Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rotary Family Health Days

Earlier this month, we had the privilege to volunteer at the Rotary Family Health Days event in the nearby community of Macassar.  Rotary Family Health Days is an international campaign by Rotary that has been extended for the first time ever to South Africa in cooperation with the Department of Health, Coca-Cola and the SABC.


For three days, May 9th-11th, Rotarians helped to provide free health care services to thousands of families at 180 locations around South Africa. The services included testing and counseling for HIV/AIDS, screening for TB, diabetes as well as blood pressure, family planning, polio and measles vaccinations, de-worming and dispensing of vitamin A tablets.

In Macassar, families were also provided eye testing, hearing tests for infants, cervical cancer screening, mammograms, and even a new wheelchair for a stroke victim who had no wheelchair of his own. Over the three day period, 284 people came out to take advantage of the free services provided. With the help of the volunteers from Helderberg Sunrise Rotary Club and hundreds of other clubs around the country, the Rotary Family Health Days impacted the lives of thousands of people to contribute to a healthier South Africa.   

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kirkseys Come to Cape Town

A few weeks ago, David and I welcomed our good friends, Ben and Rachel, to our home away from home here in South Africa. We spent the week trying to squeeze in as much of the Western Cape as possible.

We started off on Sunday with a visit to St. Paul’s Church and then on to a couple of wineries that afternoon. 

Bright and early Monday morning, the guys hiked up Table Mountain while Rachel and I joined via the cable car a little later on. We had a picnic on top of the windy mountain and then headed down to warmer temperatures out on Signal Hill and then Camps Bay beach. 

Tuesday we spent the day visiting a few of our favorite wineries in and around Stellenbosch. We enjoyed a relaxing day catching up over wine tastings and then a fun evening at a dinner party with our host family, Gavin and Issy. Fantastic food, great company and lots of laughs.

The next morning we stopped in at Muizenberg beach for Ben and David to surf before heading to do the one thing Rachel requested for the trip, to see the Simons Town penguins. That afternoon we hiked out to Cape Point and searched for baboons, hartebeasts, ostriches and the illusive Cape Point zebras (that we never found). 

 The highlight of our Cape Point adventure was spotting our first baboon as it bee-lined for a poor tourist and stole his ice cream cone. He ate the entire cone, napkin and licked the melted ice cream off the ground.  

Thursday morning we visited Learn to Earn in Khayelitsha, an organization providing skills and service training for the people in the township looking to get a job or start their own business. That afternoon we stopped in for lunch and shopping at the Old Biscuit Mill and then headed to the District Six Museum.  

On Friday, we drove over to Franschhoek for a day of pancakes, chocolates and wine tastings.

We finished Saturday with a visit to the Stellenbosch Slow Food Market and one of our favorite wineries, Middelvlei, before having to take Ben and Rachel back to the airport. It was sad to see them go but we enjoyed our week of being tour guides and sharing this experience with great friends. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Video

We created this video to be shown at our host district, Rotary District 5830's, District Conference at the Texarkana Convention Center a couple of weeks ago. This video summarizes the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar experience and our first four months here in South Africa. Enjoy!