Lattitude Blog

WEEK 8 BLOG BY JEREMIAH+TEIKO

The week started on Monday, the 1st of December 2014, at 8:30am to plan for our projects and events as well as the usual reports when our coordinator suggested if we could have a farmers’ day celebration in Abrobiano instead of our Abro’s got talent event scheduled to take place on the 14th December. Most members of the team liked this idea and voted in favour. We therefore swapped the committee responsible for our usual event which is ‘Abro’s got talent’ to organize this event as an alternative. The idea of visiting cape coast on a Friday was also scrapped at the meeting since the group later decided to visit on a Saturday instead.

After lunch, the group started preparations towards the farmer’s day celebration by sorting out the venue, prizes and sketches that would be highlight on proper footwear. At 4 o’clock, Sharome and Kenneth had their ACD on poverty and action against poverty. The team then dispersed at 5pm

On Tuesday, Edem and Shavey acted as team leaders, work begun at the 8:30am to continue planning for our events, we further split into three groups and we visited farmers on their farms to sign them up for the event.

Later that day, we practiced and acted out the sketches we would be performing on the day of the event, Suzzy also took the group through some dance rehearsal. At 4pm we had our usual team meeting with a general update on the affairs of the various committees in the team.

On Wednesday, Shavey, Edem and Tom left the community very early to get the prizes for our event on Friday, the team went for the Wednesday worship workshop (WWW), those with the Junior High School talked about abortion, whereas the others with the primary schools talked about exercise, the importance of exercising and a demonstration of certain exercises. The infrastructure team met a mason to discuss about refurbishing some of Islamic primary school classrooms.

At 2pm we went to the office to cut water sachets and repaired the damaged football net. At 6pm we had our community health talk which was delivered by Sharome, Selorm and Edem on the concerns in Abro

Sachet net under mending by the team

On Thursday we met at 8:30am to continue signing the farmers up for the raffle on the farmers’ day as well as to have a final rehearsal on the sketch and the traditional dance. In the afternoon, the team mended the sachet net and later at 3pm; we had our MCD by Naomi and the Bridget on funerals in Ghana. We later had a team meeting to discuss the upcoming event which is the farmer’s day, giving out roles to each other and how to go about the raffle as a whole. Mr Henry, the Lattitude Ghana manager witnessed the session.

On Friday we met at the church at 11am to pick canopies and chairs as well as to set the venue up for the pending event. The main event started at 2pm which was very successful and worthwhile.

Sharome and Caroline dressed for the cultural performance on the farmers’ day

Cultural performance by the team

A farmer receiving his award

On Saturday, the team met at 7am to get the bus to cape coast where we stopped by Kakum National Park to experience the canopy walk and Hans cottage to see the crocodiles. We arrived at the football for hope centre at 1:30pm, had lunch and the football completion which climaxed the visit and generally it was a marvelous competition.

The Star Volunteer of the week went to Selorm an ICV

WEEK 7 BLOG KEZIA&CAROLINE

This week started at 9am on Monday with Community Engagement. The theme for this week was Healthy Eating. The team aimed to find out what the practices in Abrobiano on Eating healthily, issues as eating regular foods and having a variety in their diet. Also advising on water issues, drinking only clean boiled water.

Community engagement getting exciting

We continued this over Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am each morning until 11am. On Monday afternoon we also continued working on our water sachet football net, which we are very close to finishing. We then further discussed some issues in our ACD – Community development as a group led by Caroline, Suzzy and Jeremiah.

The Team’s ACD

On Tuesday we had Naomi and Tom acting as Team Leaders for the day, taking charge of the day’s program. We also held peer education session, which was on the topic of Life skills facilitated by Teiko and Kezia. Within this session we did a creative session making necklaces and bracelets out of the shells from the beach. The session was well attended and successfully and the pupils very much enjoyed themselves, giving them a change to be creative which they don’t really do in school.

On Wednesday all volunteers went to the schools to partake in the Wednesday worship workshop (WWW). Within this we had 10 minutes to engage the pupils on certain topics. We attended three schools, Abro Primary, Islamic and JHS. The topic taught in the primary schools was Rubbish and sanitation and in the JHS, the topic taught was Teenage pregnancy.
Future coming topics in the primary schools are, Exercise, personal hygiene and HIV/AIDS. The next topics taught in the JHS are on Abortion, HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS testing. In the afternoon the sports day committee continued to organize the sports day event, taking part on this coming Saturday. As well as this, the sketch groups also planned their individual sketches for the sports day event, which were focusing on Waste disposal and food hygiene.
From 4pm we did our football training on the pitch, which was lots of fun!
In the evening, Joanne and Naomi held the weekly social at their house, with music, dancing, pineapple, watermelon and drink, as well as some delicious sausages!

On Thursday morning we finished the football net, attaching it to the goal post this was a great success and works very well. Especially for the sports day event which took place on the Saturday.

