In the past two months, the Nyanga branch has had the pleasure of hosting Lindsay Vogelzang; a research student from the Netherlands. In her first couple of days at the branch, the learners were surprised to see the unfamiliar face at the office. In just a few days, they were greeting each other like old friends. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Lindsay. Over this short period she has become part of the Nyanga branch and a friendly face around the Zolani Centre. She was often heard greeting passersby by in IsiXhosa. The toddlers from the neighbouring educare centre were always surprised and enthused to hear her greet them with ‘Molo’ (Hello). Although her research was conducted mainly with the learners and tutors, we as staff also got to know her well during this period. We are grateful for the helping hand she always offered and we will surely miss her friendly smile.
On Friday, 31 March, Lindsay hosted a farewell session for the learners who participated in her research during her stay at the Nyanga branch. The session was in the form of a surprise pancake party for the learners. The group spent time listening to music, nibbling on snacks and enjoying home-made pancakes made by Lindsay. We as branch staff also took this time to present her with a small gift from the Nyanga branch; an IY hoodie and diary. She has earned it as an “honorary staff member”.
The volunteers she worked with had the following to say about their experience with Lindsay:
“So – working with Lindsay was at first a bit of a challenge for me because I have never encountered someone with so much energy, especially around people that she’s just met. As time passed and the more time I spent with her, I realized that she just generally has a positive attitude and a mindset that exudes nothing but intelligence and positive energy in every space that she’s in. I loved getting to know more about her adventurous mindset and how she finds our country as an interesting and fun place to be in. I also enjoyed telling her my story and sharing my experiences as a South African citizen. One of the things that I have learnt from her is the importance of listening attentively and to not judge the other people’s backgrounds, but rather to encourage them to become bigger and better in the future.“
“Today our Nyanga team is becoming smaller. We will miss your sense of humour and your humble soul. I had a great time working with you and I learnt a lot from you in this short time. May all your dreams come true!”
“From my experience working with Lindsay, I would say she is a lovely, humble and good to work with kind of person. She is dedicated and ambitious, and I’ve learnt a lot from working with her. I am now proud to say there’s something I know about her country, and I appreciate her enthusiasm and trust towards me. I wish her well on her journey and all the success in her future endeavors. I’d like to tell her that she will be always be welcome and our doors will always be open for her. “
We asked Lindsay to say a few words about her research and her short journey with IkamvaYouth:
“Hi there! This is Lindsay, I am a student from the Netherlands and I had the pleasure and honour to join the Nyanga branch for a period of 8 weeks. What am I doing exactly? I have to conduct research for my studies in Cultural Anthropology in order to graduate. The topic of my study is about the youth in the townships of Cape Town; the way they live their lives and how they identify with South Africa. To be at the Nyanga branch I got the opportunity to get to know the staff, tutors and learners for a longer period of time. I listened to their stories during interviews and did group activities to gain an in-depth view of their lives and neighbourhoods. As I said, it was a great honour and pleasure to meet all the different and inspiring people, listen to their stories and experience their way of life. They were really welcoming, and the family vibes are all over the branch. They take care of each other and help each other succeed with education as the key for a brighter future.“
Lindsay has generously donated 14 English dictionaries to the Nyanga branch. We are incredibly grateful for this gift. This gift means a lot to the Nyanga branch and will definitely be a closely cherished asset. We know that our learners and tutors will put them to good use.
The Nyanga branch wishes her all the best with her studies, we hope she enjoyed her stay with us as much as we all did. We would like to thank her once again for the generous donation. We would like to send her off with the following quote:
“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
[Lindsay with the 2017 Nyanga Branch Committee at the Nyanga SPW]
[Lindsay and her learners after the Pancake Party]
[Lindsay pictured with Nyanga learners and tutors]
[Nyanga Branch staff members and Lindsay]