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YOUTH FOR UNDERSTANDING NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2010 Dear YFU Friends and Families, I hope all of you had a festive season full of joy and arrived safely in our new year 2010! That time flies I can feel it every day as my half year stay and internship in South Africa is about to finish. I have had a great time, met amazing people, been to beautiful places, learned uncountable things and made unique experiences which will always make me remember and appreciate that I had the opportunity to come to this corner of our world. It is time to follow new directions, for me to leave and others to come, as our new Gauteng Intern Aliine or Inbound students and Kinder Huis Volunteer for Bloemfontein. Find out more about them and read what has been going on with YFU during the last months in this edition, enjoy the info, enjoy your selves and be sure that I will not forget you! Love and hugs and best wishes to all of you, Lisa Hannemann

BLOEMFONTEIN NEWS As you know I try to do something special each month! Actually its hard work because Bloemfontein does not have all that entertainment that other cities offer. Any way! We first start the year to know each other with a braai at my house. It was really nice to get everyone together and „to find‟ each other. We did a go-kart competition. Everybody enjoyed it. Miriam was the „STAR‟ in history when she flipped the go-kart. Fortunately it was not that serious, only a torn pants and a damaged ego! After that we enjoyed pizzas at my house Each first weekend of the summer months, the local ZOO offers a zoo snooze. Then we sleep in the zoo in tents at during the evening the feed all „cat‟ type animals like tigers, lions, cheetahs etc.


That specific night all does not work out fine for us because just after the braai and after we ate, it started raining. We were forced into the tents and all went to bed very early. We want to re-do this and I think it will be great if we do it again with the new inbounds of January 2010. We „imported‟ two friends from Pretoria, Lisa and Benj, to show them how nice the Free Staters can be and we went for a game of paintball. Everybody enjoyed it so much! And they asked me to come and join them but I said NO! because I will be every ones target… big and slow! Some of the students were privileged to have travelled with me and visited Upington, Augrabies waterfall, Kimberley and even Durban. In the pipeline….Don‟t know if you should mention this now, but we want to visit the crocodile farm and a game reserve, the cheetah experience, a trip to Kimberley to pay the BIG HOLE a visit and maybe a visit to a real old DRIVE INN. That is a cinema where you sit in the car and watch a movie on a big screen. Bloemfontein also now has a „WATERWORLD‟ and I really want to take the group there for a great day of fun… and lots and lots of sunscreen hehehe because this Free State sun does not ask questions, it just burns you. We are already planning a fun filled trip to Durban. We want to do it in the cheapest way BUT want lots of fun. This will happen in the March holiday period. Well otherwise the students enjoyed the stay so far … I hope! Joubert van Zyl (YFU-SA Regional Director of Free State)

HI FROM ESTONIA My name is Aliine and I will be an intern in Pretoria from February till April. I'm from Estonia and I was an YFU exchange student in Ecuador from 2007 to 2008. Estonia is a tiny-tiny country in northern Europe (just below Finland and above Latvia) and right now it's wintertime - we have 50 cm snow and -15 ! I really like snow and cold weather, but I like summer and sun a lot more - it might just be one of the reasons I'm already looking forward for my internship :) I speak English, Spanish and Estonian fluently, so if you have any questions, feel free to address me in any of those languages. I like to read a lot and take photos, and lately I have started to explore the fun of snowboarding. I'm really looking forward to meeting all of the YFU people in South Africa and exploring your wonderful country! Hope to see you soon! Aliine Lotman


FAMILY DAY AT THE POOL At one of the first summer days in October most of the Gauteng students and their host families have met at the Sinoville Swimming Pool. I arrived there with the first group and at the beginning I never thought that all the 60 people we expected would really come. But one after another arrived and we had a really nice time. It was a very nice idea that everybody had to bring some special food from their country that everybody could try. Another really good thing was the swimming pool for cooling down and playing Frisbee and doing diving competitions. All in all it was just a very nice day. Benjamin T채schler (from Switzerland, now in Pretoria)

PILANESBERG WEEKEND In the middle of November, a small group of Gauteng-students took off to Pilanesberg for a weekend. After about an hours drive we arrived to the camping area and settled down for the night. Catching up with each others experiences and chattering took our evening quickly and after guitar lullabies, everyone was ready for the sleeping bag equipped night. On the morning we headed to Sun City, the famous theme park of SA. The weather was perfect, the mood was right and our excitement turned into a great day.