Sachet net woven unto the football pole by the team

Within the afternoon we had My Culture Day (MCD) held by Jeremiah, and he educated us on Jamaica as this is his culture. We all learnt a lot of things from this, for example – what each of the colors mean in their national flag. We also had our football training.
On Friday, a few people visited cape coast to get the prizes and awards for the Sports day event and the food vendors.

Saturday is our Sports Day health awareness event for the community, focusing on Rubbish and Sanitation. The day started at 8am, setting up and the games began at 1.30pm. Starting the day with lime and spoon race, sack race and t-roll running which the local school children participated in and thoroughly enjoyed. We also had to sketches throughout the day, educating the audience on waste disposal and food hygiene. After there were two football matches, Abro Primary and Islamic schools played against each other, the score from this was 1:0 to Abro Primary. The second football match was between L attitude ICS volunteers and the JHS team, the score from this was 1:0 to JHS. The football was a huge success and everyone came on board. For all the participants taking place were given prizes, as well as certificates to the schools. The winners of the Football matches received a soap stations for their Efforts.

The team demonstrating the T-roll race to the contestants

On Sunday was our free day, chilling in Abrobiano. Until 4pm when we had a food venders workshop, with a health personnel from outside Abrobiano coming in to educate the vendors. They received prizes, such as aprons, utensils and certificates. The vendors who attended the workshop were very engaging and enjoyed themselves.

Sports day winners showing their presents

The star volunteer of the week was Edem an ICV for his hard work and morale boosting jokes on the team.

It was all about the Sports day…

Week 6 Blog by Suzzy + Michelle

Mid-Placement Review in Ho

This week started at 9am on Monday with Community Engagement. Since rubbish disposal and open defecation are big issues in the community, the theme for this week was rubbish and sanitation. The team aimed to find out what the practices in Abrobiano are and to hopefully be able to offer advice related to these topics, including highlighting the dangers of open defecation on the beach. On Monday we also continued working on our water sachet football net, which is coming along very nicely! We further discussed some issues in international development as a group led by Edem during his Active Citizenship learning Day (ACD).

ACD presentation

On Tuesday we did not carry out community engagement as usual, but instead showed our support at a school sports day where Abro Primary and Islamic Primary both played football. We also took this opportunity to talk about our own upcoming Sports Day, which will take place very soon. We are hoping to have finished our water sachet football net by then! On Tuesday we also held peer education session, which was on the topic of Ebola and Cholera led by Michelle and Selorm. The session was well attended and successfully discussed both transmission and prevention. The peer educators are pupils in Abrobiano who have volunteered to learn more about life skills including ICT, CV writing and health issues, and who in the future will be able to educate their peers on these issues.

Team Leader Platform day meeting led by Tom and Naomi

On Wednesday we continued with community engagement under the same topic, and we then did some planning for the upcoming Sports Day which will take place on Saturday 29th of November 2014. More on this later! During our weekly Wednesday social we played some games and enjoyed some delicious Sobolo (fruit juice) and plantain chips (crisps).

On Thursday we continued with planning the Sports Day, which will also be an awareness-raising event on rubbish and sanitation. Various duties and responsibilities were allocated amongst the group in preparation for the big day. During My Culture Day Shavey and Joanne discussed the differences between England and Scotland, with the team doing various activities throughout the session. It was emphasized how England and Scotland are very different to each other, but that they also share many similarities.

Week 6 has been special, since the team from Friday to Sunday attended our Mid-Placement Review (MPR) in Ho in the Volta region.

Relaxing mood by some volunteers at the MPR

We left Abrobiano at 7am on Friday and picked up the Cape Coast team on the way, arriving at Chances Hotel in Ho at 4pm. During MPR the two teams reviewed our placements so far, including what has gone well, what has not gone so well and the challenges that we have faced. During the weekend we also discussed cultural differences, our best, worst and funniest moments of our first six weeks in Ghana, and how to write a good case study of our personal and team volunteering experiences. Last but definitely not least, the showers were very appreciated by the Abrobiano team after five weeks of no running water.

MPR Group discussion

Kezia a UKV was voted the star volunteer of the week.

