Whether you're here for a night or for a month "Buccs" in the place to be. This family run backpackers is friendly, funky, relaxed and full of staff and fellow travellers to connect with. Buccs offers a wide range of accommodation options from camping and dorms to gorgeous new suites and en-suite rooms - there's something for every budget and taste. Best of all, most of the rooms have sea views (seriously gorgeous sea views!) and if you don't manage to get a room with a view, you can enjoy it from any number of communal areas designed with this in mind. You're a stones throw from the beach, they do amazing food in big portions and you'll feel like one of the family. It's an experience in it's self.
Our final group of volunteers this season, who travelled with EDventures and Pangea Trails to Chintsa to join one of our Community Development initiatives, began a new project at Mama Tofu's traditional Xhosa village.
Mama Tofu is the oldest registered tour guide in South Africa at the age of 93! Her homestead is a living and working example of a traditional tribal Xhosa homestead where volunteers and tourists can visit, sleep and eat while they learn about Xhosa culture, traditions and life.
Mama Tofu was assisted by local tour company African Heartland Journeys to become registered and trained as a guide and the company assist her today in supporting her tours and helping in the village when necessary.
This project created an incredible opportunity for our volunteers not only to assist in supporting community driven local economical development, but also in experiencing hands-on traditional building techniques using the resources available in the natural environment of a traditional village... i.e., cow dung!
Last month a long term VA32 project was completed by a small group of volunteers who travelled to South Africa with EDventures International.
The building of a new classroom at Silatsha School has been in progress since July 2013 when the school was identified by VA32 and local NPO Friends of Chintsa, as in dire need of additional space to teach the current number of learners at the school effectively. To catch up with the progress of the project from start to finish check out the blogs below: "Volunteers Build New Classroom in Rural School"
Last week we wrote a blog about some of our experiences on The African Pre-Vet Experience in Chintsa, where we explained some of the tasks we had taken part in with African wildlife, agricultural animals and zoo enrichment. You can read that blog "Pre-Vet Students get Hand-on Experience in South Africa" here. This week we're going to go into another aspect of the project - community work with domestic animals.
Stephanie showing the kids her cool pictures of the animals we've worked with
Once a week, we go to the Cintsa village and do community work with the
dogs. Ticks and fleas are very common in these areas, so we come every
week to dip the dogs to kill the ticks and fleas. We also treat mange, a
common disease found in many dogs in the village, along with
Transmissible Venereal Tumors (TVTs). Our pre-vets will also treat any
wounds, burn marks, and treat infections. Often times, our dipping site
gets stampeded with the children and while waiting for dogs to come, we
will often play with the children.
Local hero's Phumla Pakamile and Mike Denison were given the pleasure of showing eTV's "Against All Odds" film crew around some of Chintsa's most inspiring and long standing community education projects. They made the most of this opportunity to highlight the positive work done by the Chintsa community in collaboration with local non-profit organization Friends of Chintsa.
You can watch the Against All Odds episode below (the Chintsa article begins at 07:21):
If you cannot view this embedded movie click here to watch it on youtube
Friends of Chintsa are able to offer services like free computer literacy lessons to the schools and community members because of the support of international volunteers who travel to South Africa, stay for two weeks or more, and volunteer their time to take part in projects like this. VA32 host these volunteers who pay a fee to cover their food, accommodation, transport, project administration and a contribution back into the projects they take part in.
While volunteering with the Pre-Vet program, through VA32 we get to see and do so
many fun things!
Here are a few of the tasks we've done over the past few weeks:
When working with the wildlife, we have gone on several game captures at
one of the few local game reserves, mPongo. While at mPongo, we get to
drive around on the game drive looking at all the animals: giraffes,
zebras, nyalas, waterbucks, warthogs, impalas, lions, monkeys,
elephants, bushbucks, and many more!
Last month VA32 and Buccaneers Backpackers hosted a team of students from Oporto British School in Portugal. The group of 16 students, supported by teachers from the school, were to spend a week in South Africa enriching their experience of our beautiful country, exploring some of South Africa's highlights and volunteering their time on a meaningful community development initiative. The students put together an awesome movie about their experience in South Africa:
Over to project leader Tobs for a little more about the project: