Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
3:43PM - Oh Look an ELEPHANT
AFRICA on the mind....
Not Getting to go when I wanted to on the mind......
Missing the mountain (yeah thats right) on the mind...........
The Rattlesnake I almost stepped on yesterday, and where he went, on the mind.........
Red Sox winning the world series on the mind.....
Can you tell I am bored.......
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Monday, September 27, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
This is a letter from fellow IICD student Shunta who is now in Angola....
Hi everyone! From Africa Angola. Its my 4th week here and Im getting used to things, but the food Im getting tired of eating the same corn meal & beans we have here everyday. Im going to attach my 1st report which I wrote on my 4th day and never got a chance to send to everyone. Right now Im doing an English class at Cidadella & EPF, and also working on reconstructing the Jangos with Child Aid. Birgit has arrived from Huambo (Martina I don’t know her yet, Jytte Brigit says hi) and is advising on the Child Aid project. I also did my first malaria test and was negative, Thank god. A lot of mosquitoes here and there are more yet to come. With EPF students I had my first swim in the river which was super polluted and was frightening. The bicycle I brought here is doing a terrific job for me since Caxito is 6km away from our property, and its also good fun on weekends. So here it is!!! Hi Everyone!!
This is Shunta. I have arrived in Caxito safely and this is my 4th day. I’m only here for 4 days and yet there is so much to write about, so much difference from the world I used to be. Me and my team of 8 people arrived at the airport on this Saturday and spread to our projects on the same day. One by one my friends either take the bus or take the airplane or take a car. And also myself too. I was in the car traveling and exploring through Luanda and was simply shocked to see everyone living in the dust, wondering around in the slums, sitting on the curb, doing almost nothing. All the garbage in the city, all the children not doing anything, dogs dieing on the street, and when the cars stop at the lights all the people come around the car selling the most amazing things. Batteries, notebooks, pens, chocolate, microwave ovens, floppy disks. The situation was a chaos. Everyone moving in a different direction, striving and pushing their own way to live life. It was so different comparing to the organized down by law life of Japan. I definitely thought that I would die in a situation like this. After going to the HQ of ADPP in Angola I and my car headed to Caxito. On the way from Luanda, there were slums after slums after slums, not a place for someone to live, and the reality is that people really live in those places. Despite the ugly site of the city, the people seemed to be energetic and looked quite nice. Meaning dressed nice as well. Maybe this is because most of the people were young. I do realize that the average life expectancy is 36 years now. On the way I saw many water pipelines headed for Luanda, an oil company with a huge mass of land, and also the cars!! The cars will flood the roads and almost hit each other because anyone doesn’t care. So scary!! And the cars with hazard lamps on. So many cars like this. It is a funeral for someone and again you realize how many people are dying each moment. Near Luanda you can see the ocean, you bet no one can swim in the sea here because it is so polluted. Then the road seems to be in the countryside with a nice view with a huge refugee camp in a distance. And in an hour finally you arrive in Caxito!! The roads are good with nice paved roads but once you get into the back roads, oh my god! All the garbage in piles in the road, children playing in them, chickens and pigs eating rubbish. And the market!! Wow they have everything! Batteries, fruits, rice, sugar, disks, keys, potatoes, tomatoes, and the meat. Meat is sold by chunks laying there in the sun on top of a simple cardboard table with flies all over them. I wonder what happens when the meat doesn’t sell? Do they smoke it? Just wondering. I would not want to buy this by any means. It looked so much un hygienic. So after going through Caxito and the little neighboring village Sassa, there is a little forest of baobab trees so fascinating just like in a movie, of a future or in a distant planet. And on a little hill there is ADPP em Caxito with a gate saying “Bem Vindo” = Welcome! And again another wow! This place is huge!! It has many white buildings that are flat and 1 stories high, has a basketball court, a volleyball court, and children playing around. I found out that this place was Cidadella=Children’s town. In a distance there is EPF=Teacher Training Collage with about 80 students learning here. With luck I managed to meet Naoko the head master of Cidadella, I have heard rumors that she wasn’t here anymore with her 5 years commitment ended this May. But she was here just about to leave the next day. It was so beneficial for me to learn about the projects here how she run them and what stage everything was in, adding to hear about her opinion of her 5 years in Angola. I Also I met my project leader Inocencio. He was younger than I supposed. He was 28 years old with fluent English. I really thought this guy was an elite here. He’s been to Zimbabwe in the frontline institute for 2 years and also worked as a teacher for 2 years in Durban for the DI’s studying there.