Some group of volunteers presenting during a session at the MPR

Cape Coast Week 6 by Michael

On Saturday morning, the team taught the core programme at the centre, based on the curriculum the kids were taught the heart under Health, honesty under Social, and how to head a football under Football. Once this had been completed and all the children had returned home, we went on an excursion to the Kakum National Park, an area of tropical rainforest about 20 miles north of Cape Coast. It covers nearly 150 square miles of land, and hosts a wide array of wildlife like elephants, monkeys, and many more. It also features a canopy walkway that is 350 metres long, allowing visitors to walk near the top of the trees. Although some of us were very afraid of heights (for example, our Team Leader Lukman), most overcame their fears and completed the canopy walk, and we all had great fun. After Kakum, we also visited Hans Cottage Botel, a hotel and restaurant by a lake populated by about 40 crocodiles. I’m not sure if this attraction would have passed the health and safety standards of the UK, so some of us were a little bit worried as we walked just a few feet away from the crocs as they swam or fed. That said, it was great fun to see them up close, and some of us even managed to get pictures of ourselves stroking one as it slept. One of our team members, Gifty, had celebrated her birthday earlier that week, so after our day out we visited her host home for her birthday party. Her host mum Mama Joyce was very hospitable and provided all the guests with drinks and even a slice of a delicious birthday cake. It was a nice celebration, and afterwards the members of team who weren’t completely worn out by the day’s activities carried on the party at Oasis, one of the local bars/clubs. It was a very long and tiring day, but one of the most enjoyable I’ve had so far in Ghana. On Monday, it was back to work. Throughout the week we continued with the constant activities at the centre – i.e. the after-school homework club, and the core programme, which has now been extended to some of the local schools during their P.E. lessons. The teaching is going well, and I think most of the volunteers are now feeling comfortable and settled in their roles. Another focus of this week was to carry out our community surveys, designed to identify the barriers to employment for those aged 16-22. In our counterpart pairs we went out into many different communities in Cape Coast, and carried out the surveys door-to-door. I found the process to be very interesting and informative, particularly when visiting some of the less affluent areas where many of the children who visit the centre live. Between us all we collected more than 100 survey responses, which should provide lots of useful data for our Monitoring & Evaluation committee to analyse. Finally, we were also treated to some brilliant presentations from our fellow team members, as part of the ‘Learning Day’ and ‘My Culture Day’ exercises. On Tuesday, Esenam and Alex gave a thought-provoking lecture on the role of women in society, which was very informative and sparked a lively debate between the group. Then, on Thursday afternoon, Christie and Janet taught the group about the Krobo people, showing us the naming ceremonies and the Dipo (puberty rites) that traditionally occur in their culture. This was followed by a presentation on Scotland by Alex, in which she explained about the history and traditions of the country. Both presentations were very interesting, and I learned many things that I didn’t know about these two very different cultures.

WEEK 5 BLOG- SHAROME AND AGNES

The week started off at 9 am with our weekly community engagement task. The topic treated was malaria. Each pair had to move to their areas assigned to them. The team agreed not to meet at the office this week at 11 due to some concerns about getting a little bit weary after walking through the community.

Between the hours of 2 and 5pm, we had our usual team meeting where we continued with the completion of water sachet nets for one hour. Tom, Naomi and Kezia were the facilitators for our Active Citizenship Day on the topic. ‘International Development 1 ’. Their main focus was: Explaining the term ‘Development’, the Millennium Development Goals, the Role of Youth in Development as well as Community Development.

Team Leader Platform Day was here again! This time round, Bridget and Jeremiah had the opportunity to man the affairs of the day. Team members went about their community engagement duties again.

We met at the office to have our daily meeting at 2pm. The first hour was dedicated to continuing the sachet nets which we intend to use as a football net for Abrobiano. The team leaders for the day then took over the rest of the meeting. They had the various roles update with the whole team.

Sachet net weaving in progress

The community engagement was carried out as usual. In the afternoon, our daily meeting was held where we spoke about various issues and about the boat race. We had relaxed evening Zoe’s and Teiko’s socials. We played a lot of games and had some fruits as well as cookies.

On Thursday MCD was carried out by Ken, Suzzy and Caroline where they spoke about traditional dressing, Kente. The Kente originally is ‘KE NA TE’ which means ‘open and close’. Additionally a French class was held in the office for the volunteers but we were joined by the kids from the schools.

Finally on Friday we carried on with the sachet nets for quite a long time then we continued with the team meeting which involved discussions about the boat race, roles and responsibilities from the volunteers. The star volunteer of the week vote want to Teiko an ICV who was acclaimed as hard working especially when it came to the boat race event organization.

The boat race event

On Saturday the main focus was on the boat race for the community which turned out to be a big success! The boat race was aimed at raising health awareness on certain topics which were ‘Rubbish and sanitation’, ‘Keeping our water bodies clean’ and Cholera.

A sketch on keeping our sanitation clean

Presentation of Prize to the winners of the boat race event

Week 4 Blog by Kenneth+Shavey

The team started the week with the talk of Cape coast’s team visit to Abrobiano.

Some team members on their way to the house to house visit

Some team members on their way to the house to house visit

This week marked the start of our community engagement (house to house visit) which last 2 hours, from Monday to Wednesday and aims at teaching our health messages directly to households and befriending the people of Abrobiano through an ICV UKV pairings. This was to establish relationships with the community which the project may not have reached out to previously whilst bringing in underlying health messages week by week. This week’s topic was on Personal Hygiene and basic health practices. Although the language barrier created some difficulties, most households were very welcoming. Some even offered food to the volunteers! Some had questions about the project. Others wanted a solution to the limited water supply as many get their water from unclean sources like the lagoon! We advised people to filter/boil their water to kill the germs in it!

