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Welcome!

Dear YFU Family, It‘s been a while since we sent out our last newsletter and a lot has happened in the YFU world since then. We are very excited to present you some of the highlights of the last few months and to give you a glimpse of what our students, host families and volunteers have been up to. But what‘s happening in YFU South Africa right now? Some of our inbound students are currently on the Cape Tour and are exploring the Free State, parts of the Garden Route, and of course the beautiful Mother City. Pictures and a summary of their experiences will follow in our next newsletter. November was also „Birthday Month“ in YFU with our Chairman of the Board, our „Minister of Finance“, and Rynette‘s husband Jottie celebrating their birthdays. Happy birthday Jay, Hans and Jottie! And, last but not least, there is the ongoing Host Family Hunt. Some of our students have to change families and are currently looking for new families who can host them for the second half of their exchange year. In addition, four new inbound students will arrive at the end of January, two of which still need to be placed. So if you‘d like to open your home and heart to one of our lovely students, please don‘t hesitate to contact us! Both we and our students would greatly appreciate it. We wish you a wonderful festive season and a relaxing (or exciting) December holiday! Warm regards, YFU South Africa


Contents

1. CANSA Relay for Life 2. Post-Arrival Orientation 3. Holiday on the Farm 4. Fanny, our new intern from Finland 5. Becoming a YFU host family – what‘s in it for you? 6. YFU Family Day 7. International Day in Mabopane 8. Maren‘s Road Trip to Phalaborwa and Kruger Park 9. Upcoming Events


CANSA Relay for Life 2016

This year, YFU SA participated in the annual CANSA walk at the Denel sports grounds in Centurion for the third time. We had our own stall with flyers and a competition for people to guess how many flags there were in the cookie jar. The ceremony started at 3 pm but our first volunteers were already there at 9 am to set up the stall and get ready for the all nighter that lay ahead. The ceremony started with the cancer survivors walking the course, which represented their long fight against cancer. Everyone was cheering at them and the athmosphere was very festive and supportive. After a few rounds, people started joining them, including our staff, volunteers and students. And of course we all sent our love and thoughts to our beloved Babs, such a brave soul and a true fighter. The night continued with some people walking, some braaing, some dancing or doing zumba, and some just chatting and enjoying each other’s company. The cold eventually started getting to us when the sun set, and many people happily made use of the sleeping bags and blankets. Despite the cold, the sleep-fairy did a splendid job, since the volunteers eventually found a bunch of students sleeping on the cold grass next to the sports field. They got woken up quite quickly, made an awesome comeback and stayed up until the early hours of the morning. Eventually the sun started rising, and after 6 am we started packing up and embarked on the journey to our respective homes. A massive Thank You to everyone who participated in this awesome event and supported a good cause!


CANSA Relay for Life 2016


Post-Arrival Orientation September 2016

In early September we had our post-arrival orientation at Mighty Apies RiverVenue near Pretoria. It was a new and very nice venue, with a river rigth next to it – with crocodiles, according to our host - and tents to sleep in. Friday was arrival day: Students and volunteers arrived at different times during the day, most of them meeting for the first time. In the evening, everyone ate together, played board games, and shared experiences from their first weeks in SA. After a 3 hour struggle which included getting lost on the dark gravel roads several times, all the volunteers eventually found their way to the venue. Saturday was filled with different sessions, some free time, open discussions, eating and playing games in the evening. It was great hearing students’ stories about their first few weeks in SA, and to hear how much they had already learned about the country, the culture, and themselves in such a short period of time. We had many discussions about culture, safety in SA, local traditions, problem solving, and, of course, about how to make this year the best year ever! On the last day of the orientation we wrapped up the last sessions and in the afternoon the host families arrived for a joint session about different aspects of the YFU exchange programmes. Afterwards, everyone had coffee and some delicious cupcakes and the students started their way back to their new homes. A fun-filled weekend for all!


