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December 2014

Newsletter Content Voortrekker market day


CANSA Relay for Life


Host Family Day


PAO– Pretoria




Germany my second home


I love football


Exotic Argentina


Outbound students


An intern’s day at the Office


Interview with Beni


Summer Program


Loanne’s first month in SA


Culture exchange in township


New Inbound Students


It is time to go home


Hello.... The winter season is finally over and Jacaranda trees are taking over the city of Pretoria. Now you can finally feel the hot African days. I am not used to that but I cannot complain. Our exchange students have already spent 3 months in South Africa and for most of them the time is running really fast. They arrived in August with lots of expectations, dreams and of course fears. They did not know a word in Afrikaans, Zulu or Sotho. But, by now, they have gotten used to their new language(s) and have overcome about their initial fears. If you want to have a look at how they are doing and what is happening in YFU South Africa just have a look at our newsletter. You will find many articles written by our inbound students about their first months in SA or about the YFU events. You can also read about our outbound students all around the world. Do not forget to check out upcoming events so you can be part of them :)

Coming up in YFU SA... 

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YFU South Africa

Cape Tour — From 28th of November to 8th of December our exchange student will visit the beautiful province of the Western Cape Outbound students – 3 students from SA are going to discover the world! (end of December/ January) New Inbound students – YFU SA will host two students from Austria and one student from Argentina. Their amazing exchange year will start on the 24th of January. Would you like to become a Host Family? Mid-year orientation from 30th January to 1st of February

YFU Events Voortrekker Market Day Author: Malena Philippi

“All in all it was a really nice day and everybody had a lot of fun! As always when we spend time with the YFU-Family members!!”


he monthly Voortrekker Monument Sunday's market every first Sunday in a month is a market at the Voortrekker Monument. On the 6th of September YFU was selling for the first time at this market. Every exchange student and YFUVolunteer was welcome to bake something typical from his/her country and to sell it at our stall. So the day before, everybody was busy baking, cooking or preparing something for the market. Then, Sunday early in the morning, we met at the monument and put everything on our tables and decorated the stall with flags an flyers and the food with little food-flags. And we had a lot of food!! And from a lot of different countries!! From Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Argentina, France and more. Unfortunately, Best sweets from all over the world! there weren't a lot of people at the market, so we couldn't sell that much. But it wasn't so bad, because at the end we could eat the left-overs. And they were baie lekker!!

Cansa Relay for Life Author: Peter Vadina


ANSA is part of an international movement that unites cancer survivors and the communities that care about them. YFU SA decided to participate in this unique event as we have done in previous years. It took place on the sports ground of Denel where the organizers created a walking course. Our stall was put up really fast because we had a lot of help from our exchange students and volunteers.

YFU team walking the course Page 2

When the ceremony started everybody was supporting the survivors. They were walking the course to expresses the long journey of the fight against cancer. Meanwhile people joined them and that was the main idea of the relay. Unfortunately a huge thunderstorm came up. So for an hour everything stopped and lots of people left. We had bad luck with weather this year. After the storm we started walking again. Each hour we dressed up in different costumes. Ngoako and I was in charge of the braai. It was a disaster. Ngoako is from SA but he doesn’t know how to braai and for me it was the very first time. So the people watching us couldn’t understand what we were doing. But Lena had lots of fun. Luckily, nobody complained about the wors.

Only the most persistent continued walking after midnight. Our exchange student were amazing. We did a lot of activities together and we had a wonderful time. At sunrise we paked up, tired but happy. I have to say

Student taking a selfie

“Thank you” to all of you. It was another awesome event with the YFU Family.

YFU Events PAO in Pretoria Author: Marie Reiter


reat start to our exchange year! Two weeks after our arrival to South Africa we had our Post-ArrivalOrientation in Pretoria. During this amazing weekend we learned about important aspects of being an exchange student and we also got to know traditional South African food, songs and more. After we played a game to get to know each other, Nina Voges, the national director of YFU SA introduced us to the important YFU rules. In the evening we had a nice braai together and we spent a great time with chatting with each other. The night was very cold but in the morning there was a tasty

Group photo from PAO

funny because we had to close our eyes and we didn't know what we were eating. Each group also got 3 words with which we had to prepare a small play for Saturday. It was a lot of fun to put for example school, family and romance together in a story and perform in front of all the others. In the evening we learned the lion dance. At the end we had a great time together. This weekend was full of fun.

breakfast waiting for us. Later we talked in groups about 'what is culture' and communication. In the afternoon we learned the nice national anthem of South Africa and we had a lot of fun together. During a small tea break volunteers had been preparing traditional South African Mmm so food like chicken feet, chicken delicious! heart, liver or biltong. It was quite

AGM-Cape town Author: Ngoako Mashitisho


nother great YFU meeting and another great weekend spent with wonderful people. It was interesting to hear about the development of YFU over the past year, to reflect on students, families and volunteers that have taken this journey with us and of course a enjoyable dinner celebrating 20 years of YFU South Africa. A weekend of YFU is a always a weekend well spent! Especially if spent in South Africa's oldest city, Cape Town. Sunday chilling in Cape Town

Family day on 1st of November Author: Magda Buitendach


auteng region had a wonderful family day on the first of November. About 25 people; exchange students, host families, volunteers and previous host families met at a public swimming pool in the north of Pretoria. The wonderful weather kept the students and host siblings in the water most of the day while host parents, previous and current, were being lazy under the trees and could exchange stories. With our future exchange students (ages between 4 months and 6 years) playing around us or being hugged by all the “want to be� grannies, the day was perfect. Hope to see even more of our YFU family when we have our next family day. Page 3

Students together

Students all over the world Germany, my second home Germans are probably the most punctual people in the world! If a bus Who drives the latest models of or train has to leave at 8, it WILL leave at 8. Not a minute earlier and Mercedes Benz's you ask? not a minute later. Whether you have Taxi drivers! a ticket or not, it will leave with or n the 16th of January, I flew to without you. That took a lot of Germany. The thought of getting used to. I am used to African spending 6 months in a foreign countime so at first I arrived 30 minutes try was not at all intimidating, in fact, later thinking it would be there still it sounded like a dream. Almost too or would run late. I lost a great deal good to be true. At first I did not of money, but it was a lesson know what to expect, what the peolearned. ple would be like, how hard the lanMaybe the reason I was always late guage would be to learn, if I would was because I liked to stay in my eventually make friends and most warm bed. Trust me when I say -10 importantly to me, what the food degrees is not a child’s play. It is so would taste like! cold that every room in the house Everyone had told me how advanced has a built in heater or floor heating. Germany is. One thing I am at the The weather is cold, but in most casairport, the next thing I am being es, so are the Germans, they tend to ushered onto a train that literally hangs in the sky hence the name 'skyline'. Maybe I am exaggerating, but I was only used trains that are underground. Then I realized how funny Germans are. I mean, with cars like Mercedes Benz coming from them, one would automatically assume that those are the type of cars Fist snow! :) they use to get around but no! No Author: Tshegofatso Masenya

This rule not only applies to the people in that household, but to visitors as well. But that is not even all. Ger-


many is incredibly safe. So safe that I could ride my bicycle alone or with friends at night. So safe that they do not need a garage, the cars and bicycles just stand outside and yet nothing would happen. Also there is also not a big difference between the rich people and the poor people. Most of them are on the same level. The school was awesome and free! No school fees and no uniform. The Germans are not all that serious, they have fun. During the world cup, I had a lot of fun. They support their country like no one else. They watch the game together and celebrate by dancing, playing music, singing Gerkeep to themselves. They are very man songs, and being all over the reserved and are not as friendly at place whenever there is a goal. After first, but once you get to know them, the world cup final, there were firethey are great people! I always say works and people in cars were honkthey are like cabbages. You have to ing non-stop. This I heard from my take each layer off to get to the good friends, as I was already back in SA. stuff. The day before the final match, I had I did mention that the food was very to leave. important because I had no intenI will miss my beautiful red bicycle, My German HF. tions of hurting their feelings by not my family, friends and everyone else eating. Worst case scenario would be that contributed in making my exway, they choose to use bicycles inliving on fruits and water just bechange a success. I smiled, I laughed, stead. I must say it was easier to get cause I did not like the food. Luckily shed a tear here and there, played, around without the traffic and we all that was not the case. learned, grew and found myself. I need the little bit of exercise. Who Every household has a certain rule, would do it all over again in the blink drives the latest models of Mercedes and that is, every time you step into of an eye. Benz's you ask? Taxi drivers! In fact, the house, you have to take off your my first taxi ride was in a Mercedes shoes and leave them at the door. Benz ML. Page 4