Sun City seemed to have it all, the entertainment, people, beautiful sights and the vibe. Day passed in no time, hanging in the pools and waterslides, busy burning our light skins. When the evening arrived, everyone was tired but happy. Sun City seriously impressed us all! Camp was calling us for a nice dinner and traditional stories. Sunday woke us up early, 5am. That days plan was to go for game drives that for most of us were the first ones experienced in South Africa. The natural reserve if Pilanesberg was best to see on the morning-time, when all the animals wake up and start searching for water. We were very lucky to see most of famous big mammals; elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, hippos, bocks, and a lot more. After lunch we went for another game –drive in full daylight, and even tough the scenes were absolutely stunning, all of us were a bit too tired to pay attention to the animals… After this weekend we all came back home with unforgettable memories and a smile on our faces! Emmi Korkalainen (from Finland, now in Pretoria)

CAPE TOUR 2009 756 kilometers were taken in 14 days by 32 Students together with 5 Volunteers. The groups from Gauteng, Free State, Eastern and Western Cape met in the end of November in Port Elizabeth to start an unforgettable journey. Leaving surfer‟s paradise to stop in an area of canyons, rives and forests, heading to the dry Karoo, driving next to wine lands to finally arrive in the mother city. Specials “Every day had its own Highlight. That could be a view, a moment or just the nice chat to your friends.” Mara Nigg, PE, Switzerland


Effort “Behind the scenes we worked hard to get the things rolling. We had to change plans if the weather played a trick on us and we did a lot of extra stuff that was not on the programme.” Joubert van Zyl, Bloem, Teamer

Swartberg Pass “I couldn‟t believe my eyes; it was like out of a book. The river and the waterfalls and the shade and the singing Africans…” Hannah Arro, Cape Town, Estonia

Ostriches “We have tried everything with the ostriches: we rode them, we saw what you could do with their feathers, we stood on their eggs, we got massages from them and over all that, we even ate them. All of this was so much fun. We had people from almost every region of SA and in the end there were two things connecting us all: YFU and sunburn from Camps Bay.” Benjamin Täschler, PTA, Switzerland


Cape Town “All with our cameras ready we climbed up to Table Mountain, enjoyed the view of Cape Point and The Cape of good Hope, went to the beaches and felt the adrenalin in our bodies in Ratanga Junction.” Saskia, Bloem, Switzerland

Table Mountain “If I remember these days I will remember the beautiful view from Table Mountain, that made me feel very small in this huge world…the whales and dolphins in Camps Bay…the simple evenings around a braai sharing meat and marshmallows, as if we were a big family.” Suzanne Ballard, Tzaneen, France

Southern Comfort Every minute at that place was an experience. But because of the group everything was possible. Thanks guys for that, you made the place way better that it actually was! Anna Stoller and Karl Floder, PTA and Bloem, Germany


Teamers “The teamers where awesome, leaders isn‟t the right word for them because they were more that leaders. They were our friends. I hope they feel the same about us!” Nikky De Leeuw, Bloem, Holland

Going home “Now the tour is over we all don‟t wanna go home anymore because we are a really great group and had a lot of fun together.” Anna Schuetz, JHB, Germany

We have had an awesome trip and it the end all the students would have liked to stay one week longer! Very sweet was the box of sweets each teamer got from two Bloemfontein girls and again I want to thank you two for that. I want to say thanks to the whole group for the great time with you! It could not have been better! Lisa Hannemann (YFU Intern)


X- MAS B RING AND BRAAI When most of us listened to the radio the last weeks songs like „I'm dreaming of a white Christmas“ seemed like pure irony, melodies from another world, from far away. It was one of those hot South African December evenings. A little group of Pretoria's YFU students and their families that had not yet left for holiday came together in 103 Deeks Road at the YFU Office with some meat and cool drinks for a nice Bring 'n Braai. We were chatting and eating until late and we agreed on that it is wired to celebrate Christmas when it is so warm and it was definitely the hottest one all of us ever had. A funny experience, thinking about that back home the dream of a white Christmas actually became true. Lisa Hannemann (YFU Intern)

YFU PORT ELIZABETH GOES FOR CHARITY Fabienne Kunzig‟s host mother, Elmari Hanekom, invited YFU PE to be part of a Christmas Party for underprivileged kids. This was met with enthusiasm by all. We were requested to donate goodies and gifts for the children. On the day of the event, we were met by 30 excited faces who could not believe that Father Christmas was going to visit them. It was disheartening to meet children who come from families that struggle to make ends meet, especially during the festive season. It was however, wonderful to be able to have fun with them even if it was only for a few hours. Some of the children had their faces painted, which was quite challenging at times because they wanted to be so many things. We had a lot of fun though! Fun was had by all as the kids were playing, screaming with laughter, excitement and feasting. It was exactly what children should be doing during Christmas. The party ended at 7.00pm with a big "THANK YOU!!!" in one hearty, and not to mention happy cheer!


