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.

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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….

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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.

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

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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.

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“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…

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

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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…

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…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…

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…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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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…

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and to give Bangalore a huge….

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