(South Africa) Looking for volunteering

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After complicating, I come back to South Africa. I am looking for volunteering, but it seems that it is not easy to find.

One month is maximum to stay without a visa in South Africa to me, Korean. I already stayed one month in South Africa so that I went Botswana for one week. Now I come to the other South Africa border.
The first border I’ve been said that I can’t come back to South Africa again unless I go back to South Korea. That’s why I come to the other border. I tremble for speaking. I was thinking what I have to say to them. Last host gave me nice advice. I should say to them this one. ‘I need the visa to go to the other African country like Zimbabwe or Zambia, but there is no Korean embassy in Botswana. I must need the paper to apply the visa so that I must come back to South Africa and apply it in Korean embassy. It will take longer, because Korea is too far. I need the time of one month, please.’
I practice a lot in my mind. Unfortunately (?), they ask too much only about my cycling, not other info. And then they give me a stamp to stay one month without giving me the chance to speak what I practiced a lot.
Here is the evidence that workers in the first immigration are not enough smart as working in the government office.


Yesterday my host gave me many snacks for the road.


My feeling is being calm down now as coming back to South Africa.


Local people holding chickens are walking.


Yesterday the host called her friend who lives in the next town where I am going today to let me stay at her house. It is really hard to find her friend’s house. I miss her house so that I have to cycle over 8 km (5 mi) more on hilly road. Her house is located to miss easily. The left on the picture is her house’s gate.


It is not a big farm, but she has over 30 chickens, four sheep, two cows, five pet birds and one monkey. The only one of them she eats is chicken. It is only 2 cents to slaughter in factory. The other animals are her pet that she will never eat them.


The next day Nina brings the book of South African road that I can learn many animals. She loves animal so much. I ask her why she loves animal. Her answer is “They don’t judge me.”


Nina and her mother


I got a surprising present from Nina that a key ring on which was written ‘enjoy your travel in South Africa’. The right one under the handle bar is thorn from porcupine.
(p.s It is really hard to use internet that I can’t attach picture of porcupine. If you are wondering what porcupine, do googling!)


Train is passing. I’ve heard that people can travel with a train in South Africa. (There is no rail in Brazil, because a labor union of truck obstructs government to build it.)


When I ask local people to put my tent at their yard, they give me the room of their house.


It is really interesting stuff that when bugs are coming for light, they are burning with electronic shocked. It smells bbq.


Actually there is some big problem for the place to stay today. That’s why I feel so peaceful now.


I have a nice bbq with local people. After dinner with them, I can sleep really well.


Now I am going Rustenburg which is famous for mine.


Nina introduced me her friend in Rustenburg so that I don’t need to worry to find the place today.


They let me sleep at their house. Last night we had a party so that I had a chance to meet young people. The people, who are around 40 to 50 years old, whom I met on my way, like to stay in South Africa whatever. But I can feel that many young people want to go to other country like New Zealand, Australia or England because of low salary, few jobs and high crimes. Recently I realize that many of young South African work in Korea as English teacher.


I have passed the farm of sunflower, but it is my first time full bloom of sunflower!


The surrounding is dug by Mine Company. Today it is worst to go to capital, Pretoria. I feel too scary ever because people drive really crazily.


Isn’t accident? What’s going on? Oh.. it is advertisement! Brilliant! The center is blurring, because my lens is broken. I think it will happen more. I don’t have choice, because it is too expensive lens to me that I can’t buy another lens.


Actually it was not my plan to come to Pretoria today. I just kept going to find the place to stay, and I realized I am near the Pretoria. I feel terrible, because of crazy drivers. I am so nervous that how I can find the place to stay in this huge city.


Anyhow I got a place to pitch my tent. The picture is taken the next morning.
Yesterday I was too tired and nervous because of terrible traffic. Actually Pretoria is the neighborhood of Johannesburg which is the most dangerous city in the world so that I was being too scared. It was too hard day to me.


Her name is Nelia who let me come into her yard.
Why did I come to Pretoria with full of being nervous? There is only one reason that I want to get a chance to volunteer. I got a contact with someone so that I thought I can find something if I come here.
But when I check my mail, I am disappointed that I don’t get any answer. It thanks that Nelia lets me stay more days until I solve the problem.


Her husband is Nick. He helps me to find bike shop with his small truck. A few days ago spoke was broken. After fixing, I ask staff how much it is in English. But Nick speaks Afrikaans with him that he just pays for me.


It is their dog.


