Tag Archives: Study Abroad South Africa
As an intern here at NMMU I did not take any classes and so I could not volunteer through the school like all of my cohort from SCSU. The benefit of volunteering through the school is they have the relationship with the local organization and the university provides transport! Lack of transportation is one of the biggest frustrations studying here. The students from the US are all used to having their own cars and the European students are used to being able to walk, bike, or take safe and secure public transport in their home countries. I wanted to volunteer while I was here but couldn’t find an opportunity, until I spoke with Dr. Jennifer Winstead. She is from the US (Mississippi to be exact), came here for post-doc work and stayed. She worked in the International Office for a while and switched over to Student Affairs. Dr. Winstead refereed me to AUF as a volunteer resource.
THE VISION of the Foundation is to be the preferred conduit between business and the social sector, playing the vital role of implementing and managing of SED and ED programs. This is supported by comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of each project.
OUR MISSION is to source funding from the business sector and invest in projects driven by our partnerships within the community.
AUF’s SED agenda has its objectives aligned as per the BEE codes of good practice, identifying EDUCATION as one of the key areas of investment.
African Unity Foundation (AUF) established in 2003 is registered as a Public Benefits Organisation (PBO), AUF focuses on sustainable Socio-Economic and Enterprise Development programmes.
AUF is registered under the Section 18A of the Income Tax Act. This enables AUF to issue tax certificates for any contributions received.
AUF fills a niche gap in assisting companies who do not have the Human Resources, time and/or expertise to implement, manage and maintain SED projects.
With our extensive experience in designing, planning, implementing and managing of our various projects, investors will have peace of mind that the following will be attended to:
Monitoring and Evaluation of programmes
Well governed and transparent financial reporting on contributions received
Issuing of Section 18A certificates for tax benefits
BEE contribution certificate
Impact investing (Impact vs Input
Like volunteering through the community service learning course that the SCSU students register for, AUF also provides the relationship and transportation to volunteers. The added benefit of volunteering through AUF is the ability to mix with South African students. It can be difficult to meet locals, especially as an intern, because I am in an office environment. I work with locals but do not interact with students in the same way as if I was in class with them. I just did my first volunteer activity with AUF this past weekend and really enjoyed myself. Hopefully, future interns from SCSU will make the time to volunteer with AUF and get a chance to not only impact the community but have some fun while doing it!
Today, I did a rare thing. I spent most all day at a mall. Honestly, I do not think that I have ever done this before. When I lived in Greensboro and Jennifer would want me to go shopping with her I’d end up ditching her and her mom in favor of Barnes and Noble. As a backup plan I had a copy of my thesis with me this afternoon to work on edits for that moment I was sure would come and I’d duck out of this shopping activity. But it never came. We had a totally chill day at the Walmer Park Mall. I picked up a few necessities and found a blouse on sale that was a want not a need. We had a great lunch, I had an ostrich wrap (as you can see below).
Then we stopped in the Brittish treat shop that specializes in sweets, teas, and cake mixes from the U.K. I hadn’t realized the other times I had been in this shop that they also carry a couple of items from the United States. So, I got a Dr. Pepper (better than in the US ’cause its made with cane sugar and not corn syrup) and a package of Reese’s Cups. I was pretty excited after this little purchase and opened them in the bookstore we went to next. As I took the first bite I said, “That tastes like ‘merica.” Before I ate all 3 of the Reese’s cups, I was back in the store buying two more packages of them. I was holding the last bite in my hand as I brought the other two up to the cashier and had a huge guilty smile on my face. The cashier was awesome and said, “No judgement here!” I now have the Dr. Pepper in my fridge and the Reese’s cups are getting even more chill in my freezer!
Cubata Portuguese Grill was definitely an experience for the senses! A big group of us went there last night and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. `One of the girls who got there first and was familiar with the restaurant ordered for the whole group. The owner asks only how many people are in your group and what meat you want and then he takes it from there.
This is a picture of me with the owner.
Here is a few pictures of our food. The consensus at my end of the table was that these were the best chips (fries) we’d had since landing in South Africa.
It was quite a feast!
Yes, photographic evidence of two of the Germans eating with their hands! We’ve been a good influence on them 😉
Very happy and full group of people!
Oh, but we did have a little room left for ice-cream.
I can still see the poster neatly hung on the wall of my manager’s cubicle at American Express. It was in full color and showed a single daisy in a terracotta pot. However, my understanding of feedback has stayed rooted in corporate America’s space. In my mind thinking of feedback as a gift always felt as genuine as those uber motivational posters every business major had in their dorm rooms in the 1990s. Feedback in work never felt like a gift but rather it always felt judgmental and punitive. Feedback was given with performance reviews where you were told if you were going to get a raise or explained why you were not receiving one. Feedback in school is generally tied to a grade and also feels punitive. The feedback is an explanation of what you did wrong. I’ll also say that receiving feedback in school had its own problematic roots that I’ve already delved into a bit. So, neither experience (work or school) had positive roots for me when it came to receiving feedback as a gift. Until recently. Over the past five semesters I have worked in a writing center, four semesters at SCSU’s The Write Place and one semester here at NMMU’s Writing Centre. Through my immersion in the writing center culture, pedagogy, and practices I realized that feedback can be a gift. I asked two of the people I’m working with this semester at NMMU to read through my thesis chapters and give me feedback on what I had written. When they returned them to me with detailed comments I felt like I had been given a gift. I read through the comments carefully taking in what they had to say. They were deliberative and inquisitive and I processed each one individually. I have now been both a manager and a consultant in the writing center where I gave feedback to employees and students. I hope that as I move into the classroom I can help my students understand how to receive feedback but more importantly, I hope I can model a healthy manor to give feedback as an instructor.
Last week, in a writing center workshop my supervisor told us about reading Harry Eyres’s book Horace and Me: Lessons from an ancient poet. Eyres retranslates Horace’s famous line “carpe diem” from seize the day (which is how most of us know it if from nothing else, we know it from dead Poets Society)to “taste the day.” The new translation has been rolling around in my head for a week or so now and it fits my time here perfectly. Seizing the day seems like such an aggressive translation while tasting and it’s synonym savor are enjoyable actions. Actions of appreciation and delight. Appreciating each day as a gift can get overplayed in our daily grind of life. But removing the grind and taking time to truly taste the day is also an active role in the appreciation. Appreciation can feel passive because it is a mental and spiritual act, whereas tasting requires physical movement. It intertwines the body with the mind and soul to make ethereal moments palatable.