Monthly Archives: July 2016

Team work is….

It takes a special kind of person to give up your time and to risk your life. It is most useful to have new recruits who are familiar with the sea, radio operation, navigation or first aid but, whatever your talent, we can put you to good use. Standby for rescues is a 27/7 commitment, and best suited to people who live close to a rescue base.

A fully operational volunteer based institute the National Sea Rescue Instutite (NSRI), established in 1967 has been saving lives at sea ever since. These highly skilled unpaid volunteers, over 900 men and woman like you and I are on standby day and night throughout the year.

image

I took the opportunity of visiting one of there rescue bases at the V&A Waterfront where they held an open day for visitors to learn more about this amazing institute, kids got the pleasure of throwing knotted ropes….

image

The parents could gain some valuable technical knowledge by exploring one of the boats used by the NSRI, this was a really interesting tour as the guide explained the nitty gritty aspect of the navigational system among others….it’s really amazing how this works.

There are many ways to get involved even if you don’t have the time to commit to volunteering every little helps and I am sure is appreciated. These are our real National Heroes, these ladies and gents are amazing in keeping our shores safe.

image

For more details check out the website
www.searescue.org.za or email info@searescue.org.za

image

Like the saying goes…Teamwork makes the Dream work – Keep it up!!!

The truth about…

So as we celebrate International Mandela Day some of us giving 67 minutes of their time to help others, yes we should be doing this everyday but there is nothing wrong with having a day dedicated to it as added motivation.

I decided to pay it forward by sharing information I received while walking to the train station after work, various booklets focusing on THE TRUTH ABOUT DRUGS.

image

“My goal in life wasn’t living….it was getting high. Over the years, I turned to cocaine, dagga and alcohol under a false belief it would allow me to escape my problems. It just made things worse. I kept saying to myself, I’m going to stop permanently after using one last time. It never happened.” – John

It started with the weed, then the pills (Ecstacy) and acid, making cocktails of all sorts of drugs, even overdosing to make the rushes last longer. I had a bad trip one night….I prayed and cried for this feeling to go away, I had voices in my head, had the shakes and couldn’t leave home for six months. I thought everyone was watching me. I couldn’t walk in public places. Man I couldn’t even drive.

“I ended up homeless and on the streets, living and sleeping in a cardboard box, begging and struggling to find ways to get my next meal.” – Ben

These are some of the confessions within this booklet, I am sure most of us know the truths and myths about drugs as it is all over the news, social media and on the streets. Drugs may help you to fit in, escape or relax but the problem that you are running away from will not go away in fact slowly but surely you will wither away as the drugs take control of your mind and body.

Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect.

A small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds you up). A greater amount acts as a sedative (slow you down). An even larger amount poisons and can kill.

This is true of any drug. Only the amount needed to achieve the effect differs.

I am no saint myself so I cannot preach all I intend as the purpose of this post is to create a dialogue between friends and family, parents and children – lets equip ourselves with knowledge and speak about these evils that riddle our society of it’s potential. Through this speech lets act and prevent our YOUTH from falling prey, lets create positive spaces and influences in which our future can grow  without resorting to them taking drugs.

For more information on this booklet follow the link:
drugfreeworld.org or mail info@drugfreeworld.org

The real answer is to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.

Reach Out…

image

Cape Cobras and WPCA reach out to the needy in celebration of Mandela Day

image

Providing blankets and soup with bread to the needy in and around the Southern Suburbs is part of the Cape Cobras and Western Province Cricket Association’s (WPCA) celebration of Mandela Day, Monday 18th July 2016.

The players and staff will team up and make soup at their home ground, PPC Newlands. Thereafter, they will be visiting various organizations in need such as Beit-ul-Aman (Home for the Aged), The OWL Haven Shelter and needy individuals living on the streets of Cape Town.

“We are currently experiencing such freezing cold temperatures and the Cape Cobras and WPCA players and staff wish to share the warmth with those who need support,” said Jasmiena Davids, Marketing Manager of WPCA.

