Tuesday, 30 September 2014

SA AoC Rondebosch East Primary 30 September 2014

I have no words. (Ilyaas)

The orange jacket made me feel like I'm able to do things (Liam).

I thought the pole was extremely long (Seth).

No one could stop me (Brent).

I felt good about myself showing people not to pollute (Jason).

I felt so normal big and fat (Deen)

I felt that I was standing for a noble cause to stop pollution (Muthafar)

I felt good because I knew I was doing something good and it would benefit us in the future :) (Melissa)

It felt good holding the pole and to answer the question (Ammaarah)

It felt so good to be able to answer everyone's questions and making them aware.  It also felt so good to wear the life jacket :)  (Laeeqa)

I felt like I was safe and knew now what could happen.  I also liked to blow the whistle (Mia)

Even though I didn't hold the sculpture, it was still fun to ask questions and it was very educating (Azhaar)

I enjoyed the experience of holding the meter stick.  It taught me how to work out the level of the sea and what pollution could cause.  It was also very fun to ask the questions. (Nuha).

I enjoyed this experience and learn about pollution.  It was also fun wearing the life jacket and meter stick. (Jodi)

I enjoyed holding the meter stick in my hands.  Wearing the life jacket made me feel special. (no name).

I wore the life jacket and learned how to act as an individual and interact with others (Nuha)

I experienced a lot. I learned that we must not pollute the water or anything else because in a few years time it will become bad. (Jordan).

. . . (Salmaan)

Thank you Nicci Attfield for facilitating and thank you to the photographers in the group!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

SA AoC at Rondebosch East Primary School September 22 2014

By Nicci Attfield

I was lucky enough to take part in a heritage day assembly at Rondebosch East Primary School.  We went to donate an olive tree.  Because it was heritage day, the principal, Mr Petersen, reminded the children of remembering earth and nature, and of bringing forward a healthy society for the children yet to come.

Ah, and the olive tree:  it's a South African olive tree, and it was chosen because universally, olive trees are a symbol of peace.  It was a long lived medicinal tree, which attracts lots of birds such as loeries, white eyes and cape parrots.  Thrushes sometimes eat their flowers as well.  It is tough and resilient, and it provides shade.  Tea can be made from the leaves, and ink can be made from the juice of the fruit.

Thank you to Adelle at Newcape t-shirt printers who would like to sponsor printing and be part of all future AOC SA projects.

Monday, 22 September 2014

SA AoC Group in Simonstown on the Cape Peninsula 20 September 2014

We went to Simons Town with AoC, to explore the sounds of life.  But because we went on the train, conversation focused on public transport, sustainability and fuel.  These are our reflections.  

My question was why do most medium to high income people not use public transport?  I thought that you hear awful stories about it all of the time, cable thefts, delays.  The train moved quicker than I thought between suburbs, faster than a car.  I found it more relaxing than a car and driving.  You don't have to be alert for other cars, pedestrians and you don't have to constantly look at traffic updates to see which routes to avoid.  As a driver you have to constantly assess, and it is exhausting.  The only worry that you always hear about is security, but there was so much security on the platform.  Most people went into a few compartments, and it felt very secure.  You can forget about the journey, and I would like to move public transport a lot more in future.  It's also not like London or New York, where you are cramped like sardines, and you have to tear in the doorways.  This was my perspective as a person who doesn't have to use public transport, and who has a car and an ability to travel around wherever I want.  

For the majority of the population who does use public transport, it would be interesting to explore what it means if your job relies on trains being on time.  That could be worrying.  I also thought about the safety of women traveling alone, but the people at the platform explained that they have tried to up the security on the train, and particularly at nighttime.

I didn't realize how easy it is to get around without a car.  I would like to use public transport in future.  It's hard to recognize the city from a different point of view.  I find it very interesting.  I like it that the train travels very quickly.  I like looking out of the window.  Now I would like to travel on the train or the bus when I have the chance.  It is interesting to watch the people when you are passing by.  They don't really pay attention to the train, but we can see them.  We can see their homes and their lives.  It is quite amazing.

My journey started with a look at some graffiti which emphasized the value of difference.  We waited a little while at the station, but our journey down to Simons Town was vibrant and fun.  We had children in the compartment, and a man who seemed to fall in love en route, and promised a woman he would give her red roses, the very next time he came to Kennilworth.  Some tourists were on the train.  We got to see the different buildings of the city, different in style as the city spread out.  The best part though was coming back at sunset, and watching the sky turn deep blue over the sea.  At the station, some people sang a UB40 song "there's a rat in the kitchen..." By the time we got home, it was completely dark, but it got warmer as we traveled away from the sea air.  I loved this journey.

I think public transport is important to use, because there would be more peace in the world if there were less resource wars.  The city is also congested, which means that planners need to find a way to increase roads for traffic and cars.  It would reduce traffic jams if more people used public transport.  It would also reduce fuel emissions.  Cars run on oil and petrol, but people can drink water.  I've been thinking about the people who have to use public transport all of the time, and the need for safe and accessible transport, so that people have a choice.  I have also been thinking about the difference between what we need and what we want, and how these things can sometimes be confused.  

A strong sense of community and safety was there at the station, even though some people along the road told us that it was dangerous to catch the train at nighttime.  I asked myself about the best way to travel.  I used to think that the quickest and easiest way was best, but now I think it's important to think more deeply.  The best is that there are least fuel emissions.  It's also important to ensure that more people get access to safe and reliable transport, and can use public transport.

Thank you Nicci Attfield for facilitating this process and images.

Monday, 8 September 2014

SA AOC group exlporing Gratitude at Hout Bay SA on Saturday 6 September 2014

"The sea wants to kiss the golden shore
The sunlight warms your skin.
All the beauty that's been lost before
Wants to find us again"

- U2 Ordinary Love

I like the harbour, the smell of fish and oil, and the cool breeze from the ocean.  The sound of the sea gulls screaming at each other makes me feel happy.  Our dog stares with wide eyes at everything around us, especially the people.  I'm grateful for the people in my life.  I am grateful that I live in such a beautiful city.  I am grateful to live near the ocean and the mountain.  I am grateful that there are animals and birds everywhere.  I like animals.  I am grateful for all we have when others have a lot less.  I am grateful for all of the opportunities and challenges I get in my life.

Hout Bay harbour is beautiful today.  The sky is blue, and the sun and the air feel as though they are alive within my body.  I can smell fish and oil, and see old paint on the side of the ships.  The mountain, with its rugged rock face has clouds blowing over the sides, fading out over the sea.

Children look into the water.  The colours of the sea are different depending on how you look.  It's green near the surface, and I can see down through the water.  Further out, it looks very blue and warm.  I am grateful for all that is real in my life - family, air to breathe, the sun on my skin, the salt of the sea, the sound of birds, and an awareness of life all around me.

I am grateful for community and also for the awareness that this moment exists, just as it is, with its sounds and its scents, as a lived experience.  And I am grateful that we get to share it.

What a beautiful day.  I am so grateful for my wonderful life, that i have the ability to see, to hear, to smell, to touch, so that I can appreciate the natural beauty which would be so much less astounding if even one of those elements were missing. I would like to think about those that don't have all those senses, and still appreciate life to the fullest.  Brave souls.

Thank you to Nicci Attfield for facilitating this intervention and Scott Attfield for these fine images!