Jan 2, 2018

Christmas Summer Holiday and lovely 2018

Ready for a game drive
Ready for a game drive

Dear Friends and Donors

This year our year end trip took us to the north. first stop Damaraland.

We were able to admire the uniqueness of the Welwitschia, not because it is a beautiful plant but because it can become very old, more than hundred years. It is well adapted to the desert and only grows 7 mm a year.

The petrified forest was more interesting for the children. Enormous tree trunks have been carried by rivers thousands of years ago from Central Africa to Namibia, there they were exposed to a natural chemical process and the wood became stone. The trunks look truly like wood but are heavy like rocks.

After that we visited Twyfelfontein where the kids could see some rock incisions made by the San people. The most beautiful one is a lion with a very long tail. But with an outside temperature of 44 degrees Celsius it was truly hard for everybody to appreciate the beauty of this site. Later the kids were amazed how the body adapts to the heat when they noticed that nobody went to the loo for the whole day and we all had also just been sweating like crazy.

But what was truly stunning for the children were their rooms at the lodge. Nr.1 they had electricity and there was light even during the night. Nr. 2 each of them had his or her own bed with clean white linen and cosy blankets, Nr 3 each room had its own bathroom; and once they discovered that you could have warm and cold water in the shower it was like heaven for the children.

I always ask the kids to leave the rooms in the same way as we found them, meaning we don’t leave a mess behind us, but the kids take me literally and clean and mop the rooms so neatly that the cleaning ladies could lose their job.. Jazu was just a bit worried as she didn’t know how to fold the towels again in the shape of a swan. So she decided to just leave it like it was and place the towel swan on her bed when we left., making sure everything was perfect.

Lukas, our hero even saved a bird from drowning in the pool and Kevin tried to get it back on the tree in his nest but I don’t know if the rescue ended positively for the little bird.

Second stop Etosha Safari Camp from where we visited Etosha National Park. Obviously it is not possible to book the sighting of wild animals in advance, one has to patiently go and look out for them but that is not such an easy thing for children, so while we were searching for the animals the kids played guitar in the bus, maybe that’s a reason too why it took us long to find elephants and lions. Lately the security checks in the park have been increased, thank God ,as poaching is still a huge problem here. Entering the park we were searched for weapons and drones and leaving the park we were searched for bush meat, bones and horns. Obviously we didn’t have any such thing on the bus, just some elephant poop which Josia had collected as there is a belief that it has healing properties. The guards believe that too, so that was not a problem. A band was in charge for the evening entertainment of the guests at the lodge. Our children quickly found out that they too could organize the entertainment and started singing and dancing for the other guests, … Folks you all know, we have experience in the show business!

Last stop Africat – Okonjima. Here many activities were offered to the children in order to make them fall in love with nature. There was just one little drama, we were told that snakes had been found in the toilets a few days before. So NOBODY went to the bathrooms alone.

A big Thank you goes to Gondwana, Damara Mopane and Etosha Safari Camp and Africat – Okonjima. Without their support and assistance this holiday for the kids wouldn’t have been possible. They offered food, accommodation and activities for free to all participants.

A big hug for all of you, thank you so much for your support and your love.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2018.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas
In the petrified forest
In the petrified forest
Learning about environmente
Learning about environmente
Selfie Queen
Selfie Queen
Bush lesson
Bush lesson
Jan 2, 2018

Summer Christmas Holiday and all the best for 2018

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

Dear Friends and Donors

This year our year end trip took us to the north. first stop Damaraland.

We were able to admire the uniqueness of the Welwitschia, not because it is a beautiful plant but because it can become very old, more than hundred years. It is well adapted to the desert and only grows 7 mm a year.

The petrified forest was more interesting for the children. Enormous tree trunks have been carried by rivers thousands of years ago from Central Africa to Namibia, there they were exposed to a natural chemical process and the wood became stone. The trunks look truly like wood but are heavy like rocks.

After that we visited Twyfelfontein where the kids could see some rock incisions made by the San people. The most beautiful one is a lion with a very long tail. But with an outside temperature of 44 degrees Celsius it was truly hard for everybody to appreciate the beauty of this site. Later the kids were amazed how the body adapts to the heat when they noticed that nobody went to the loo for the whole day and we all had also just been sweating like crazy.

But what was truly stunning for the children were their rooms at the lodge. Nr.1 they had electricity and there was light even during the night.  Nr. 2 each of them had his or her own bed with clean white linen and cosy blankets, Nr 3 each room had its own bathroom; and once they discovered that you could have warm and cold water in the shower it was like heaven for the children.

I always ask the kids to leave the rooms in the same way as we found them, meaning we don’t leave a mess behind us, but the kids take me literally and clean and mop the rooms so neatly that the cleaning ladies could lose their job.. Jazu  was just a bit worried as she didn’t know how to fold the towels again in the shape of a swan. So she decided to just leave it like it was and place the towel swan on her bed when we left., making sure everything was perfect.

Lukas, our hero even saved a bird from drowning in the pool and Kevin tried to get it  back on the tree in his nest but I don’t know if the rescue ended positively for the little bird.

Second stop  Etosha Safari Camp from where we visited Etosha National Park. Obviously it is not possible to book the sighting of wild animals in advance, one has to patiently go and look out for them but that is not such an easy thing for children, so while we were searching for the animals the kids played guitar in the bus, maybe that’s a reason too why it took us long to find elephants and lions.  Lately the security checks in the park have been increased, thank God ,as poaching is still a huge problem here. Entering the park we were searched for weapons and drones and leaving the park we were searched for bush meat, bones and horns. Obviously we didn’t have any such thing on the bus, just some elephant poop which Josia had collected as there is a belief that it has healing properties.  The guards believe that too, so that was not a problem. A band was in charge for the evening entertainment of the guests at the lodge. Our children quickly found out that they too could organize the entertainment and started singing and dancing for the other guests, … Folks you all know, we have experience in the show business!