I follow Neilia to a big grocery. I saw this one in Mexico.


It is very interesting to see how South African does dishwashing. The right one is for cleaning and the left one is for rinsing. Actually I saw it in Cape Town which is my first city in Africa. I was worried that the first dish can be clean, but after the second dish cannot be cleaned that it seems like rinsing with leftover of detergent. I thought the best way is to rinse with running water. Now I am used to seeing it that I don’t worry anymore.


There is another interesting that some of house doesn’t have shower tap so that I have to have bath sometimes. (oh thank you so much!!!!) I think the way to do dishwashing come from it that cleaning with not running water.


Later she offers me extra-room.


There are too many crimes in South Africa so that some of house has the bars even in front of the room. Many houses pay for a private security, because the police is not much helpful.
Here is one story which I heard from a friend. She has parents staying at the farm. One night her parents heard dogs were killed. They thought something was going bad so that they called the police. In the meantime buglers were hiding and waiting. It was terrible that police arrived after two hours. But private security arrived in 10 minutes so that her parents were not murdered. But any of police didn’t get any penalty for their neglect.
Recently I’ve asked people and heard that all of them had experience to get robbed. Usually it happens during vacation. But I’ve never heard from those people that police arrested buglers.
Also I’ve realized that many of them have a gun although it takes too much time to get permission. But it seems that there is not much accident of gun unlike the U.S.


I buy new flip-flops. The road I’ve passed was around semi-desert that many times thorn bothered me, because flip-flops was too thin. When I tried to pay, Nalia paid it and said ‘this is valentine gift for you!’


I can share many things during staying with them.


But unfortunately I couldn’t get any answers for 4 nights. I feel so frustrated and discouraged. Even there is no WiFi that I can’t find info easily.
Finally I give up volunteering and decide to go to Swaziland. The name is like Europe country, but it not located in Europe. Actually it is typical African country. What is typical African country? I will explain it late.


I am on the road again.


What they are building?


I didn’t answer when she asked me what I need for the road, because she already gave me many things. So, she just put something she thought I will need. Oh.. How I can give back all of things I got from the road.
The right one on the picture is jam she made.


This one is really strange tasty. It is very salty. She said it is good for getting energy.


This is my last biltong. Sadly, no more biltong on my bag.


When I cycled on uphill, one car stopped and one guy came to me. He said he saw me at Pretoria. Actually I couldn’t understand at all, because he spoke so fast. Later he opened his wallet. I though he will give me his card, because if there is emergency, then I can call him. But it was not card, but money. He said he wants to donate. And then he turned and went back to his car without asking my name or telling his name. So I stop him and ask his name to remember. The right person, ‘Frick van Digk’ on the picture is who gave me money.


Most of the time before getting to the town, there is poor area. Some of them were built by government. It is called squatter camp. I can’t walk in there alone, because it is known as dangerous place. I really wanted to volunteer in squatter camp, but it is sad that I didn’t get any chance.


I am really wondering that what it means? See 3???? Does it mean “see forward as far as you can”? then why not ‘see 4’ or ‘see 5’ or ‘see 6’ or ‘see 7’??? Why ‘see 3’?


Before getting to big city.


The sign is too horror that it means ‘many robbers around here will try to steal your car with GUN’. I can’t believe that how I have cycled at here. I am being nervous.


Passing center of city is ALWAYS too stressful that many local men harass me. After center, I get to quiet area. I ask some local people to set up my tent, but they offer to sleep at their daughter’s room with her daughter, because there is extra-bed. (I am also female.) They also share their dinner with me.
Later I can’t stand my curiosity that I ask them something.
“Are you not scared of me?”
“God will protect us.”
“But how you can let sleep in your daughter’s room to me who is totally stranger.”
“Your look doesn’t look dangerous.”
Even the owner of house introduces me the place I can sleep in the next town.
Actually still I can’t understand some of South African, because most of the people in other country didn’t offer me to sleep at inside of their house. (The photo is their dog; I forgot taking picture of them.)
It was hard to come back to South Africa. But unfortunately I can’t find the opportunity to volunteer.
In fact my plan was to volunteer in every African country where I have been. It seems that it will very hard to get a chance, because of having little info.

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  1. Take care in afrika.

    The road sign is for car drivers reminding them to keep there distance between cars on the road. Hence 3 triangles distance between cars. 🙂

    • Hello John!
      I am sorry that actually I can’t understand. What means Hence 3 triangles? Does it mean between lanes?
      Thanks! 🙂

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