Some team members on their house to house visit with a household

Some team members on their house to house visit with a household

 

Limited water is a huge problem we are keen to solve in this cycle, with plans to install a polytank for the community! There have also been suggestions to put guttering around the communal buildings for rainwater collection! This was suggested after being engulfed in a huge thunderstorm on Wednesday evening! The majority trudged home on the stream-like roads in a small break in the rain. But some had to walk through the storm, getting soaked from head to toe in the process! This led to peer education & radio talks being cancelled.

To our relief, the rain passed in time for the evening social. Kenneth and Tom produced a magnificent amount of popcorn which made some of the games we played very competitive! The popcorn was indulged by all, especially Selorm and Edem who hid popcorn wherever, whenever it was passed to them! Weaving of the sachet net started on Thursday by the whole team.

Water sachet net weaving began

Friday evening brought a rather long team meeting. It helped us air some difficulties the team felt we were experiencing as a group. All problems were relatively small but were growing in number which was affecting team morale and dynamics. Everyone contributed and all left their bitter feelings a lot happier.

The weekend marked the visit of the Cape coast team to Abrobiano. We all awoke early to prepare food, collect coconuts and prepare a gazebo & chairs around the office. Preparation was running behind time. The Cape coasters were on time (the first time ever on project).

Cape coast + Abrobiano cycle 4 ICS teams.

Cape coast + Abrobiano cycle 4 ICS teams.

They were on time and half the team met and greeted them on arrival before taking them back to their homes. Some were surprised at how basic our conditions were! A short food delay later and we sat down for an excellent lunch cooked. Cape coast won both games, 4-0 & 3-0 and probably had the noisier support because of it. Tired we went back for food and showers before returning to the beach for a chilled fire and a few drinks. They left early the next day and from here we chilled!

Cape coast team excited after winning Abrobiano in the football match

Cape coast team excited after winning Abrobiano in the football match

Shavey and Teiko facilitated their ACD on Diversity and Teamwork, Michelle and Caroline became Team leaders on Tuesday for the Team leader platform day, we furthered our Fante Skills with Ken and Edem and my culture Day (MCD) Kezia and Tom did their Culture day on bonfire night in the UK. The week ended with the star volunteer vote which went to Shavey.

 

Cape Coast Week 4 by Christiana

Its really amazing, weeks are gone yet we the 4th cycle volunteers of Lattitude ICS still keep the passion to challenge ourselves to change our world. We therefore travelled all the way from Cape Coast to Abrobiano, and there we the ladies from cape coast had to compete with the ladies of Abrobiano in a football game.
It was pretty a great challenge, nevertheless we kept the record of cape coasters always winning against Abro.
Oh yes! We did it again with four goals against the ladies and our guys also scored three to win. So it was 4-0 win for the girls and 3-0 win for the boys. All these took place on the 8th of November, 2014.
We set off for cape coast the next morning. On our way we visited the Elmina castle and there we learnt a history.
Linda and Rochell also made us have fun by sharing with us how they celebrate the Notting hill carnival or festival in the U.K. as their Culture Day presentation. it was on thursday, the same day. 13th of November in the afternoon Giyas and Millicent projected on their fire festival by the people in the northern part of Ghana. And after all day hardworking we shared the happiness with Gifty on her birthday that same evening.

Cape Coast Week 4 by Sherry

Hello lovely followers, Adamu F. Sherry would like to update you on what latitude ics has been doing so far this week. Latitude had its first awareness event of this cycle which was the global peace games. There were dignitaries present such as Mr. Abdul Wahab who is the country manager for play soccer cape coast and also a representative from fifa. There were several members from other play soccer branches in Ghana and at least 8 children were present from each play soccer branch from Ghana. We started the whole event with parade through the principal streetas of Cape Coast involving the kids who participates in the football for hope centre programmes, the staffs of the centre and latitude ICS volunteers. There were several games that took place on that day. They were categorized into two; indoor games and outdoor games. We had some indoor games such as scrubble, ludo, drought, cards and play station 4 and the outdoor games were sack race, football, dancing competition, lime and spoon race, fill a bottle, penalty shootouts and volley ball. The event was a success and full of fun for the kids. On Monday, the team continued with the water sachet project and homework sessions. Two of the volunteers (Gifty and Rochelle) did their learning day presentation on Tuesday on the topic erosion. And Abigail and Janet educated the group on the effects of water and how it impacts both Ghana and UK.

Cape Coast Week 4 by Linda

Hey guys my name is Linda, and I’m a UKV from London.

So on Wednesday, it was confirmed to us that the female street league had been given the go ahead by the play soccer board.

Leading from that we all had a meeting with Mr. Wahab the center manager for play soccer Ghana (cape coast) where we began to strategize- we would be recruiting young girls between the ages of 16 and 22years to join the project.