I believe Christmas is the time to make a difference in someone's life. YFU PE is blessed to have been a part of this event and to have hopefully spread some hope and holiday cheer amongst these children. Alexandra Simonsen (YFU Intern)

HOLIDAY T IME IN SOUTH AFRICA My Christmas time in South Africa was completely different from what I‟m used to in Norway. I started off with an awesome trip together with a huge group of YFU students. We drove buss all the way from Port Elizabeth down to Cape Town. During these two weeks I experienced many different and interesting things. Thank you very much to everyone that made this trip to such a good memory! Later on I stayed in Margate (a little place right outside Durban) for 3 weeks. Here I celebrated Christmas and new years with my host family. To celebrate Christmas while the sun is shining all day long was a totally new thing for me! We spent most of the days at different beaches. Those beaches were the fullest places I‟ve ever seen! Walking down the road to the beach and see hundreds of umbrellas in all different colours is a view I‟ll never forget. I had some amazing days at the beach, where I meet many new people, swam and not at least… learned how to surf. The morning the 25th of December I woke up to a lot of gifts! Later on that day we had a nice warm dinner, which reminded me pretty much about a Norwegian Christmas dinner. We swam in the pool and had a lot of fun that day. Earlier this year I have heard a lot about cage diving with sharks. Therefore it wasn‟t hard to decide what to do when I saw a poster with advertising for a group that did this. We went to their office and the man there told us it was 99% change to see a shark. I was so excited to do this. Later on I kind of have changed my opinion about this. We didn‟t see one shark, instead we all just got very see sick. But as well as all the other stuff I have done here in SA, it gave me a lot of memories  I also got to see a little bit of Durban. I went to places like UShaka and different malls. I had an awesome time the whole of December holiday! I experienced totally new way to celebrate Christmas, which I‟m really happy with. Anette Lande (from Norway, now in Johannesburg)


YFU - ORIENTATION SEMINARS Post Arrival Orientation (PAO) Bloemfontein in Pretoria. Bit by bit our four new inbounds made it to South Africa and settled inn at Bush Baby Lodge in Pretoria. From Sunday evening until Thursday morning Ngoako and me tried to teach them everything they need to know about South African lifestyle, families, schools, the meaning of culture and importance communication for their exchange year. On Wednesday we had a trip to Chameleon Flee Market in Hartbeespoort where the first souvenirs were brought and around the dinner table the same evening many stories were told by Oom Joubert, who took his „new“ children to Bloemfontein the next morning were all of them was expected with lots of excitement. We had a good time together with Linn (Belgium), Almut (Austria), Seth (USA) and Sam (Australia) and wish them a great start in our beautiful country!

Mid Year Orientation (MYO) Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

It was half time for our 12-months-students when they came together for their mid year orientation in Pretoria. Happy greetings, many hugs and uncountable stories were exchanged on Friday evening. We started our program the next morning, sitting outside under the warm South African sun. In feedback sessions we made them reflect their past 6 months: What experiences did you make with family, school and friends? In what ways did you adapt? How did it help you? Etc. In the evening, before we had our nice Braai all students set themselves goals for their second half in South Africa and we hope that with that all students returned full of motivation when they left to their families on Sunday morning. Lisa Hannemann (YFU Intern)


PREPERATION FOR THE NEXT YFU INBOUND GENERATION It seems as if it is still a long time until the next bunch of YFU inbounds will arrive in South Africa. But time passes flying and we have to start looking for host families for 40 curious and exited youngsters coming from all over the world to make their South African exchange experience. Loving host families are the base of our program and change a young person‟s life as they change the host family‟s life, too. “I cannot believe that the year went so fast. I was so unsure a year ago if we made the right choice to host a girl from Germany. After almost 11 months we love our host daughter/sister/grand daughter as our own and it's breaking my heart that she will be leaving us in almost 6 weeks time. We would not have missed knowing her for all the money in the world. She is so easy to love and has so much love to give. I attach for you all an SMS she wrote me the other day (during school time): "Hey ek dink net aan jou, ek het julle soooooo...baie lief! Ek het die naweek saam met jul baie geniet! Ek wil nie dink hoe baie ek jul gaan mis big kiss" And yes, she wrote it in Afrikaans. Imagine after only 11 months her Afrikaans is better than a lot of South African born kids.” Magda Buitendach in May 2009

And again we say: WANTED: Host Families!!! YFU is looking for families who would like to open their hearts and their homes to one of our students. If you would like to host one of our students or you know someone in your community who would, please contact us!

UPCOMING YFU EVENTS Cultural Exchange Family Day (Pretoria)

14th of February – 26th of February 06th of March

YOU WANT TO CONTACT US... YFU Office (Cape Town) Rynette (Pretoria) Joubert (Bloemfontein) Iris (Port Elizabeth)

021 4231677 082 4643957 082 4644197 082 5192590

www.yfu.org.za

YFU South Africa Newsletter - January 2010  

The first newsletter in the year of the World Cup has: - News from Bloemfontein - Pretoria family day - Pictures and stories from the...

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