Students all over the world I love football tion to it, I’ve already been to a couple of football matches here and the feeling y first month in Germany was certainly a new exand vibe inside the staperience for me, a great one too. A lot of the culdiums are absolutely ture is similar to some South Afriamazing. Learning Gercan cultures but not all, the fact man was quite a chalthat people do things like take off lenge for me but I entheir shoes inside the house, use joyed it though, it is a the bicycle to go almost everyvery complicated lanwhere and have their houses so guage to learn. The close to one another was very friends I’ve met here strange and different for me. . . are almost of most imeven the structure of how the portance to me, friendhouses look like on the inside also ship is really something surprised me. One thing I really that one truly cherishes love here in Germany is their pasforever… sion for football and their dedica- Free-time with friends Enjoying Football Author: Charl-Bruck de Kock


Exotic Argentina!!!....??? Argentina – an amazing country full of different landscapes and nice, kind people. This year we sent two of our students there. Bernelee for the summer program and Nelis for semester program. Read their articles and get to know Argentina! :)

electronic boards had my flight number on but it was said to fly to a different country, not Argentina. Eventually someone said they have

Best experience in my life ...

one being so welcoming. I turned 15 there and they did all their traditions which they would for a normal Argentinean girl. They painted the street with my name and I got thrown with a bucket of food and they even had a Quince for me. My exchange was by far one of the most amazing memories in my life.

Author: Bernelee Kritzinger


want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to do the exchange. Only now I understand why the volunteers said it would be life changing. This was honestly, without a doubt one of the most memorable things I have ever done. My culture shock happened before I arrived in Argentina, if it could be considered that. I was shocked, angry and stressed as you informed us we might be. I got lost in the airport and I could find no one to explain to me where to go, my phone was off so no translator and the Brazilian airport does not have many signs and my airplane ticket never had the boarding gate number on and the Page 5

My Birthday Party :)

the same flight as I and showed me my boarding gate. But further than that I didn't have any culture shocks. When I arrived in Esperanza I was the only exchange student for about a month and the first exchange student from the African continent and they expected me to be dark. I was overwhelmed by the attention and I was constantly asked to take a photo with or to speak 'African'. I gave presentations at my own school and another school about South Africa. I got a new nickname which was Bee and it was so strange having every-

The last day when I left on the bus to Buenos Aires my family and I cried a lot. My dance class gave me a bracelet with my name and Argentina2014 at the back. I have not taken it off and I wear a white and blue band with ARGENTINA written on it that I bought on the airport. To thank my family I wrote them each a letter in both English and Spanish. I also made a video for them thanking them for everything.

Students all over the world Land of Fire

learned my first Spanish word frio" (cold) which I found was very Author: Nelis Kriek useful as the temperature as I walked n 15 August I excitedly depart- out was -9 and the first thing I saw through the snow and wind was a ed from O.R. Tambo international airport on a new chapter of my sign that read "Bienvenido a Rio Grande" (welcome to Rio Grande). To life. As the airplane lifted off I felt a lot of excitement and a bit of fear. 11 hours later I landed in Sao Paulo, I had to wait for 7 hours here so I decided to settle in and make myself comfortable. It all went faster than expected and the next thing I know I am at a camp for YFU Argentina (post my delight, my host family was very -arrival). It was very fun and I got to nice and helped me to adapt very meet lots of people from around the easily. The next day I started school world and to make new friends. where I met lots of people, I got 3 days after my arrival I was on my asked a lot of questions, some way to my host family, this flight was strange... "Is South Africa in Africa?" much shorter. When I landed I My classmates were also very wel-


coming and are all very eager to help me learn Spanish. No one here can pronounce my name so I have adopted a new name, Jesus (Spanish accent) to simplify things for my fellow Argentinians. But I never forget what the most important thing is and that is academics, I focus very hard in class and always do my homework. It has been a wonderful month and I have learned "muchos"! I even went skiing! I believe I will have a wonderful time here and learn much more.