Post-Arrival Orientation September 2016


Holiday on the Farm October 2016

On the weekend of the 2nd of October a few of us went to a farm near Heidelberg in Gauteng. We stayed in a backpackers dorm, and had a braai every evening. For some of the students this would be the first of many BBQ’s, as it is better known. We arrived late in the afternoon, just in time to witness the beautiful sunset. Our ‘home” hadgas showers and solar powered lights inside, many bunk beds, and the sound of wild animals outside. Every day we hiked,from what felt like sunrise to sunset to me. Nils, Felix and András walked every day for many, many miles, and found many treasures in the veld. Amongst these treasures are Blesbuck sculls with horns, other animal bones and porcupine quills. The girls had a more relaxed time, Maia, Kira and Imme spent many a morning in bed till 9ish, made a continental breakfast and then attempted to conquer the vast outdoors, armed with sunscreen and cameras. The best part of this farm is, the wild animals are not very far. On the first day of hiking we walked a mere 500 metres to see our first Blesbuck and, not far from them, herds of Zebra and Black wildebees. What an amazing sight! There are also many bird species on the farm, and many plants - and of course we also saw cattle. But as we say here in South Afrika, Africa is not for the faint hearted, and our land was sure to prove that statement right: We all got burnt by the African sun, not to mention the scratches, and as mother nature issometimes unkind, Nils cut his finger on a blade of grass. I guess that is why it is called a “blade”, right? We are planning another excursion, this time to the Magaliesberg mountain range in February 2017. Can’t wait!!! Who is coming with us this time? By Rouet du Plessis


Holiday on the Farm October 2016


Our new YFU Intern Fanny, the funny one

Howzit! I´m funny and my name is Fanny! I was on exchange in South Africa 2013/2014 via YFU, and i stayed on a banana farm in Tzaneen for 10 months with a lovely family. In my family i had 4 siblings, a mom and a dad. I absolutely loved my time in SA with an amazing family and awesome people, obviously it came with it´s ups and downs but so does everything, right? I also fell in love with the relaxed athmosphere SA has to offer and ”now now” became an important part of my vocabulary. When the tearful moment of packing my bags and going back to Finland eventually came, I knew that I would be coming back to South Africa as soon as possible. And so i did! After being back in school in Finland for 5 months I came back to SA for 7 weeks, and realized that even that wasn’t good enough. I needed more time in South Africa. So i went back to Finland to finish High School and now I m back again! I m doing an internship at the YFU office, and I love it. Immediately when I landed in South Africa, heard the dodgy announcements at the airport and started thinking about Trevor Noah, I knew that i was home. And I couldn t stop smiling. Now I ve been back in South Africa for 3 months, and i m staying until next June. Hopefully my plans will come true and afterwards i will be able to start my studies here.


YFU Host Families Why do they do it?

Hosting a YFU exchange student is a life-changing experience, not only for the student, but for your entire family. By opening your home and heart to an international student, your family will gain a new global perspective, many unforgettable memories, and a new family member for life! Hosting a YFU exchange student is a chance to share your story, traditions and customs with others while discovering a new culture right in your own home. YFU exchange students make the world feel smaller, while making your own world bigger. If your family is open to new and enriching experiences – willing to provide guidance, love and support to a young person embarking on a journey of self-discovery – hosting a YFU student is for you! Hosting is a catalyst in making us all citizens of one world. It brings culture and a sense of adventure to you and your children while teaching valuable lessons about acceptance and global unity to your community. Hosting brings the world to your home.. Host families have many different faces and backgrounds. It doesn’t matter if you have children or not, whether you’re single, an empty nester or a same sex couple; anyone can be a host family. And you can live anywhere—the suburbs, the city or even a farm. If your family is willing to open yourselves to new experiences and provide guidance, love and support to a student looking to further themselves, you will be a great host family. Ready to take the next step? Contact us today to find out more about becoming a host family!


YFU Family Day October 2016

We had our annual YFU Family Day in October at the local swimming pool in Pretoria. There was a big pool that we could use to cool down and the weather was really hot – We could literally feel the power of the African sun! The students enjoyed seein each other again, the host families enjoyed chatting with other families, and the volunteers enjoyed everyone´s company. The day went by fast with swimming, playing, eating and getting sunburned. Thank you to everyone who joined us!


International Day in Mabopane November 2016

On the 5th of November, YFU South Africa, together with My Career Corner, organized an international day and market in Mabopane, which is a township in Pretoria. My Career Corner is a is non-profit organisation which supports the enhancement of education with a mission to install a sense of belonging to learners by offering educational assistance, mentorship, and financial assistance from individuals and dedicated companies in the form of bursaries and material support. YFU South Africa is very proud to be able to be in cooperation with MCC and wholeheartedly supports their cause. We started the day with a walking parade in Mabopane to raise awarness of our international day and to get even more people to join. At the market, which was held at D.A. Mokoma High School, we had stalls with food from all over the world (our awesome students had baked things from their home countries), we had games and activities so that everyone could learn about many different local and international cultures. Our students did presentations about their countries and told the other participants what they love about SA. People from the local community introduced their own cultures and languages and shared their delicious food with us. My Career Corner had also arranged different performances, for example poetry and dancing, and everyone loved it. The day was such a wonderful experience for everyone involved and not even the extremely hot weather could stop us from having fun and from enjoying each others’ company. A huge thank you to everyone who joined and helped to make this celebration of diversity possible. We can‘t wait for the next one!