And the wonderful Diogo, Kuman and Cabeludo that Tanja was mentioning about. They all worked for Cidadella. Right now it is in the Holiday, and will start again next week. Right now I have a room in one of those white buildings, 1 bed of course with a mosquito net, 1 chair and a table and a large window with a nice view of the courtyard in front. The water tank is currently broken, so we get a bucket of water for the shower and a bucket for my drinking water from the little water pool we store the water. This water is not hygienic!! I tell you many kids here drink the water directly and get sick. The tempurature is quite easy here. It’s probably about 20 degrees to 25 degrees. Japan was much more hotter when I was there before coming here. At the teacher training collage there are students around 18 – 22 or 23 and the majority is boys. Maybee 10 percent is girls here. They are pretty much enthusiastic about learning new things and they always ask me if I can give them a mathmatic class or an English class or a computer class. Next week I want to work in the childrens town to attend some portuguese classes, art classes and to do a English class for the 7th and 8th graders. Hopefully I can do something in EPF too. And finally about the project. Child Aid in Caxito is in one of it`s dramaticall stages now. It used to have 16 pre-schools around the province untill they were attacked by Unita on 2001. By 2003 Oct, 4 pre-schools were restarting thanks to the 2 previous DI`s here Kicki and Tanja. The 4 pre-school were run by some partnerships and by the help of WFP. These pre-schools were appreciated by the primary school teachers because the children already know how to use pencils and pens and so on. So by this summer 2004 the Angolan government and the ministry of education officially agreed with ADPP to make these Jangos a pre-school official recognized by the government and to finacially support all of the 16 Jangos in the province. Right now we are fixing schedules to see when we can start re-building the Jangos and how much we can spend on each one. We are trying to build 3 Jangos a month and run them so 12 Jangos this year will be built from September. Until Macrh 2005 we want to complete the 4 that is rest. So the Jangos = pre-schools are currently closed for construction. I am so excited to be in this stage now to actually start the Jangos and to see them activating again. So my first report should end around here and I`ll right more when there is more progress. See you again!! With love. Shunta
Thursday, August 19, 2004
feeling pretty drained for canvassing today. so im going to talk about all the wonderful people we have met the past couple days. the truly wonderful people not those other special ones. so the great encouraging ones.....
the first one that brought back my faith in humanity was this old man that we met on the first day. he had been traveling in africa for 10 years. he was very sweet and had me sit and the porch while he told me stories of his travles in africa. he was the begining.
many in between but an especially moving one was on tuesday when we were walking back to the car. a saw our shirts and binders and stoped us and asked what we were doing. so we told her anmd she said she has just been in zimbabwe. i asked her how is was and she told us. the way she said it and the sadness in her voice...tears came to her eyes as she spoke of it. how horrible it is there. she said it would change us and that it was so wonderful that there were young peopel out there doing this. and when we said goodbye she gave both of us a hug. she made it more real for me. i mean we know its tough there, but we dont really know.
today a little girl of about six gave me 11 pennies that she raised at a garage sale. many times its those little ones that move my the most. and she gave me advice about the neighbors. very sweet.
so its tough stuff that i never thought id be doing but for the most part i like it. at least its interesting and the nice people make up for everything. i still get nervous so my alter ego kajsa goes for me a lot of the time. yeah...
Monday, August 16, 2004
3:02PM - FUN-raising
We're at the library and I just finished writing you both an email and the computer froze... so this will be short.
Here are our figures for last week...
Monday Jenny $147 Shira $260
Tuesday Jenny $100 Shira $174
Wednesday Jenny $45 Shira $94
Thursday... we spent the evening talking with a friend who has done canvassing in Madison. He mapped out the city for us, showed us all the good canvassing neighborhoods, and showed us how to make charts of what houses we went to...
Friday Jenny $95 Shira $115
Jenny has received a number of checks from friends and family and will be sending those in soon...
I've made an agreement with a local feminist book store that will be selling some of my t-shirts for me... I will be dropping them off today.
