Of adventures in North Yorkshire and the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Of my sister from the Karoo, of friendships forged and families found, of a mad mobile cross-cultural building site of understanding. Of C.A.D.s, E.A.D.s, HHs, the AP, PSs, RAs, MPRs, and a whole plethora of other V.S.O. iniitialisms, none of which is actually that dull.
OfVOLUNTEERING INSELBY ANDQUEENSTOWN!
Let me begin my drawing your attention, folks, to the fact that this blog will run this way round, like a book, from first to last, least recent to most recent. Which is not the custom (as far as I've seen in my meagre - ha. ha. - experience of skyblogs).
<<<<< Welcome to the diary of a gap-year volunteer doing Global Xchange. >>>>>
THE UK half of the team Lauren Cape-Davenhill Louise Bond Matthew Christodoulou Mizna Quraishi Nick Porter Richard Wren Siân Evans Sophie Bampton and me - yes - we're having 2 Sophies, as every bloody thing I do involves me with at least one other Sophie: Sophie Lewis
The South Africa half of the team (so far) Alistria Nombulelo Bans > yeah, that's actually ALICIA, but the passport office in S.A. got her name wrong Sandra Tebogo Morake > Tebza. Unathi Stemele Mmabuka Bogopane Phila Mncwango Absalom Khumo Magano + Desmond Nkosi + Sbongiseni (Sbo) + Heather Jane September.
SORRY FOR LACK OF UPDATES! HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED TO THE WORLD OFFLINE! NO PHONE SIGNAL, LET ALONE INTERNET ACCESS, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE YORKSHIRE MOORS ("Great Fryupdale" - which made up for it) Now have simply TOO MUCH TO TELL about our Global Xchange the training the team our catchphrase Mizzi Desmond / Usher Khumo :-) my house-sister Alicia learning [click] Xhosa and moving into Selby town [I'm not going to disclose information to just 2 girls in jeans...] By the way, Shani, I tried to say goodbye to you in school but maybe you didn't REGISTER that I was vamoosing extremely soon... so that's why no specific mention. Of COURSE my Ramadaning sister (I was doing it too some days... with Mizna) owuld have been up there. Miss you. Love you. And all the rest of you - who know Im talking to you - DITTO. All reeeet?
3, Broadacres Avenue Carlton, Goole NY14 9NE > until Nov.4th [following that - with Mr & Mrs Pickles, address to foll
October 7th 2006 Adele Fisher is 47, blonde with curls, petite, and quiet. She struck Alicia and me as nervous at the first meeting (as predicted by Laura), but is clearly friendly and likely to get friendlier as our relationship progresses. She has a grown daughter called Abigail studying to be a midwife. The marriage with Abigail's father ended very early on; following that, there was another, 13-year long marriage, another divorce, further boyfriends, and – most recently – a partnership with a teacher called David that has lasted 3 years so far. David, originally from London, has two extremely intelligent boys from a previous marriage, James(?) and Matt (?). I warmed immensely to him in conversation over our first dinner at 3, Broadacres Avenue, Carlton, Goole. Extremely well-informed, he seems ethical, sensitive, and intelligent. I think he hinted at being an Oxford graduate, though he “left school at 15, and went back to do degrees much later”. He speaks heatedly: the ignorance of those who stop taking antibiotics and put the world at risk of mutated viruses, for example! I was interested in all of what he had to say in illustration of our discussion about cultural differences and the meaning of “accepting diversity”: - deaf people, factions among whom REJECT cocchial(?) implants which effectively “cure” their “disability”; those who reject sign language and advocate simply getting along with lip-reading - (I said: ) Stephen Fry's programme on the Secret Life of the Manic-Depressive made me realise that perhaps even bi-polar “disorder” and manic depression can be seen simply as an element of our diversity, and not something that necessarily needs curing (Fry concluded by saying that if he were given the option of pressing a button and eliminating his condition forever, he wouldn't). - (he said :) In one case of a blind man whose sight was partially restored by surgery, and then lapsed again into blindness, there was no regret at the failure of the operation, as he'd become so used to living without sight that the plunge into seeing-ness had been, for him, more disturbing than it was joyous. - The stereotypes of homosexuality - (I said :) in the often over-the-top world of Political Correctness, the consensus is now that “disabled people” should never be called “people with disabilities” as it is not they that have a problem, so much as the society which disables them. - (he said :) In the midst of all this finicky labelling, the main thing to remember is that people are the same and that all people should be valued. - The neo-colonialist connotations to Gap-Yearing as a saviour/volunteer in the developing world...