“Mandela Day celebrates the potential that each individual has to transform the world. Each of us is asked to take responsibility for ourselves and act on the responsibilities we have towards others.”

The Cape Cobras were proud brand ambassadors for the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2014, wearing the famous 46664 on their chests and sleeves when they represented South Africa in the Champions League T20 in India.

Paul Adams, the Cape Cobras coach, said: “Mandela Day is not only a celebration of Madiba’s birthday but also a commemoration of the values he represented. The Cape Cobras are happy to share more than 67 minutes with our communities. These communities form part of our fan base, who supports us so passionately.”

“The values of servant leadership, of caring, sharing and nation building were synonymous with Nelson Mandela, and we are proud to contribute to his legendary legacy in this way”, said Nabeal Dien, CEO of WPCA.

WPCA and the Cape Cobras have championed and supported several causes benefiting the poor, needy and vulnerable in society in the past. They have supported charities like Reach for a Dream, St. Luke’s Hospice and Woodside Special Care in Rondebosch.

 

Survivor: One World

Many of my friends were probably thinking when am I going to make any Survivor references seeing that I’m such a huge fan of the series.

Well here it is in the last post of this adventure, 10 days ago 22  strangers embarked on the journey of a lifetime they came together under one theme Come and See.

Clothed with their own glasses and knowledge of this wonderful country which is India they never imagined that once they took off these glasses and experience life in India through the eyes of the locals that they would go back home enriched not only spiritually but also become emotionally strong.

The method used of various interactive  lectures and visits to various heritage and historic places of importance together with acts of solidarity in terms of service to the poor community has fulfilled their young lives immensely.

The objectives that were set out in the beginning of this adventure in my opinion were achieved, as we learned how to live in solidarity even though we all came from different background and social standards, we kept our identity and shared with each other various aspects of our lives through song, dance, inter-cutural dialogue and networking.

Even though our trip was short lived what we have learnt will last forever and through this programme hopefully have made a small difference in the mindset of the youngsters we met along the way.

image

At the final tribal council non of our flames were put out as 22 strangers became 22 members of one family.

We may have left India but it is not for good I am sure many of us will be back because India is a place with so much magic that needs to be explored.

Together as one

The penultimate day, it has been an awesome journey of faith through the South of India. Our last day together before we all departed to our various countries with many new stories and memories to share but before then we still had more to experience in Hyderabad.

image

The day started with our group leading the morning devotion where we meditated on the powerful word of God out of Isaiah 42:

Verse 6-7
“I the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

We then gathered for an Interfaith dialogue session learning more about the Muslim faith in India, the theme for our stay in India was Come and See but also to learn and engage in the different religions and complexities India has to offer.

What is Religion? Who am I? These were some of the questions that were posed during our discussion, hard questions that are the ones that will move you to deeper thought and once discovered CHANGE will come. If you are open to the various aspects of this world we live in be it Religion or our daily lives we are able to learn and experience so much more, things that will help us grow as human beings and make this world one.

After lunch we had time for more presentations about our new brothers and sisters from around the world, even though we were together for more than a week there was still much to learn about each other…

image

And yes we had time for more group pictures haha.

The evening we had the opportunity to join a Muslim Iftar celebration, we were fortunate enough to be in India during the holy month of Ramadan and to share in this special occasion where they break their fast through sharing.

image

The supper was amazing it was a meal fit for Kings and Queens, this is something that I would miss from India, the hospitality of the people was just something special.

Our day ended with an emotional farewell gathering where we danced, laughed and sang…

image

…we even shed some tears when we shared positive words from what we learnt about each other in our time in India. Though it was short these people total strangers at first have become like family from day one, we experienced so much and grew from strength to strength…

image

…Together as One.