After being split into groups of 2, we shared our suggestions and began to write how to put some of them in place within the coming weeks.

After 3 weeks of the scorching sun we experienced the well-known English torrential rain right on our door steps well let’s say in our classrooms.

On Thursday, we had the culture day presentation by Charity, Esenam and Sherry on the Volta Region of Ghana where we learnt their traditional dance and history.  It was also  Mikes birthday and  after being ponded in the morning he popped some  champagne in the early hours of the morning (well we all pretended it was champagne but it was fizzy passion fruit juice) lol we continued with our water sachet project and back the center and continued on with homework club in the late afternoon.

And on Friday the girls had training at 8:30am to practice for the game they have tomorrow against Abrobriano, so far the cape coast teams haven’t lost a match to date and from what I saw the cape coast team are definitely prepared and will be upholding their winning streak.

The group as a whole has been continuing the water sachet project and in the later afternoon we had creative play with the kids, where the children drew pictures for the latitude office.

Holidaycamps, Skydive und Co. – Mein Oktober in Neuseeland

Nach den letzten vier Wochen kann ich sagen: „Es ist wirklich Frühling!“

Angefangen hat der Frühling hier im Totara Springs Christian Camp mit den Spring-Holiday-Camps. Das sind auf deutsch übersetzt ganz normale Ferienfreizeiten für Kinder und Jugendliche.

In der ersten Ferienwoche (der letzten Woche im September) ging es los mit Teenscamp. Das ist die Freizeit für Jugendliche 13+. Leider habe ich von diesem Camp bis auf den Aufbau nichts mitbekommen, weil ich mehr mit dem Vorbereiten des J-Kids-Camps beschäftigt war. Das war eine Arbeit. Am Ende stellte sich aber die komplette Arbeit als voller Erfolg dar, und ich habe nicht nur von meinen Mitarbeitern, sondern auch von den Kindern und Eltern viel Lob erhalten.

Im J-Kids-Camp, wie auch im Kids-Camp wurde ich als Leader eingesetzt. Normalerweise werden Mitarbeiter des Camps nicht als 24h Aufsicht eingesetzt, für mich gab es eine Sonderregelung.

Als Leader betreut man 24h eine Gruppe von acht bis elf Kindern. Man ist, spielt und schläft mit/bei ihnen. Dazu musste ich in eine der Kabinen ziehen. Es fühlt sich komisch an, wenn man sagt dass man für 3 von 5 Tagen aus seiner Wohnung in eine 50m entfernte Kabine zieht.

Also am Dienstagabend den 30. September zog ich von meiner Wohnung in die Cabin 2C. Dort draf ich das erste mal auf meine Co-Leader. Hier habe ich einige richtig nette Kiwis kennengelernt. Einige dieser Leader kommen jedes Feriencamp und helfen alle Kinder zu betreuen. Nach einigen Kennenlernspielen und Team-Building-Aktivitäten ( es ist echt sinnlos, mich eine dieser Aktivitäten wie Team-Rescue machen zu lassen, da ich die Lösungen alle weis, aber es hat trotzdem Spaß gemacht).

Am Mittwochmorgen trafen dann 60 sechs- bis acht-Jährige ein. Für die meisten Kinder dieser Altersgruppe ist das Camp ein besonderes Erlebnis, da sie das erste Mal von zuhause weg sind. Ich bekam zusammen mit Chelsie die Ältesten. Nachdem wir alle Kinder begrüßt hatten und zusammen einige Spiel gespielt haben, gab es ein großes Area-Treffen. Für dieses Camp gab es zwei Areas (Bereiche). Den Jungen und den Mädchen Bereich. Für jeden dieser Bereiche gibt es eigene Hüter (Areaheads). Diese sind für alle „Größeren“ Angelegenheiten zuständig bzw. helfen aus, wenn ein Leader mal eine Pause braucht. Zudem hat der Areahead auch die tolle Aufgabe, Punkte zu verteilen. Es gibt Punkte auf die Zimmer (Cabin) bzw. für gemeinschaftliche Dienste, wie Putzen oder Essensaal herrichten. Zudem kann der Areahead auch Punkte für besondere Zustände vergeben, wenn sich zum Beispiel ein Kind mit Höhenangst die Kletterwand hochklettert und seine Angst überwindet.

Meine Kabine hat sich vorgenommen, dieses Jahr die meisten Punkte zu verdienen.

Aber erstmal langsam anfangen.

Nachdem uns alles erklärt worden war, ging es zum großen Treffen. Hier wurden uns die Regeln fürs Camp erklärt und wir lernten die Rednerin des Camps Emily Jones kennen. Sie hat den Rest der Woche immer Geschichten erzählt und den Kindern die Bibel näher gebracht.

Dann ging es nach den ersten Aktivitäten und verschiedenen Essen auch schon wieder ins Bett.