My new friends:)

Outbound students in January Great news for YFU South Africa. This January we will have three students going on exchange program for one year. We feel proud and we hope they will enjoy this unique experience in their lives. We wish them the good luck! :)

Amukelani Mhalaba David Longmore Azande Centane

Would you like to also be an exchange student ? Contact us at:

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Being an Intern An intern’s day at the Office Author: Annika Nolte

Why would you want to read an article about someone spending her days in an office? Everyone knows what that is like: Boring stuff all day long. Are you sure? went on exchange in 2011 and spent some wonderful months near Rome. After having finished school this year I opted for doing something useful with my time and exploring a new place before starting to study again at university. So I took a plane to South Africa and started my YFU internship at the Regional Office in Pretoria. And I can tell that it is definitely not a normal office job. Working in a home office offers a few advantages. First of all you don’t have to drive to work, thus escaping the early morning traffic between Pretoria and Jo’burg. Instead you can have a relaxed breakfast, switch on your computer and start your day checking your mails while sipping a


nice cup of instant coffee. And if the weather is great you can take your laptop and work outside. First I was responsible for Inbound students and later took over Outbounds as well. And as you might have already guessed dealing with exchange students can result in quite a few unexpected situations. That’s the spice in your soup, that’s what makes it interesting. General administration is part of your tasks as well as other things that come up, such as organizing and preparing orientations, following-up on students and buddies, answering questions and phone calls, sending out invitations, or writing a newsletter article. And still there is enough

time left for doing some sightseeing, travelling the country, learning Afrikaans or simply enjoying your free time with your wonderful boss who is your host mum at the same time, her family and other interns.

Working hard :)

I would definitely recommend a YFU internship to anybody who wants to look behind the scenes of YFU in another country. You will be provided with some work to do, but also with plenty of great memories, the possibility to explore another culture and making new friends.

Interview with Beni ... My name is Beni Csányi, I'm 23 and I'm from Hungary, I finished my Bachelor's degree in International Relations in June. 1.Why did you choose South Africa as a place for your internship? I assume I inherited my passion for traveling from my mom, so when I found out the Swiss and the SouthAfrican YFU was looking for an intern there was no doubt that I would apply. On the other hand South Africa seemed to be much more of a cultural shock than Switzerland, so that's why I was desperate to come here. 2.How do you feel in South Africa after first 3 weeks? South Africa is really beautiful and it Page 7

is a cultural shock as well. While I spent 3 summers in the USA I got used to that you can just leave your car with a running engine in most places here it's totally the opposite. Looking at all the fences and barbed wires is still uncomfortable. But besides this I really enjoy my time, the weather is much better than at home.

I'm not much of a fan of cold weather so I like it here. Wish there was a beach here too though :P 3. You worked as an intern in YFU Hungary. Is there a big difference between how things work in YFU Hungary and YFU South Africa ? Let's say during my internship at YFU Hungary I was doing more administrative things, now I feel a little closer to the students since I at least try to contact them about things, but usually it turns out they don't get my e-mails... All in all though there's no big difference or it just hasn't turned out yet.