Seventh Day…

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2 vs 2

The seventh day of our exposure program of South India saw us arrive in Hyderabad, the final stop after a long train journey we rested at our new home for the next 3 days.

image

Henry Martyn Institute – International Centre for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation (HMI) – is an ecumenical Christian organisation, dedicated to the objective study and teaching of religions, the promotion of interfaith relations and reconciliation. Since its founding in 1930, HMI has established a long record of teaching and research, with an ever-widening circle of research scholars from both within the country and abroad who use the Institute’s facilities for Master’s, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral research.

http://www.hmiindia.org/aboutus.html

We received a lecture on what the HMI institute offers and the work that it does in the community of Hyderabad and India as a whole, as an International Centre for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation with 7 countries present and many young enthusiastic minds I think this place holds great potential for further research plus they have a huge library where more wonders can be discovered.

The time off also gave us time to discuss important issues like the work of the EMS and a Youth Policy which will be presented at the General meeting in South Africa later this year. Many interesting points came up but also more questions were raised which will hopefully be ironed out in the months to come in order for us to have a policy that all youth can be proud to uphold.

image

Before our visit we were given the task of creating a presentation about our lives in our various countries in order for each of us to hopefully learn something new about each other. We learnt various new things about Ghana, Lebanon, South Africa, Germany, Indonesia and South Korea….everything that we all had in common was that we are young, willing and able to help make a difference in our society. We all share the passion for changing lives and the drive to put this into action.

After lunch we received a presentation under the title Mobile Phone – Blessing or Curse?

It was a really informative session which gave us an opportunity to interact and engage with one another in the life of a Mobile Phone, from how it is made, how we use and the effect it has on our daily lives and the disposal of the phone once we throw it away.

image

Is it a blessing or a curse? This is a tough question as the mobile phone has become a part of our daily lives and has helped many people out of tough situations. The presentation raised some eyebrows and doubts planted, some new facts were learnt  but the consensus was that even though we now have this new information we cannot part with this piece of technology which has the potential to bring us together if used properly.

image

After another informative day we had the opportunity to visit a local night market, I am not really one for shopping so for me it was more about sight seeing and searching for a Samoosa haha these triangle snacks are the best (yes we do get them in South Africa). We unfortunately did not find any but I tasted some popcorn I think and a very sweet coconut delicacy….maybe the trip was more of a foodie experience than sight-seeing.

image

What a day and to think the programme started out with saying Rest hahaha.

The Sikh way of life

Our last day in Bangalore before we depart for Hyderabad by night train. We had the opportunity to visit the University of Theology where we saw ancient text and artifacts like the first Tamil bible. We also saw Rev. Solomon’s thesis hmmm I think some of us might have been inspired to join the college….the library holds so much undiscovered precious pearls.

image

Next we visited a Gurdwara where we were exposed to the Sikh way of life…to be honest this was the first time I heard of this religion. Before entering the Gurdwara we had to cover our heads and wash our hands and feet, we then received some background information about Sikhism….it was information overload but it inspired me to do my own research as I enjoying learning about new things.

image

The comparison between the lotus flower and how it cannot live without being in the mud aptly accentuated the Sikh way of life as your worldy and spiritual life should not be separate.

Punjabi : 
ISO 15919 transliteration : Ika ōaṅkāra sati nāmu karatā purakhu nirabha’u niravairu akāla mūrati ajūnī saibhaṅ gura prasādi.
Simplified transliteration: Ik ōaṅgkār sat nām kartā purkh nirbha’u nirvair akāl mūrat ajūnī saibhaṅ gur prasād.
Translation: One God Exists, Truth by Name, Creative Power, Without Fear, Without Enmity, Timeless Form, Unborn, Self-Existent, By the Guru’s Grace.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism

Another interesting observance was the attire worn once you are baptised in the Sikh way of life….