International Day in Mabopane November 2016


Maren‘s First Roadtrip Phalaborwa and Kruger Park

On an early Friday morning my host family and I went on a roadtrip to Phalaborwa. On our long way there, we first stopped in Dullstroom, a very cute litte town. They have some nice restaurants, some shops which sell traditional South African clothes and statues and –the best thing - a very nice sweet shop. After our short stop there we got back on the road and drove through the most different landscapes: flat, dryland, mountains, forest, green and hill areas. It really surprised me! I didn'texpect such different landscapes here! At lunchtime we arrived in Graskop and from there we did a little tour to five beautiful waterfalls! On this day, I saw my very first waterfall and I was speechless. It was just amazing even if they were very small. My host family told me that they normally contain much more water but it hasn't really rained much this year and it is already very hot for this time of the year. Our last two stops for the day were the Potholes and theRondavels. The Potholes it is actually a huge stone or a mountain where two rivers meet and they slowly making holes in the stone. And theRondavels, they are huge mountains which look like the typical African roundhouses. I was amazed by all those wonderful things the nature has made! Late in the evening we arrived in Phalaborwa. The next day I met the family of my host mum and enjoyed a - for this region – chilled day at a pool. In the afternoon we attended the wedding of my host mum's niece. It was very nice to see how they celebrate a wedding and some traditions are very similar to german ones. We left Phalaborwa very early on the Sunday morning and got on our way to the Kruger Park which is like 20 minutes away from where we stayed.


Maren‘s First Roadtrip Phalaborwa and Kruger Park

After we entered the Park we first saw nothing for like half an hour but suddenly we started spotting plenty of animals! We saw three of the 'Big Five': elephants, buffalos and rhinos. We saw plenty of elephants, zebras, giraffes, boks and also hippos. We saw a turtle and also plenty of warthogs. Sadly, we did not see any lions or leopards. But we really had a lucky day. It also was not that hot and it was very cloudy. It even started raining in the evening. After almost ten hours of driving through the park we left it and started our way back home to Pretoria where we arrived late in the evening. I really have to say it was a very impressive and beautiful weekend and I saw so many new things which I've never seen before and probably would have never seen in Germany or Europe. By Maren Thorey, exchange student from Germany


Upcoming Events

What’s happening in YFU South Africa? 26 Nov – 08 Dec

Cape Tour

10 Dec

Volunteer Fun Day

19 Dec

Pre-departure orientation for January OB students

27 Jan – 29 Jan

Mid-year orientation

27 Jan – 28 Jan

Arrival of new inbound students

28 Jan – 30 Jan

Post-arrival orientation for January IB students

18 Feb – 04 Mar

Cultural exchange

16 Mar – 19 Mar

International YFU Conference in Cape Town

April (tbd)

Volunteer training

Would you like to be part of any of our orientations, help out at the airport or simply be part of YFU? Contact us for more information and become a YFU volunteer!


Thank You!

YFU would like to give a huge thank you to all of our lovely host families, volunteers and staff members who, once again, filled our year with joy, laughter, new relationships, excitement happiness! We had a challenging but rewarding year, and couldn´t be more greatful to everyone who joined the ride. Only with your commitment and support are we able to continue building bridges between nations and to share and enjoy the results of our work. We wish you a wonderful festive season with your loved ones, a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Thank you!


Contact information

Contact us! Comments, contributions, suggestions? Get in touch with us!

YFU Office in Pretoria

YFU Office in Cape Town

Phone: +27 12 547 0312 Mobile: +27 82 464 3957

Phone: +27 21 906 4929 Mobile: +27 82 337 3563

E-Mail: rynette@yfu.org.za Rynette Scholtz (Regional Director)

E-Mail: info@yfu.org.za Nina Voges (National Director)

Visit our website: www.yfu.org.za Find us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YFUSouthAfrica/

YFU SA Newsletter December 2016  
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