My exchange in SA Summer Program neighbourhood in Pretoria. My hostmom works for YFU herself and ‘Seriously Maaike, Africa?’ my she had already told me that her son friends at family said when I told and 2 interns Lena (from Germany) them that I wanted to go on and Pippu (from Finland) were also exchange to South Africa. living at the house. After a month, obody could believe that I, the Pippu returned to cold and snowy girl that could not live without Finland and my other hostsister her straightening iron, pc and Belgian Annika (also from Germany) came. chocolate was going to spend her Last but not least: My hostfamily summer holiday in Africa. My family also had/has 5 dogs, small dogs who was scared as hell that I would get were convinced every human in the some weird disease or that I would house was a potential burglar. Even get eaten by a lion. My friends on the the ones who were living there all other hand were convinced that I would be running around half naked in a small hut. A month (or a little bit more) now I have benn living in South Africa and nobody has to worry: I’m still alive, I did not get some weird disease except that one time that I had stomach flu, I will skip the details Pretend to understand Zulu about that, I didn’t get eaten by a lion (but we had an elefant chasing their lives. Of course, the first week us in the Kruger Park), and I did not of my stay was a week where I had to have to run around half naked. adapt. Praying before (almost) every Hooray. meal was new to me, so was the fact Let me tell you some more about that my hostparents did not curse/ South Africa: It’s a country situated swear. Luckily my hostfamily was in, surprise, surprise, the south of very kind and helped me wherever Africa. It has a surface of 1.123.226 they could. km and is much bigger than my Going to school was also different. In country, Belgium . South Africa has South Africa I was brought to school around 52 million inhabitants and 11 by car and ‘normal’ public transport (!) official languages. The most is not very safe. Schoolhours were popular sports are probably rugby, different too, It started at 7:20 in the soccer and cricket. And of course the morning and ended at 2 o’clock in most famous South African is Nelson the afternoon. At my school the Mandela. students had to wear a purple My journey started on the 13th of uniform and the subjects were the July, when I arrived in South Africa. same everyday, in my case: After a long flight. My hostparents, geography, toerism, English, Jottie and Rynette, were already Afrikaans, history, manths and life waiting for me at the airport. sciences or PE), the educational level After an hour drive we arrived at the of the school was lower than in house where I would be staying for 2 Belgium. In the 3rd week of my stay I months. A nice house in a fairly quiet went to Middelburg to stay with a Author: Maaike Faes


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black family. The mother could only speak Zulu but the rest of the family was able to spreak English as well. The house was made of different huts, and only in the kithen we had electricity, mostly after 8 o’clock in the evening because then their favorite show ‘Generations’ began. I also went to school, ‘Afrikaans’ was replaced by ‘Zulu’, in this class I could only pretend to understand something. The infrastructure of the school was nothing like in Pretoria: no sports facilities, not even a soccer ball, no library, no decent chairs… However I really enjoyed it. The people were very kind! Not only school was different, the food was different too! I learned to eat pap, vetkoek (fatcook), and a weird kind of chips that tasted great!

My Zulu Family :)

After my departure from the township, I had to get ready for the trip to the Kruger Park. First we stayed at resorts not so far from the Kruger Park where we could discover the beautiful nature. We visited one of the largest canyons in the world and went on a boat trip where we saw crocodiles. A few days later we visited a rehabilitation center for animals and I even touched a leopard (although I was a bit scared).

My exchange in SA A day later, we finally entered the Kruger Park where we saw lots and lots of impalas, hyenas, a lion who was trying to catch a very brave and clever Pumba, elefants, zebras and all kinds of birds. We ended our last day at the Kruger Park with a South African ‘braai’. It looks like BBQ but it isn’t. As my hostdad Jottie would say ‘In South Africa we say, meat is the best vegetable.’ If I had to describe my exchange in a one sentence it would be: The best 6 weeks of my life. I didn’t really feel

family in Belgium and Yfu I would like to say: Baie Dankie(Afrikaans), Niyabonga (Zulu), Kalebocha (Tswana) fort his wonderful time!

homesick because of the fact that I had such a wonderfull time thanks to my host family friends and YFU. If I could give one advice to anybody considering to go on exchange I would say: Just do it. And to my hostfamily, South African friends, my

Baby Elephant!!!!!!!!

Loanne’s first month in SA Author: Loanne Guérin

My name is Loanne and I have been an exchange student in South Africa for more than a month now (time goes by so fast) and I already love South Africa. live in a black family, I have a mom, a dad a host sister who is my age and an older sister who doesn’t live at home anymore. As soon as I arrived, they made me feel that I was a member of the family, introducing


remember that day!! Students have been so welcoming, they all came to me as I entered the classroom,

Cultural day in school!

students compete in dancing). We had a “cultural day”, where stuIn math class:) dents could wear traditional clothes shouting, and more than half of the for their culture. I was great, people students came and greeted as the were dressed as Zulu, Pedi, Tsonga, day went. And I had never been told Xhosa, Venda… before “You’re so pretty” a hundred On the weekends, I try to do as many times in day!! It is a small school so I things as possible. knew almost everybody quickly, With my family, we have been to a mostly in grade 11. But even kids in funeral in a rural area. It was great primary school know me! I love the discovering a black funeral! It is a big school, I enjoy going there and I nev- event, when hundreds of people My Host Family :) er feel like it is a routine. I practice come. My family is Sepedi so all the me to their relatives as “their second sports and I like staying after school speeches, songs, priests were in daughter” or “Lerato’s sister” (Lerato with the other students. sepedi. It was very interesting. is my host sister). I live in Polokwane, The school organises different I also went to a black wedding, in a which is quite a big city. events, such as “eco-beau fashion township. It was very interesting too, After two days with the family, I had show idols”, “talents show”, “so you I enjoyed it! my first day at school. I will always think you can dance” (teachers and Page 9