Baptised Sikhs ritually wear five items, called the Five Ks (in Punjabi known as pañj kakkē or pañj kakār ), at all times. The five items are: kēs (uncut hair), kaṅghā (small wooden comb), kaṛā (circular steel or iron bracelet), kirpān (sword/dagger), and kacchera (special undergarment). The Five Ks have both practical and symbolic purposes.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism

We then proceeded to enjoy some lunch prepared by the Sikhs and is served to anyone from any religion.

After our brains and stomachs were filled to the brim we needed an outlet to relax…..shopping at a local market (with all the people and almost getting lost in the crowd I don’t think it was really relaxing haha but atleast I found some cool Kurta’s and the oh so special Samoosa’s  – yummy).

image

Our time in Bangalore had come to an end, a 12 hour journey on a night train to Hyderabad ahead of us . We were all really tired but we still had time for a game of Uno…

image

and to give Bangalore a huge….

image

PS: This time we made double sure everyone was on the right train…..toot toot.

Nothing is impossible..

Our fifth day in India, this would turn out to be a day full of emotion – adrenaline, tears, joy, gladness and humility. We were all bound together by the fact that Nothing is Impossible….Everything is Possible with God.

http://gospelyrics.blogspot.co.uk/2007/09/bind-us-together.html?m=1
BIND US TOGETHER, Lord, Bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord,
Bind us together,
Bind us together with love.
There is only one God,
There is only one King;
There is only one Body,
That is why we sing:

Refrain
Made for the glory of God,
Purchased by His precious Son;
Born with the right to be clean,
For Jesus the victory has won.

Refrain
You are the family of God,
You are the promise divine;
You are God’s chosen desire,
You are the glorious new wine.

The day started off by meeting the Local Bishop a really busy man in the Church of South India, something new and unexpected I found out was that the Bishop is the only one who can perform a confirmation. We also discussed challenges facing the Youth and how the church are addressing these issues.

image

We then went to Arpana (School for the specially abled children)…hear we got to interact with these beautiful children who were so happy to see us and share music and dancing. They demonstrated their hand crafting skills but the real highlight was when we danced and sang, making their day through movement. Being able to share a pray with these specially abled children who can teach us so much about ourselves and how fortunate we all are….these are the moments which will last in our hearts forever.

image

After lunch we walked around a local school, playing some football on the field…a funny moment was when we got back on the bus and the kids wanting some of our autographs thinking we celebrities…..hmmm Shauno Khan really suits me doesn’t it.

image

Our next stop was Makkala Ashraya Kendra (Home for street Children)….this was where the flood gates opened as tears flowed, not tears of sadness but of hope that seeing these children all happy and being able to be together in a safe environment where they are given an opportunity at a real future….Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE.

image

We enjoyed a well choreographed dance performance by the boys, so exciting that we had to join in and dance too.

Our last stop was an Interaction with the Youth Ministry of KCD……I got to drive a scooter in India for the first time. (yip my first time on a motorcycle and in India…..if you have ever seen the streets of India you’d know I was shaking with fear I am sure the Reverend was praying for our lives…..again NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.)

image

The interaction with the youth was inspiring as we met a woman Reverend who through her work in the church motivates young people to be active. I learnt a few new games and songs I’d take back home with me to teach our local youth.

After today with all the memories shared our group became so much closer and through Gods grace we realized…..NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.

https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/GroupMusic/Fly-VBS-2012-Theme-Song
Up, up, and away we go
Into the great beyond
Wherever we go and whatever we do
We’re trusting God along
We will fly
We will soar
Nothing is impossible
“Everything is possible with God” —

Through the storm
Trusting God and leaving our fears behind
We will fly
Up, up and away we go
Into the great beyond
Wherever we go and whatever we do
Trusting God all along

We will fly
We will soar
Nothing is impossible
We will rise
Through the storm
Trusting God and leaving our fears behind

We will fly
Anything is possible
Everything is possible with God
Anything is possible
Everything is possible with God
Anything is possible
Everything is possible with God
Anything is possible
Everything is possible with God
We will fly
We will soar
Nothing is impossible

