All Credit To Batya

If you pump enough caffeine through your veins it starts to seep out through your fingertips

2:46 is bedtime
I switch off the fluorescent screens and open my windows. The moths only stop by for a visit when there’s light in my room.
I look out and see the light still on in the corridor opposite mine. Third room from the end. Solidarity to you, whomever you are. 
In the distance there are orange clouds pressed against the no longer pitch black sky. If you look at it for long enough you can see the lightning over the smeared horizon. 
This one time we were hiking in the dark because we got lost after sunset and Wouter told us about degrees of darkness. It has to do with your position on the earth and its relation to the sun.
Sometimes we can go days without seeing a clear sky. These are the same days that the internet fails us. Completely. It’s called Prehistory.
Tonight, I don’t know where home is.

for two years I’ve strung people from places together 

and called myself nomad.
Tomorrow we will go to places where the degrees of darkness separate us 

We will be far

and I will be homesick.
 – Batya Globerman (WK 2015 – 2015, Costa Rica)

Tips for a Future Waterfordian

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One of Many “Foam” Sessions

Before writing some closing remarks for this blog, I feel urged to compile a list of tips for future Waterfordians. In fact, I had quite a bit of fun doing it. Keep in mind that these tips are rooted in experience. Enjoy!

Consider the following:

  • Don’t be afraid to stay up late, rambling on with friends. “Foam” sessions hold intrinsic value.
  • Favela has the best showers in Emhlabeni – even if you don’t actually reside there!
  • Welile is the cab to call. Reach him @76636981, and let him know I gave you his number. You won’t regret it.
  • Make the most of the many extracurricular and service opportunities at Waterford. If you can’t find what  you’re looking for, start it!
  • A well-decorated cubie will quickly become a cozy home.
  • Learn to love pap and beef. Also chicken and rice.
  • When in Maputo, Nucleo De Arte is an absolute must.
  • Go to Joburg and stay at Curiosity Backpackers in Maboneng. It’s a hot place.
  • Eat butter chicken at Green Chilli.
  • Also, it’s ok to order butter chicken from Green Chilli and sit at Ocean Basket for their wine.
  • Go to House on Fire’s events. Go during the daytime, as well.
  • Take kombis – they’re cheap and fun. Maybe not on the Malanguane highway on a rainy day – safety is important.
  • Don’t be silly when it comes to overnight exeats – it’s easy to check out legitimately.
  • Nights are more fun if they include Solanis or Pub n’ Grill.
  • Camp at Bushfire (!), and don’t be afraid to talk to random people – you’ll have fun.
  • If you decide to go to Moonlight, don’t go alone.
  • When IB gets heavy, take a walk around campus, and reflect on how immensely privileged you are to live in such a wonderful place.
  • Nights at the Millin are more fun with beer-pong.
  • When going to a jol, quarts (660 ml) of beer can be bought for R13 at spazas.
  • Recommended backpackers (+) in Swaziland: Legends, Sundowners, Cathmar, Sondzela, Veki’s Village (NOT Veki’s guesthouse)
  • Try to keep your cubie at least relatively clean. Life will be nicer.
  • Maintain a good relationship with the staff – both teachers and others. It’ll make your experience significantly easier.
  • If you’re well organized, you won’t need to pull the notorious all-nighters. I did only one, and I wasn’t even particularly organized – win.
  • Mrs. Tinney is a sweetheart. She will make sure you have a link family to stay with!
  • Appreciate that the babes and makes dedicate their time and hard work in order for you to live comfortably. Let them know that you appreciate them.
  • Scented candles from Mr. Price Home give you a good return on your cash.
  • Appreciate your fellow students. These people will become your family, through thick and thin.
  • Have fun

Congratulations on being admitted to Waterford. Make the most of it!

 

Best,

Markus

Exams – Ready, Set, Go!

IB2 life – how bad is it? Well, it’s not actually as bad as they tell you. I guess it depends on how structured you are, and how much you care. Amidst it all, I’m able to cope quite well, albeit some stress. I do still have to survive for another two terms, so I’m not actually done. However, my first exam is coming up.

As part of my self-taught Norwegian A SL Literature course, I will, in exactly one week, write my two first official IB exams. I don’t know how to feel about it. As of now, I’m at home in Norway, with friends and family, frantically trying to take back some of my first language.

 

Markus

Kwakha Indvodza’s Work Experience Programme

Hey!

As promised, though long overdue, I will now take some time to update you on the progress that was made by Kwakha Indvodza with the help of funds provided by our community service initiative BOOST. Over sixty young men and boys in Swaziland were earlier in the year taking part in a work experience programme that provided invaluable experience and networking opportunities. Several of these young men have gotten callbacks and job opportunities after the program; others have returned to school, in order to further prepare for future work.

Here are some photos from the programme:

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BOOST is very happy to have been able to support this project, and we hope to take part in more of Kwakha Indvodza’s projects in the future.

For more information on the project, go to this article, or to Kwakha’s home page.

 

Markus

Creative Outlet

Amidst SAT preparations, Internal Assessments and Extended Essay preparations, Sameen and I seized the day. Rather oblivious to how much fun it would eventually turn out to be, we decided to spend a Saturday painting. 