We are also in contact with a local sports store and are trying to get them to donate camping supplies... we also are planning on contacting the AIDS Resource Center in hopes for a donation of condoms....
I'm flying to Texas this friday evening and will return to Madison Monday... my parents unexpectedly bought me a ticket... Jenny will stay with my friends and continue to canvas... hopefully I will make some money in Texas.
That's all for now...
Monday, August 9, 2004
3:10PM - forward from madison
So, the first half week of fundraising went well. Jenny and I got to Madison late Wednesday night... it's not everyday that you can say you've been in 7 different states in one day... The first two days we did some networking and a few hours of canvassing. Jenny broke down her passive walls and made around $50 that day! Today we've been networking, working on two benefits at two different bars, we just have to find a local band... our plan is to canvas 5pm-8pm during the week. We went to Wal-Mart today and set up a fundraising event with them where we would sit outside and sell t-shirts and they would match what ever we made. They seemed somewhat enthusiastic about it but about an hour ago, ironically just as I was telling Jenny how surprised I was that a corporate store was going to help us and how my view on Wal-Mart had completely changed, we received a phone call from them telling us they had changed their mind and would rather support local organizations such as "boy scouts"... hmmm... We also walked down State Street, one of the most popular streets downtown and we put a few of our donation jars in some stores, I also talked to a few different art stores and they may be willing to let me put some of my t-shirts in their store to sell for me... What else?... Jenny and I are just trying to get used to hearing the words "not interested" we're a little too sensitive... well, for me it just makes me hate people, the fact that they don't even have a minute to hear what we have to say... but we're trying to get used to it and develop as my father put it the other day "elephant skin" which I thought was humorous considering that this is "team elephant"... ok, well sorry about the dry humor but fundraising is mentally exhausting... Maybe if you have time Lynn, you could write us back... we need a stimulating mind... or maybe Jytte, with some inspirational stories or profound statements...
hope all is well on the mountain...
never thought I'd miss it so much.
Friday, August 6, 2004
11:49PM - i hope this works
OK, so I was finally able to figure a way to write on this. (i tried a couple of things... not the best at this computer stuff)
My test is in a week! yikes! but it is almost over.
It´s been nice to be back home.
Jenny, I did it! ALMOST, but I think I will wait till that last day, so I don´t have to see him again for a while... I am dreading that day...
all for now. I hope you all are doing great, among sketchy cars, a disabled foot and in the absence of the rest of the team.
get the money and run!
Hey everyone. I am in NH now, helping pack the vehicle for the first fest. my foot is healing quickly it was a small but deep cut. I have been getting lots of offers from people about festivals and places to stay if I go to them so it looks like I should be sucsessful.
Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Shira and Larry and I leave today...hopefully. some problems with the car...but we will be off soon. nervous and excited
12:03AM - Hello from the Road
In VT, working on preps for the festival, might go to one this weekend its my friends brothers fest, went swimming at some water falls today. cut my foot. ouch. doing fine though
Thursday, July 29, 2004
1:10PM - links
IICD - http://www.iicd-volunteer.org/
DRH Movement - http://www.drh-movement.org/
Humana People to People - http://www.humana.org/
Shreka's Stories - http://www.iicd-volunteer.org/newsite/stories/Shekras/storie_001.html
Thursday, July 22, 2004
7:35PM - the mountain effect
cause - living on a secluded mountain
symptoms - rolling down long grassy hills, sharing a cup between 4 four people during dinner, beating on trash cans, beating on tables, beating on anything we can find, random booty shaking, playing the cup game over and over and over again(nightly entertainment), excepting mouse poop as an everyday part of life, setting off imaginary fireworks, screaming "get me off of this mountain NOW" repeatedly
If any or all of these sypmtoms should occur Please remove yourself from the mountain for a minumum of two hours, preferably by car
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
2:39PM - arg
Come on now we need some more posts on this thing here. give me something to read PLEASE
Thursday, July 15, 2004
4:56PM - A quick question
Now.... This Mozambique you speak of.... where is it? anywhere near montana or is it more towards canada?
2:48PM - African Art Class
There will be an african art class on Thursday July 22nd @ 3:00pm in the common room. We will be making African masks and Sculptures. Materials will be provided but you are welcome to bring any other personal materials such as paints, found objects for the sculptures, or anything else that you would like to see in your art.