My exchange in SA against breast cancer, organised by Pick n Pay. I had a lot of fun! I really like doing a lot of activities and going out with many different people.

South Africa, people I meet, my family, what I experience, food (Mugg and Bean, Spur, King Pie, Wakaberry, Mr Biltong…), school, how South Africans are welcoming, South African culture and joyfulness, “house music”… I want to keep enjoying this country and even more!

The bride and the wife :)

With my friends, we go to a big mall, the biggest of Limpopo, called “Mall of the North”. We went there to celIn Spur for my first time ! ebrate my birthday and ate in Spur. We also go bowling, or go to friend’s I love my experience here, and I feel houses. Last weekend, I took part in like it is only the beginning, I still a “women’s walk” with friends have many projects, hopes… I love

Bowling in “Farm Yard”

Culture exchange in Township Author: Anna Lanzidei


just came back from two weeks of cultural exchange in Stofberg a rural area in Mpumalanga, where I experienced a different way of life and culture. I lived with seven other girls in a three room house, with no electricity, the evening and night our lights were candles that made a very beautiful atmosphere in the house; with no car, to go to town we walked round about two hours; the toilet was a little brick construction outside, without

taught me that some people, even though living in very poor circumstances, face every day with a smile. Author: Nell Gengler


he cultural exchange is really a good experience. You learn about their culture and they learn about yours, like fetch the water every day, use candles because they don't have electricity, play their traditional games, learn their language… Thank you to YFU for giving us the opportunity to do it! This a picture of my host mother, when we went to fetch water from the lake in front of my house, it's the water we only use to have a bath because this water is not drinking water!

Anna and Nell in Township school :)

a door and the possibility to flush; our bath was a little basin with some water inside that we took the day before from a dam near our house. The mornings I went to school, then the afternoons I usually helped my hostmum to wash the clothes (with hands only), cut the firewood, that we put into the stove to cook the food, clean the garden and crumble the maize for the chicken. It’s really amazing to have an experience like this, which Page 10

Typical Ndebele dress

New Inbound Students

Good news for YFU SA. Three new inbound students are coming to South Africa to explore our beautiful country. Their amazing journey will start in only two months and they are full of expectations and fears. But there is nothing to worry about. We hope they will have an amazing time here in South Africa. Daniel Staiger– Austria Luise Stoisser– Austria Juan Saguir Bestani—Argentina

Become a Host Family Are you interested in a new cultures? Would you like to have a son or daughter from a different part of the world? Do you want to share and show your culture? This is the perfect opportunity for you! Becoming a Host Family is not only about offering your house. It is about taking in a new family member. The student will become part of your everyday life and that is the most amazing thing. If you need more information please contact us at:

It is time to go home Author: Peter Vadina-YFU Intern


his is the last page of our Newsletter and for me this is the last week at the YFU office. It feels like I arrived here a week ago but in reality I have already spent two and half months in SA. I can still remember the first night in the wendy house. I was freezing and I was fed up with the African weather. But when the winter was over I discovered what the weather in South Africa is really like. Sunny days :) Except the scary spiders you have in SA I enjoyed my stay. I met lots of wonderful people, I visited amazing places, and I participated in great events. The biggest hug is for Rynette and Jottie who always helped me and made me feel at home. I hope that the next Interns will have such a great time as I had. Thank you South Africa! Sprinboks vs All Blacks!

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YFU South Africa Newsletter - December 2014  

Our last edition this year has: - CANSA relay - AGM feedback - Various Pretoria volunteer activities - Inbounds experiences - And a whole l...

YFU South Africa Newsletter - December 2014  

Our last edition this year has: - CANSA relay - AGM feedback - Various Pretoria volunteer activities - Inbounds experiences - And a whole l...