Last stop Africat – Okonjima. Here  many activities were offered to the children in order to make them fall in love with nature.  There was just one little drama, we were told that snakes had been found in the toilets a few days before. So NOBODY went to the bathrooms alone.

A big Thank you goes to Gondwana, Damara Mopane and  Etosha Safari Camp and Africat – Okonjima. Without their support and assistance this holiday for the kids wouldn’t have been possible. They offered food, accommodation and activities for free to all participants.

A big hug for all of you, thank you so much for your support and your love.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2018. 

Lesson in the bush
Lesson in the bush
At the vet clinic
At the vet clinic
Lesson about environment
Lesson about environment
Learning about the Welwitscha
Learning about the Welwitscha
Ready for a game drive
Ready for a game drive
Nov 3, 2017

A Mammadu Volunteer's Perspective

Friends for Life
Friends for Life

My name is Donna and I have been a volunteer at Mammadu for 5 months now. I arrived from New Zealand in March. My time at Mammadu has been full of such wonderful experiences. The children are an absolute delight- every day I receive 60 hugs and kisses. My name used to be teacher but I have progressed to being called Donna. As a team of volunteers, we work two shifts: either 7am to 3pm or 10am to 5 pm. We travel to school by taxi each day which costs $20 Namibian dollars to get there and $10 for the return trip home. 

The younger children arrive in the morning and start their day with breakfast. By the time the volunteers arrive it's time for the classroom activities. We look after the youngest and we attempt to teach some a-b-c’s and numbers. The classroom is often chaotic so a bit of teaching happens but mainly just trying to keep some order. They love story time and colouring. Around 10am we go into the playground and have play time with them until lunch time. I often sit in the sun while 6 little ones clamber all over me and plait my hair.

Some of their names are challenging for me so I stick to calling them sweetie, sweetheart, and love. After playtime, some of us help serve their lunch and by 12noon it's time to clean up dishes and help them with teeth brushing and then it's home time for them.

The volunteers have a break for 1hr or 2 until the older school children arrive around 1:30pm. In the afternoon, we serve lunch, do the dishes, monitor tooth paste for teeth brushing and are in the classrooms by 2:15 to help them with their homework. Some of the girls have had a school project to knit a bag. After rescuing the first one, which had many holes in it, I am now knitting for all of them. Some mornings I will make cookies or a cake. Meme Dina is our cook and takes a bit of winning over at the beginning but she really is a pussycat.

We are encouraged to travel while we are here and having time off to do that is not a problem (with notice). I have been on some great safari’s in Namibia, but most of all I enjoy being with the kids at Mammadu.

Cheers to Mammadu!

______________________________________________________________________________

Other happenings at Mammadu at the moment:

We are busy preparing for the Anniversary of Mammadu, which will be on 4 November. To celebrate, we will invite families from the surrounding community, donors, and other stakeholders. The kids have been preparing a special show for the audience, which has the theme of recycling, upcycling, and renewable energy. The children will perform a show and then we will share a meal and cake with our guests. The children have spent the last few weeks learning the choreography for the show. They have also made their own costumes with recycled materials. We have been fortunate to have Lizzy visiting us again to help with the dancing routine. This time she is here with her boyfriend who seems to be an expert dancer so we are sure to put on a great show this year!

The last few months have not just been filled with hard work, the children have also had time for fun activities. They went out for pizza at the local shopping mall, enjoyed a visit to the Malaysian Ambassador’s home (his wife is a supporter of Mammadu) where they swam and painted (Josia made a lovely painting), celebrated high academic achievement with a trip to the Hilton for 3 of the most achieved students, spent the afternoon at the Show Grounds where some children went on rides, and they celebrated several of their own birthdays, complete with cake and presents.

Ottilia unwrapped a princess set for her birthday, complete with the crown! The other children surrounded her in suspense as she peeled open the paper and just as the gift was revealed sweet Ashley gave Ottilia a kiss on the cheek as to say, “yeah, I’m so happy for you!”. Petrus also celebrated his birthday recently and he was given a watch and a new storybook for kids with spooky stories in it. There were many other birthdays celebrated and several other important things to do at Mammadu, none of which would be possible without the wonderful volunteers who help us every day.

In fact, we have a very special volunteer at the moment. His name is Sebastian and he is visiting Mammadu everyday with his parents. He really enjoys playing with the kids and the kids enjoy playing with him- as you can see in the photos. Seeing each other’s differences has been fun for the Mammadu kids and for Sebastian. They play with him and his hair, and he does the same. They enjoy holding him, and he enjoys rolling on the floor with them. It’s really a nice sight to see!

At the moment, everything is going well at Mammadu. We, of course, have our struggles with behavior issues that result from instability at home, or the bullies who bother our kids when they are at school, but we continue to succeed. As previously mentioned, we appreciate the help of all of our volunteers but we are also grateful for the financial support from all of our donors. We couldn’t run the Mammadu program without the assistance we get from each and every one of you! Thank you so much, from all of us to all of you!!  

A birthday for Petrus
A birthday for Petrus
At the show grounds- rides are fun!
At the show grounds- rides are fun!
Birthday kisses
Birthday kisses
Josia expresses his artistic side
Josia expresses his artistic side
Welcoming our youngest volunteer ever, Sebastian!
Welcoming our youngest volunteer ever, Sebastian!
 
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