Blog written by Ollie & Nadja
Our second day at the Masiphumelele township started with a warm welcome and songs performed by the choir of the local elementary school. We were welcomed by the principal of the school and were then grouped up in teams for tree planting. We picked up our shovels and trees, listened to a simple intro to tree planting from the guys from GREENPOP and then started digging our holes. The plan was to plant 50 trees around the soccer field and with 40 kids helping out it was easy work. We were pleasantly surprised when the weather turned from raining and cloudy into a bright sunny warm day. The kids who we were working with were all part of the schools’ eco club, so they were all very excited to work with us, always ready and eager to learn.
After a very successful tree planting session and handing out first aid kits, we joined a street football tournament. We played two games and lost both! The kids we played were from the local schools primary and high school. We rewarded the winning sides by handing out a couple of first aid kits the organizers, which they will be able to use for the tournaments and events in the future.
We then presented to a group of Youths, talking about the PANGAEA project and what it was we were doing in their township. We didn’t know what exactly to expect, but when we arrived at the library and went into the classroom, they welcomed us warmly. It was great for both sides that we could talk more relaxed, laugh and that’s what really connected us to our audience. They were all impressed by the project and had a lot of questions which was a clear sign they listened to us carefully.
Afterwards we said goodbye to our guides through Masiphumelele and went back to the boat where we tested water samples taken from the Orange River and a stream in the township. It was very surprising to find a huge amount of Phosphates and Nitrates in the township water.
The rest of the night we spent listening about plans for climbing Table Mountain tomorrow and testing out our gear.