When we lived in South Africa, I would take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and sit on a little bench up on a hill overlooking the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg, the sun warming my skin, a slight breeze keeping the summer heat at bay, letting my mind drift while watching my kids' riding lessons. Here is why Shumbashaba stables might be great for you too.
This story about finding bare feet around the world to be paired - no pun intended - with outgrown but otherwise perfect shoes had me want to root through all our closets so that I could find new feet for all those extra shoes in our house. Read it, and you too will want to contribute to this movement that is living proof that one person can indeed change the world.
To help out future expats in South Africa, I have put together a collection of volunteer opportunities in and around Johannesburg. I don't claim it to be in any way complete as there is simply too much going on to mention it all. I just "assembled" all the outreach projects I was involved in or that were brought to my attention by friends.
One of the first questions prospective expats typically ask me is what kind of volunteer work might be available for them or their spouses. If you bear with me, I'll provide some answers. But first, my (evolving) views on charity. In a way, this is the African story. For decades, no, centuries, people from the West have descended on Africa to "do good." To help those less fortunate souls who can't "help themselves."
Hi. I'm Sparkie. I'm 11 years old and I live at a place called Shumbashaba Stables, out in the beautiful countryside to the North of Fourways in Johannesburg, South Africa. I'm average size and have big brown eyes, and my favorite food is carrots, though I've been known to chew on a jacket, too. Come visit me at Shumbashaba, halfway between Dainfern and the American School.
Today is when we hand out our Help Portrait pictures to children of the Diepsloot Combined School. You can see their faces transform as they catch a glimpse of themselves. Pure joy radiating in all directions as if the sun has suddenly broken through clouds after a rain, drenching everything in its magnificent power. And then the urge to share it with their friends and see their pictures in return.
When you’re moving to South Africa, inevitably you will become involved in charity work. There is almost no way around it. There are myriad opportunities of how you might get involved, but one of the charities especially dear to my heart is Help Portrait, a worldwide organization of amateur photographers whose goal it is to bring the gift of a picture into underprivileged communities.
I loved that our girls did horseback riding in South Africa, in theory. In practice, those horse shows dragged on sooooo much! Apparently, what you do most of during a horse show is wait, unless you're walking from one end of the place to the other, because of course your two kids' events are spread out to the farthest possible reaches.
I know I’ve rallied hard in the past month for donations for the Alexandra Baseball League, and I’m very grateful for the funding we’ve received to date (more on that in my next post). But I’m not the only one out there, and today I wanted to give credit to my friend Bing (who ...