Die J-Kids-Camps sind im großen und ganzen gleich aufgebaut.

In der Früh nach dem Frühstück gibt es immer eine Area-Zeit, hier können die Kinder ihre Kabinen herrichten und sich fertig für den Tag machen. Dann geht es zum „Quality Living“. Hier es gibt meistens erst eine Worship-Zeit in der viele Lieder für Gott gesungen werden. Dann folgt eine Geschichte zu dem Camp-Thema und eine Andacht dazu. Dieses Jahr war das Thema „Superheros“ (Superhelden). Wir hörten Geschichten über verschiedene Superhelden der Bibel und was diese ausgemacht haben. Zudem gab es einen Superhelden-Vers, das ist ein Bibelvers der zum Thema Superhelden passt (Ps. 91,15). Nach dieser Andachtszeit geht es entweder in den Chatroom, hier können die Kinder Fragen zu der Geschichte des Tages bzw. über Gott und die Bibel stellen. Eine geschulte Gruppe von Mitarbeitern im Camp ist dafür zuständig. Zudem gibt es kostenlose kindgerechte Bibeln für die Kinder, welche keine besitzen. In zwei Wochen Camp wurden insgesamt 160 Bibeln verteilt. Davon waren 10 Koreanisch-Englisch.

Wenn die Kinde nicht in den Chatroom wollen, können sie in ihre Kabinen gehen und dort an ihren Arbeitsbüchern arbeiten. Für das Camp haben wir Ausmalbücher mit Rätseln und den Geschichten der Qualtity-Living Einheit organisiert.

Dannach ging es los mit den Aktivitäten. Das Tolle am Leadersein ist, man darf alle Aktivitäten ausprobieren. Ich habe nun nicht nur das theoretische Wissen als Instructor, sondern habe auch alle Aktivitäten praktisch durchgeführt! Das war ein Spaß. Besonders die Hydroslide mit den Kinder!

Am Abend geht es nach dem Abendessen und einer „Gute-Nacht-Geschichte“ für die Kinder ins Bett.

Ich hatte eine extrem tolle Zeit im J-Kids-Camp. Die Kinder waren super! Zudem hat meine Kabine mit großem Abstand die Kabin-Challenge gewonnen!

Zwischen J-Kids-Camp und Kids-Camp hatte ich einen Tag frei. Den habe ich zum größten Teil mit Entspannen verbracht, um mich mental auf das nächste Camp vorzubereiten.

Die nächste Freizeit war wie gesagt, Kids-Camp. Es ist gedacht für Kinder zwischen 8-12 Jahren.

Sie läuft im Grunde eins zu ein, wie die vorherige Freizeit ab. Nur mit einem kleinen aber feinen Unterschied. Kinder im Alter zwischen 8-12 gehen nicht um 7 Uhr ins Bett. Es gibt also Abendaktivitäten. Und das Camp ist fünf Tage lang, nicht drei!

Abends gab es Aktivitäten, wie Gruppenspiele (Capture the Flag) oder eine Disco-Nacht. Zudem gab es am letzten Abend noch eine Kostüm-Party zum Thema Superhelden. Dieses mal hatte ich die jüngsten Mädchen. Das war schön. Alle waren am Abend so fertig, dass man die Kinder gar nicht zwingen musste, ins Bett zu gehen.

Am letzten Tag gab es noch eine besondere Überraschung. Wir spielten das Spiel: GYOB (Get your own back) oder besser gesagt: Fange deinen Leader und mache ihn so dreckig wie möglich!

Das ganze lief wie folgt ab: Wir Leader hatten zwei Minuten Zeit, uns auf dem Rugbayspielfeld zu verteilen. Die Kinder kamen dann und versuchten uns zu fangen (bzw. wir mussten uns fangen lassen). Dann konnten die Kinder entscheiden, zu welcher der vielen Stationen sie uns bringen wollten. Dabei war die Station „Eiswasser“ noch die Harmloseste. Von Schwammzielwurf (der Leader wird als Zielscheibe für nasse Schwämme benutzt) über Grasrollen bis hin zu Bodypainting und Schlammtoilette gab es ein großes Durcheinander. Am Ende war ich eine Schlumpf-Avatar mit einem Hauch von Schlammhaaren und befleckt mit Gras.

Es war ein unglaublich tolles Spiel, welches extrem viel Spaß gemacht hat, leider ist es nicht so leicht Graß und Schlamm, sowie Bodypaint zu entfernen. Ich schrubbte noch zwei Wochen später an meinen Fußknöcheln um die Blau-Grüne-Farbe zu entfernen.

In diesem Camp habe ich unglaublich tolle Leute kennengelernt. Ich habe zu vier Leadern einen echt guten Kontakt hergestellt und mit einer dieser Leader werde ich im Dezember einen Great Walk durch das Gebirge südlich von Taupo begehen (das ist eine 4 Tageswanderung durch die Vulkane von Tongario). Ich freue mich schon extrem darauf.

