Category Archives: Places To Visit

Visiting the Not So Helpless: #Places to visit

Our family had an awesome time out with disabled kids this weekend.

There was a flea market at the school for kids with special needs just across our house.

This is a school and home for the physically and mentally challenged called “Gateway Village”

My kids love going to such events because of the variety of activities, the junk food (yes its normally non nutritive) and of course the chance to pressurise and torture their parents into giving into the pressure to buy “new toys”.

My 4+ year old is especially adapt at telling me that I cannot say no because whatever she wants is “only a few dollars, 100 at most” even though we use the rand as a currency_thank you cartoon network.

Today’s fair however was extremely special.

We have never spent time with people with disabilities and this was a marvelous revelation and experience for all of us.

The entertainment was wonderful, mainly chareographed dancing by the children, I’m guessing the groups ranged from 4 to 18 years. The DJ was right on the money with the music, a mix of current and yesteryear, mostly the 70’s, think Meryl Streep in Mama Mia.

It was somethin special seeing these kids who have cognitive and physical difficulties work at keeping in step with the beat and remembering choreography. Sometimes it worked, others not but it was all adorable.

What really impressed me though is what the kids are doing in art classes.

And one of the things to appreciate first and foremost is that everything in art class is made of recyled material. They do ask for donations towards this so if you live in Johannesburg you would be doing them a great favour by delivering your wooden coat hangers, fancy bottles, tins, boxes of any material, spare fabric, fancy paper, wood cutoffs, and the list goes on forever. 

Donations to:  011 958 0384 or email chanelle@gatewaysociety.co.za

As you enter the large shedlike place that serves as an art studio you just see tables upon tables of arts and crafts.

656

Recycled plastic cooldrink bottles made into traditional decorative figurines possibly for use as door stoppers.

I thought they were goods which had been donated when i first walked in but as I got closer i saw some they looked more homemade than shop items but they were beautiful none the less., 

657

Looking at what these kids worI appreciated two things:

One, that although the disabled have more challenges to deal with in life than any able bodied person, that does not take away from their potential to achieve what they set their minds to.

Two, the people who work patiently and with love with these childres are nothing short of being saints. I had the privilege of speaking to three of them and you can just sense the love and pride they have for their work.

I think the brief that they had on the letters their handouts was quite apt:

excerpt “GEC strives to find and nurture the hidden talents within our Villagers to improve their confidence and t give them a sense of pride and self worth.”

I promised to put up a page with some of the items they had on display (particularly the post cards and calenders) as part of the online shop here to get more sales. You can imagine they need the funding.

But for now I’ll show you some of the pictures I took with my phone. They are not great quality but you’ll get the idea and see why i was blown away.

One of the teachers impressed on me that they only do the writing but everything else is done by the kids.

I hope you like what you see as much as I did.

Until next time.

Wendy

661 658172682 684 680 675 665 685

Go Back In Time at Weltevreden Farm: #Places to visit

This morning I took a trip through time.

After dropping my son at a soccer clinic this morning I stopped at a place I’ve always seen in passing and thought of as perhaps some sort of tea garden hidden among all that greenery (actually its right across the road from my old townhouse / condo to some I think). Little did I know that there was a piece of the 1900’s hidden right in the middle of cosmopolitan Johannesburg.

Driving through the gate you feel like you going into an indigenous forest and yet a very busy main road (John Voster) is a mere 100 steps away, with only a face brick wall, trees and some plush vegetation separating the two of you.

Sounds of chirping birds, mewing of cats (and if early enough)cock ‘a doodle doos of cocks crowing confirms your return to nature.

One of the first things you see as you leave the parking lot, headed for wooden sheds and mysterious darkly foliaged areas.

My intentions for the visit were to find a book store I had been referred to but was too early so I had to pass the time. Conveniently an outrageously quaint coffee shop aptly named “The Second Cup” for I had more than one _ was open. Walking into this delightful eating establishment galvanized me into a virtual blogging frenzy.

I could hardly contain my excitement long enough to grab my phone. (I apologise for poor quality of photos, I was not equipped).

As I frantically clicked away all I could see in my mind’s eye were my high school history lessons coming alive. Oh how I hated those periods of theory upon dreadful theory about a group of people who named another group of people after trees when they couldn’t pronounce their names (e.g Grootboom / Bigtree). In those days of cruel and unusual punishment my mind often times felt  tortuously crowded with “insignificant” details of the Dutch East India Company, the Great Trek and the Battle of Blood River among other frightfully life sapping events for a 15-year-old.

Just to put you in the picture about a part of South Africa history. About 360 years old in fact:

 In 1652 a small company of employees of the Dutch East India Company were settled on the southern tip of Africa to establish a refreshment station for the Company’s ships en route to the Far East.  From this group of Dutchmen the Afrikaners were to develop. (Orville)

These are the Afrikaner people (aka) Boere _ whose past I say came to life for me today at Weltevreden Farm (aka) The Colony. I shall let the pictures speak for themselves about what I saw. I think history does not spend enough time talking about life as  it was, certainly far less than it does about big historical events which are but a small part of life (yes… I understand that they do shape life). I find it a great pity that there is little reference made to people’s way of life compared to the multitudes records of events, that are readily available.

Today I came away thinking, “well in that period life cannot always have been about assagias, powder guns, treachery and bloodshed”. There was vibrant living, love, laughter, industry, creativity as would have been shown by painters, writers, musicians, dancers, fashion (tailors and seamstresses), family……and so much more…………..and I would love to know about it.

Antiques and things I need to have…….(sigh)

As much as it is a place that seems to have stood still in time. It is hub pf activity. Every bosy there has some form of artsy or entertainment enterprise strating with the quaint little bookshop that was my intented target.

Student at The Potter’s Place

Potter’s can be reached at: mail@spine.co.za or pottersplace@vodamail.co.za

or +27 824224927            +27 824224927    +27 825734645            +27 825734645

Shopaholic @ The Belly Button falling for coat…..you’d be one too if
you saw this place, I left with the most divine ring.
Contact Belly Button @ +27 83 440 7276 +27 83 440 7276

With all that being said, I want to thank the delightful people I met today at Weltevreden Farm who keep a small but beautiful part of a period in my beloved country’s history alive. I hope many people will find a moment to take a country fresh breath in the heart of Johannesburg and reflect on life as it should be.

More pictures on what’s happening there.

Angela owner of this beauty spar, you can reach her at: 27798746267@vodamail.co.za
or cell +2782 854 1371 +2782 854 1371

Another hot art student….I should mention that this place is brimming with hot people.