I could really appreciate any donation!!

The website is below to visit and make any online donation.


This is after I finished Boston with some friends from school

July 4th clebration & Waterfront

Last night we went out to an American Bar to celebrate the 4th of July. We met some other Americans there and had a really fun night of “Dancing Queen” and the YMCA. There was another TSiBA student who came with us and I think we managed to scare him with our typical American ways! Kidding… he had fun! After a very late evening (things don’t close by 2am like in the states!), I slept in until about 1030 and then went down with Emma and Camille to the Waterfront. We found an awesome mall and ended up buying a lot. We all didn’t pack for the cold, rainy weather of winter in Cape Town!

That’s been our day off so far! About to go grab some dinner at the hotel and head out tonight!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

Today we went to visit Khayalitsha Cookies which was located inside the township, then relocated to a bigger factory outside. They employ only poor women from Kheyalitsha to bake the cookies (make the dought, cut, bake, package, label…) We got to see their factory and meet the women.

We them went back to the class room and learned about the Dancing Deer Baking Co located in Roxbury, MA. They pretty much mirror how K. Cookies operates (even though they didn’t know about eachother!). You can find Dancing Deer cookies in Whole Food, William Sonoma, etc. They only hire people that either need the money and live in Roxbury, mentally ill, or poor immigrants. There are a lot of perks of working there including $500 tuition for any sort of class they want to take.

After the short class, we went to a braai (barbeque) to celebrate the 4th. We did a lot of games including musical chairs… I even made it pretty far in it haha. Check my pictures to see some more of it. The braai was a lot of fun! It was great to let loose with the students. Looking forward to the weekend and our day off tomorrow! We have plans to climb Table Mnt on Sunday, but that might change due to rainy weather.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Random Thought: Minority

I've never been in a place before where I am the minority. In South Africa, about 10% of the people are white. After traveling within the states and all around Europe, until now I have never been in a place where I went through that. Besides being the minority around Cape Town, when I am in the township, besides the people I’m with, I’m the ONLY white person there. It’s very fascinating to be the one of the other side this time… and relate to everything you have heard about being a minority.

Quick Update

Today we had another interesting day. The beginning of our lecture was focused around my professors business’s he started. One of them had to do with vaccines and eggs. Long story short, many vaccines are made through eggs. One vaccine factors got their eggs from the Amish (about 6 million eggs per day). They cultivate the vaccines through eggs and then put them all together in larger quantinties. 1 out of ever 3 vile had to be thrown away because of using bad eggs. What he did was create a sterile environment for the eggs that now eliminated this waste. These eggs were more expensive, but totally eliminated the money they wasted on unusable vaccines. There are factories open in us, china, etc.

We talked about LifeStraw (which is really cool! and Kickstart. They are both social entrepreneur ventures and we discussed the different business models they use.
To work on our projects, we went back into the township to meet and talk to the attorney. We got some good information and are going to work on putting it together tomorrow. I am cutting this off because we are going out for a group dinner at a traditional African restaurant then I’m coming back to work on a presentation I’m giving tomorrow on Institute for OneWorld Health. I’ll explain more tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Khayelitsha township and classes

Today we met at TSiBA for the morning for a lecture by our professor from NU. The lecture was so great and very interactive. The main question to start the day was, “Who was more of an entrepreneur: Nelson Mandela or Bill Gates?” A very long and in depth controversy arose from that. Some of the topics even included race, gender, and politics… three things you would never think of bringing up in a class at home.
At lunch, when talking with some TSiBA students, they told us how shocked they were to learn that we never bring up race or politics in class. They are extremely open about everything in class and brought up in discussion. I tried to explain how race is a very sensitive subject and some people get really offended. Another NU students said that if you bring up race in a class, you could possibly be labeled as racist or people could get the wrong impression. During our class time it was unbelievable the things we were talking about… that I would never think to talk about in a class setting. Everything from the lack of women entrepreneurs and why to Obama representing blacks in the upcoming election. The TSiBA students are VERY knowledgable. Not that I expected them not to be, but I was very shocked at their level of education.
All of the students from TSiBA are there on a full scholarship (the school brings in donors) and most if not all of them live in a township themselves. I can tell they all really want to be there and just soak up the knowledge. I can sense they try harder than most of the students from home.
Our project got changed from the dance school to the M Njozela Attornies right in the middle of the Kheylitsha township- the third largest township in South Africa with over 2 million people squished into too small of an area. I was taken back when I arrived in the Langa township, but Kheylitsha was even more of a shock. It was double if not more poverty struck than Langa. I drove about 30 minutes into the township and the whole time there were shacks on both sides as far as I could see. These shacks reminded me of bird nests. It looks like that has just gathered any sort of scrap metal, wood, or cardboard they could find and nailed them together. Each of them were no larger than 2 persons wide and one across. They were somehow each for a whole family.
The Law Office we met with comprised of 3 people, 1 computer, and no filing cabinet. We are going back tomorrow to meet with them about the plan more, so I’ll write more about it tomorrow.
**Turn your head to the side to see the pic: it's a pic I took from the bus of the Khayelitsha township. Trying not to take pics outside in respect to the people that live there.