We will rise
Through the storm
Trusting God and leaving our fears behind
We will fly
We will fly
We will fly

Bangalory

Taking a train in India is one of the experiences that I was really looking forward to. Our journey to Bangalore would be a 5 hour train trip fortunately for us we were in the comfortable a/c compartments. The journey to the station was a mission in its own right as we rushed to get our bags packed and on the bus to the station. I am sure there were some grey hairs added in the process.

image

I was surprised at the level of security and the amount of people at the station, in our haste one of our compatriots got on the wrong train luckily it was going the same way and we got him at the next station where he was welcomed with a loud cheer. This was a memory he would not easily forget and something he can share with his friends and family in years to come.

image

We had so much fun on the train I think we irritated some of the passengers but cmon if you being interviewed by Shilpa Shetty you’d be loud too right. (We met a new friend on the train as we are in India we’ll give her a Bollywood actress’s name).

image

The morning devotion was really inspiring and fitting for our journey…

Genesis 12 vs 1
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”

The afternoon we visited the Board of Child Care where we were given a lecture on how the CSI in partnership with the Ecumenical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) worked in unison to help underprivileged children. We also experienced a flash storm but it was still warm, we took this as showers of blessings.

image

Next was a trip to the mall to watch a local movie thinking it would have subtitles, nah we in India and they threw us in the deep end, seeing that we were already in India for 4 days we should have picked up some of the language. Even though we did not understand the language we could still grasp as to what the movie was about, we got so excited that we danced our way out of the cinema at the end.

image

We were in the home of Royal Challengers Bangalore and I saw the stadium where AB De Villiers plies his trade in the Indian Premier League but seeing that the IPL was done we opted for the Euro 2016.

image

A really fun filled blessed day and another passage from the morning devotion comes to mind that would guide us on our path ahead.

Luke 8 vs 39
Jesus sent him away, saying, ” Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over the town how much Jesus had done for him.

Goodbye Chennai

Sunday a day of worship, this was our chance to visit a local rural churches and experience first hand how a services is conducted in the Church of South India(C.S.I). We were split into 5 groups each leaving at different times, our group went to the C.S.I Arul Church in Madhavaram where we were accompanied by a local guide.

To our surprise the church was not rural – at all at-least to us it wasn’t, another surprise was that we were going to attend a full Tamil service….yip you heard right, uh did anyone bring a dictionary??

image

Even though we could not understand the language, the service was still inspiring and by the order of the procession we could somewhat understand what was happening. We were welcomed with open arms as we were called on stage to introduce ourselves and sing a song.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God
and his righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto to
Hallelu, Hallelujah (then chorus)

Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and you shall find
Knock, and it shall be opened unto you
Hallelu, Hallelujah (then chorus)

Man shall not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Hallelu, Hallelujah (then chorus)

After the service we enjoyed a huge brunch with the Pastor and his family (one of our members did not feel well…this would later turn our to be a huge malaria scare which was not, but hey we can’t be too careful right…MEMORIES.)

image

We then got the opportunity to address the youth of the church, this was an amazing experience especially when we taught them a new action song and they taught us a tamil song too. The guys really loved Jinju this was our precious pearl of the day.

Koda Kodi Sthothram Eredupom

Rajathi Rajan Devathi Devan
Easu Kirusthuvukke Magimai *2

Kankkilla Nanmagaigal Karthar
Seitheer

Karothudan Paadi Nandri Kooruvoi

Helleuya Helleuya

Deva Kumaran Vanthidum
Naal

Thuya Mugam Kandu
Gemberippom *2
(Koda Kodi)

Back into the bus and off to our accommodation where we needed to pack for our next adventure…a train to Bangalore but ofcourse we needed to take a group picture in Chennai.

image

Chennai it has been a wonderful 3 days, we shared and experienced so much. Crossing the road is a nightmare, the food is amazing and the people ahhh the people will be in our hearts forever.

What awaits us on our way to Bangalore is another adventure….