      
     

‘Twas a good time. I’ll definetly continue, once I get some more free time…

Markus  

An Exciting end to an Eventful Term

Once again, it’s time to say goodbye to Waterford and Swaziland for a while, and head north. I am glad to take a break. However, I will still pay attention to especially one happening in this Kingdom, over the holidays; Kwakha Indvodza, the first project sponsored by BOOST.

Kwakha Indvodza is a unique project that aims to provide a mentoring experience to young Swazi boys who have been denied a present or positive masculine influence in their lives. Based in Swaziland, the program is the first of its kind in a country that struggles with the highest prevalence of HIV and Tuberculosis in the world as well as a high rate of child-headed households.

With an ever growing presence of 50+ boys and 20+ mentors in the program, Kwakha Indvodza needs more support to grow its program and continue providing positive and influential mentoring to the young Swazi males.

We’re thrilled and proud to say that our tuck-shop in hostel has been fruitful enough that we can now make a substantial contribution to this organisation. Over the holiday, Kwakha Indvodza is aiming to take over fifty teenagers and young men through internship programmes in businesses in Swaziland, empowering them to get into the job market, and motivating them in school. 

I will make sure to update you on the results of this programme, as soon as we receive reports from the organisation. To make a donation to Kwakha Indvodza, or to read more about what they do, click here.

Now it’s time for some rest, after which internal assessments and an extended essay outline await (…).

See you soon,

Markus

Africa Week at Waterford KaMhlaba

From Wednesday till Sunday last week, Waterford was filled with panel debates, concerts, sports and more in relation to the school’s Africa Week. With visitors from near and far, including executives from UWC, the UN, the African Union, Standard Bank Swaziland and more, this week was truly a success.

The week’s aim was to put African culture in the spotlight, as well as focusing on the debated topic “Africa Rising”. It is important to get different perspectives when is comes to topics like these, and we surely did, during Africa Week. Whilst economic growth has been good (4.4 % annual average growth rate in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past two decades- World Bank) the continent is still struggling, to degrees depending on the area, with HIV and Aids, low levels of education (however rising), socioeconomic inequality and political instability. Another debated topic was, and will continue to be, the existence and influence of neocolonialism in post colonial African countries. From this we can derive the question of whether or not the multiplier effect of the inflow of private capital from overseas is actually doing local economies a favour, or if this simply secures the interests of foreign investors and their portfolio diversifications.

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Close attention was payed, as Birhanu presented on his home country, Ethiopia, at an In-Focus session

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Teammates enjoying the football tournament, kicking off Africa Week Wednesday morning!

IMG_2247IMG_2301The school, and especially Mr. Wekesa, did an amazing job organising this week. Thank you for this wonderful experience!

I believe more photos will be uploaded to http://www.waterford.sz soon 🙂

Markus

A Culture for Initiative

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“Man, I should have bought more snacks in town, today… I’m so hungry”, a friend of mine said, some time last term. *Light bulb*. At a UWC there are many sources of inspiration, especially from the student body. It’s been a couple of months since I launched, together with Sameen and Ryan, my first community service initiative and business at Waterford; BOOST.

So, what is BOOST? It is basically a tuck shop, operating for an hour or so before check in, seven days a week,from a room in Emhlabeni. People can buy all sorts of snacks and drinks, ranging from cheese doodles to noodles and soda. So far, the response has been great, and it seems like people are appreciating the business. We’ll probably look for some healthier alternatives to sell, as well, and see how that goes. We’re in the process of moving to Elangeni, and hopefully also to other hostels in the school.

100% of our proceeds go to the BOOST Foundation, from which donations will be made to specific causes within different community service initiatives in Swaziland.

Rest assured, I will update you on the progress of our business, and also, when the time comes, how the profits are distributed.

Peace

Glimpse: Mountan Fires

During winter time in Swaziland, it continuously smells like a bonfire. Instead of cutting grass, it’s burnt. This may seem strange, but it actually makes a lot of sense. It takes a large amount of time to cut grass, both manually and by lawn mowers, compared to simply burning it, and there are vast areas to be dealt with. It got a little out of hand on Kelly (a mountain overlooking campus), so we stepped in with fire extinguishers at 11:30 pm.. Don’t worry, nobody got harmed in any way.

On my way back to hostel form the IT, this is what I saw:

The aftermath:


More posts coming soon!
Markus

University Visits and Academic Motivation

A wave of academic motivation rushes through the student body, as world-class universities visit Waterford. As the academic drive is boosted, so is the workload of the notorious second term.

We’ve hosted speakers from around seven (if I’m not mistaken) prestigious schools in the US and the UK. Among these schools I found the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and especially University of Pennsylvania very attractive. It’s truly strange to be just a year and a bit away from applying to such institutions.

This is when it gets serious. Term two is a relatively packed term, and even though it seems to be a lot harder on the IB2’s than on us IB1’s, we definitely feel it, as well. It’s time to start working on internal assignments, extended essays, further oral assignments, written tasks, etc. Some (myself included) are also starting to get a feel of the SAT’s, to smoothly settle into what will, hopefully, become a weekly revision habit.

Don’t worry, we still have fun. Academic pressure may mean less free time, but I’ve realized that this doesn’t necessarily result in a smaller extra curricular programme. My hard drive filled with Family Guy and other festivities, on the other hand, hasn’t received much attention for the past couple of weeks. That’s all right.

Markus