Nach diesen beiden Camps habe ich mir eine Pause verdient! Eine echte Pause um neue Kraft zu schöpfen. Also was mache ich?! Ich setzte mich in den Bus und fahre nach Taupo! Einer Stadt am größten See Neuseelands „Lake Taupo“. Hier entspringt der längste Fluss Neuseelands der Waikato-River.

Am Tag meiner Anreise ging ich als erstes in das I-Site Büro. Die I-Site ist das Touristenbüro in Neuseeland. Es gibt es praktisch in jeder Stadt und es gibt neben freiem Internet auch ganz viele Broschüren. Zudem kann man alles von dort aus buchen. Ich habe mich dort um alle Uhrzeiten für verschiedene Aktivitäten erkundigt und siehe da, es gab noch eine Bootstour über den See gleich eine halbe Stunde später. Diese habe ich als meine erste Aktivität gebucht. Eine halbe Stunde später stehe ich am überschaubaren Hafen von Taupo und begebe mich auf eines der schönen Dampfschiffe. In der zweistündigen Rundfahrt habe ich einiges gesehen. Was mich am meisten bezaubert hat, waren die Maori-Carvings. Das sind Felswandschnitzereien, die direkt über dem Wasser sind. Ich frage mich, wie die Uhreinwohner diese Hinbekommen haben. Sogar eine Echse haben diese geschnitzt.

Nach den zwei Stunden Bootsfahrt habe ich mich durch die Stadt auf den Weg zur Jugendherberge gemacht. Dort habe ich meine erste Hostelerfahrung gemacht. Hostels haben kein Frühstück! Also bin ich erst Mal zum Supermarkt um die Ecke gelaufen (15 min), um mir mein Frühstück und mein Abendessen zu besorgen.

Danach bin ich sofort eingeschlafen; diese Nacht habe ich meinen Schlaf der letzten Campnächte nachgeholt.

In der Früh wurde ich von einem Shuttle abgeholt. Und mein Adrenalin-Tag begann. Als erstes hat mein Shuttle auch noch drei weitere Mädchen abgeholt. Alle waren aus Großbritanien. Zusammen sind wir zum Taupo-Bungee gefahren. Mein erster Bungee-Jump!!!!! Das war genial und so angsteinflößend. Ich war der erste Sprung des Tages! Man bekommt zwar eine zweite Sicherung aber im allgemeinen heben einen nur zwei Gewichte an den Füßen. Dann steht man an einem 47m Abgrund und soll sich in die Tiefe stürzen?! Wer macht das schon freiwillig? Es war unglaublich, nach dem ersten Schreck ist es ein unbeschreibliches Gefühl! Danach kann man nur noch lachen!

Nach dem Bungeesprung ging es direkt weiter zu den Hukafalls. Das sind Wasserfälle am Rande von Taupo. Der Waikato-River wird in ein Tal gezwängt, wodurch diese Fälle entstehen. Dort gibt es die Möglichkeit, Jetboot zu fahren. Mit elf anderen Passagieren wurde ich mit 80 km/h über das Wasser gewirbelt. Die speziellen Boote sind so designt, dass man mit ihnen 360° Drehungen machen kann. Das war nach dem Bungeesprung genau das Richtige! Wir sind auch ganz nah an die Wasserfälle gefahren und konnten ihre Kraft richtig spüren.

Darauf ging es direkt weiter zum Flugplatz Taupo.

Dort sind wir in einen Helikopter gestiegen und haben einen halbstündigen Sightseeing Flug über Taupo, die Hukafalls und den Rand des Tongario-Gebirgszuges gemacht. Auch das war wunderschön.

Zum Glück war das Wetter so richtig gut mit blauem Himmel und Sonnenschein, wodurch wir alles begutachten konnten.

Der Helikopter hat uns direkt am Startplatz des Tandemskydive Taupo herausgelassen. Meine letzte geplante Aktivität des Tages. Ein Tandemfallschirmsrpung aus 12000ft höhe (~4 km). Eine Überraschung erwartete mich dort! Einer der Tandemlehrer war aus Matamata und besucht den gleichen Gottesdienst wie ich. Wir hatten einen kurzen Chat, bevor es losging. Mir wurde zudem mein Fotograf und mein Tandemlehrer vorgestellt; nach einer halben Stunde konnte das Flugzeug starten. Nach 15 min erreichten wir die geplante Höhe. Nach dem Bungeesprung viel es mir gar nicht mehr schwer aus dem Flugzeug zu springen. Diesmal kann man nicht wirklich springen sagen. Wir sind rückwärts aus dem Flugzeug gefallen! Und hatten dann erstmal 45 Sekunden freien Fall! Das ist so entspannend. Das ist eine Zeit in der man sogut wie nichts machen kann! Einfach nur die Aussicht genießen und sich fallen lassen! Dann nach 45 sek. Öffnet der Hilfsschirm und nach ca. zwei Minuten der gesamte Schirm. Dann hat man 10 -15 Minuten, in denen man Fallschirm fliegt. Unbeschreiblich! Und am Ende haben wir sogar noch einige Tricks gemacht. Das war so toll!!!!!

