A Week in the Life of the SI

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Sustainable Cities, System Modelling, ECD and the Spier staff have all been kept extremely busy by their various teaching staff – the students look whacked, while Naledi, Ross, Mark, Edgar, Alan and Josephine all look surprisingly chilled…amazing support from Gairo, Tania, June, Kerneels and the entire staff, esp Mathilda who somehow keeps all our demands met and agreencafe totally beautiful.

Manda, Litha and I have taken on the beginnings of developing the ‘core module’ for SI learning – ECD, Sustainable Communities, Dept of Human Settlements, etc – rather like the BPhil has a core module for the rest of that programme. It is huge fun… and they are really strict. Manda is taking her role as learning co-ordinator into DHS, and helping with Food Security research soon. She will be on her Training for Transformation module for the next 2 weeks – we need you back already, Manda.

Mariette and Gareth have been travelling South Africa with Wessel visiting Olive Leaf sites – and great feedback judging by emails and sms’s. Different province it seems that they visited every day – so interesting and much needed.

Louise, Rene and Colleen are buzzing fit to bust – with a BATSA report completed, and an audit taking place of the Dept of Human Settlements project – ably assisted by Haveena.

Lisa has been working at home this week mainly, and doing a little of her own work in Joburg – come back safe, and soon – we need your laugh.. she has also made sure that our conference to be held with NDHS will be at DBSA – a kind of co-hosted affair, which will be super cool.

Jess put together her first Learning at Lynedoch report…will put on to the website…awesome stuff.

Kate is starting a blog for Farm to Fork recipes on our website, and the Farm to Fork team have fed 80 people every day this week!

Elijah and Stanley have set up their own building company, assisted by Louise, Piet Human (a homeowner) and Phetty Mabeba in order to put in a tender for a new homeowner’s house to be built soon. The stormwater drains are going at a cracking pace – take a walk around Lynedoch and you will be amazed.

We started yoga on Tuesday afternoon!! Bryce, our senior gardener/yoga teacher gently bent quite a few of us into positions we never thought we could manage – and we did!

The garden just LOVED the rain – it is sparkling, shimmering and butterflies all over. The litter is awful though.

Tracy and Anton are never without loads of children, just the way it should be.. and a wonderful meeting led by Natasha to set up nature retreats for young teenage girls in our guest house over weekends. Lavender on their pillows, flowers in their rooms, cooking great food together, walks to Slangkop, being by the Eerste Rivier, figuring out what it might mean to be growing into a woman – with meditation, stillness, yoga and massage. Those of us helping are doing so voluntarily – Manda, Jess, Tracy, Eve held by Natasha – and she is so keen to build this so any other volunteers more than welcome. She will be talking to others (Ross, Mariette..) as she creates this marvel.

Naledi has really taken on massive responsibility and authority as she assists in the crèche with Suelle – who has enormous challenges on her hands. We need to hold the crèche in our hearts, as we really take further what we mean in terms of a “child-centred sense of place” – what does it really mean, to be with children in different ways, so that they build their futures based in loving-kindness?

Eric’s vegetables (carrots and potatoes) went literally from Farm right to Cooking Pot for soup this week, and Candice quietly stitches together a formidable network as she supervises students and co-ordinates Sustainable Agriculture. Time for Tarak to come out again, so she is preparing for that too.

Shaun, Louise, June and I met with ELLO Technologies – our proposed new IT company. Spier is too busy to do the support they thought they could – we are so sorry to those who have suffered! Soon, we aim to have a company that will be paid for IT support, i.e. being our “new Carlo”. Shaun will be looking after this relationship, helped by Dovel.

Mark meeting with publishers for the SI commissioned book on Cape Town…

Alan and I met with Spier this morning – we are all fired up by Alan’s ideas for a Concentrated Solar Plant …sounds like lots of mirrors that move, following the sun, generate energy which will be put back into the grid. Well, that is the VERY layperson’s explanation.. so one of the Renewable Energy students will be doing a feasibility study, to see how to make this possible. One of our other students will be doing her case study for EcoDesign on the water treatment plant at Spier – so the SI as learning partner to Spier is really starting to take shape.

Phew! See what I mean? There is probably much else – the Guest House and Farm House are getting ready for a bit of attention – it is amazing how much of it buildings need.

Remember Metrorail is on strike from Monday..2 million commuters affected. Between Kerneels, Stanley and Mark’s bakkie we are trying to assist with about 20 or so of SI staff. Eish.

So, have a much deserved weekend break – treasure your mothers, and the mothers amongst us – lets treasure ourselves too.

Many thanks one and all – looking forward to Shaun holding us in Monday’s morning meeting…