Thursday, May 13, 2004

Okay big BIG BIG news.

I finally have details of a possible VSO post.

At present I am second choice for the job. In other words for it to be mine I need someone else to turn it down. But I like the look of it and I am pretty certain I will accept it if offered.

It's in South Africa, a suburb of Johannesburg called Hillbrow.

It looks pretty cool. I would be working as a fundraiser and marketing officer for an Aids awareness campaign.

Okay so it's not exactly the Maldives but Jo'burg man, how cool would that be? The best part is that there are plenty of other VSO volunteers locally so I wouldn't be enitrely isolated.

Apparently I would live in a furnished "cottage" that comes with the post. Sounds altogether more alluring than I am sure it will be. But it comes with all mod cons. Well I say mod cons, it has clean water and the toilet is of the flush variety. That'll do for me.

But now the bad news. I did a quick Google search on Hillbrow and came up with this.

It includes the passage:

"A staggering 59,000 crimes were committed in Hillbrow between 1999 and 2001, including 640 murders, 988 rapes, 7,521 assaults, 6775 robberies with firearms, 7,689 other robberies, 3,523 vehicles stolen, 18,7171 other thefts ... 1,347 drug related crimes,".

Hmmm. Ah well, sounds challenging. It scares me a little but probably not enough to turn down the post.

On the details I have been sent by VSO it states:

South Africa receives much negative publicity worldwide regarding crime rates. Whilst the country certainly suffers more than its fair share of violent crime, it is important to put the violence into context. Car-jacking, armed robbery and rape make the headlines but much more common are street crimes such as bag snatching which are more prevalent in fast growing urban areas where the gulf between rich and poor exacerbates social tensions. Even here volunteers can take control of the situation by avoiding potentially dangerous areas and by being aware of the conditions and acting defensively. It helps to also heed warnings from locals on what or who to look out for. Burglary is also very common in certain areas – not surprisingly in a country which witnesses such extremes of wealth and poverty. The best advice for volunteers prior to departure is to think twice about taking anything with them that they wouldn’t like to lose and to take out insurance just in case.

Looks like I better not buy the IPOD I was considering forking out on to take with me. Not sure it would stay in my posession very long.

But I am excited. Excited because all the recent news I had been getting out of VSO was that they were finding placing me very difficult. But, however scarey, this looks it does look like a real option. It also looks like a job I can do.

My tasks are listed as:

 Communication skills
 Proposal writing
 Training
 Writing skills (Reports, Proposals)
 Marketing

Check, check, check(ish), check, check.

Almost there.

So without wanting to come over all Eddie Grant, Jo'Burg is "giving me hope" that something will soon come out of my VSO plans.

Space Hardware may soon be going international.

Love, light and peace,


I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them but they were only satellites. It's wrong to wish on space hardware. I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care.