Nach dem Spaß wurde ich wieder zur Jugendherberge gebracht. Dort hatte ich dann erstmal Mittag/Abendessen und habe ein Mädchen aus Deutschland kennengelernt, die seit 8 Wochen Work&Travel macht. Wir haben uns zusammengetan und noch eine kleine Wanderung zu den Hukafalls gemacht. Das war schön. Wir sind an heißen Flüssen und Badestränden vorbeigekommen.

Danach haben wir in der Jugendherberge noch eine Schweizerin getroffen; zusammen sind wir in die Stadt und haben eine kleine Tour am Rande des Sees gemacht. Dann war es sehr spät Abends und ich packte meine Sachen, da mein Bus sehr früh am nächsten Tag abfuhr.

Mein Bus fuhr frühs ab. Die Busstrecke war wunderschön. Nach zwei Stunden war ich in Tauranga, eine Stadt in der Bay of Plenty direkt am Meer. Dort hatte ich vier Stunden Aufenthalt. Am Nachmittag ging es dann zurück ins Camp, und am nächsten Tag los zum Arbeiten.

Diese Arbeitswoche war für mich etwas anderst als gewohnt ich war Host. Das bedeutet, dass man die Gruppe betreut und als Ansprechpartner zum Camp fungiert. Das hat echt Spaß gemacht und ich habe mich viel mit den Kindern und Erwachsenen über Neuseeland unterhalten.

Am nächsten Wochenende, 18. und 19. Oktober, bekam ich das Auto einer Arbeitskollegin geliehen. Sie ist echt nett und hat mich auch schon im August mit ins Turnen genommen.

Mit dem Auto bin ich dann nach Hamilton zu den dortigen Voluntären Chrissi und Beth gefahren. Zusammen sind wir weiter nach Raglan. Einem Strand an der Westküste Neuseelands. Die Gegend dort ist mehr bekannt als die Surfstrände Neuseelands. Hohe Wellen, schwarzer Sand, Regen, so war der Samstag geprägt. Aber es haben sich doch einige Surfer raus getraut und wir konnten ihnen zuschauen. Uns hat der Regen nichts ausgemacht.

Am Liebsten wäre ich selber surfen gegangen, mal sehen ob das mal im Sommer klappt. Soweit ist Raglan nicht entfernt.

Am Abend haben wir Hamilton unsicher gemacht. Im Foodcourt sind wir auf einen „Deutsche-Bratwurst“-Stand getroffen. Naja nach nachfragen haben wir herausgefunden, dass die Wurst in Christchurch hergestellt worden ist. Aber die Wurst hat mehr nach Wienerle geschmeckt als nach ner Roten :-D

Am Tag darauf haben wir noch einen Ausflug zu den Bridal-Veil-Falls gemacht. Das sind ganz schön hohe Wasserfälle. Leider hat es durch den Regen den ganzen Schlamm aufgewühlt und so kann man die Fälle eher Schlammfälle nennen.

Meine letzte Arbeitswoche im Oktober war geprägt von DVDs. Da nur eine sehr kleine Schulgruppe im Camp war wurde ich vom Ministryteam gebucht. Ich habe in dieser Woche ungefähr 250 DVDs und 100 Photos für diverse Schulen vom Sportscamp hergestellt, verpackt, verschickt. Am Ende der Woche sind uns sogar die DVDs ausgegangen.

Mein letztes Arbeitswochenende im Oktober war das Labour-Weekend. Vom 25. bis zum 27. Oktober hatten alle Arbeiter in Neuseeland frei. Naja fast. Bei uns im Camp stand das größte Christliche Treffen für Behinderte in Neuseeland an. Elevate. c.a. 350 Behinderte mit ihren Begleitern und Helfern trafen Freitag Abend bei uns ein. Zum Glück ist dieses Camp nicht von uns organisiert sondern von einer anderen Organisation. Dadurch mussten wir nur alle Räume herrichten und das Essen und die Getränke bereitstellen.

Das ganze Wochenende stand ich am Getränketisch. Ob Kaffee, Tee (Schwarztee) oder Kaba, bei mir musste jeder vorbei, der nicht Wasser wollte. Und da Kiwis sechs Mal am Tag essen, war ich durch und durch beschäftigt. Ich frage mich, wie viel Tee man trinken kann. Ich habe an diesem Wochenende gefühlte 1000 Teekannen (à 5 Liter Tee) gemacht.

Nach diesem Wochenende bin ich defintiv urlaubsreif!

Und hier sind noch ein paar Bilder!