INKANYISO CRÈCHE

It has been a while since I reported on my blog and social media channels about the INKANYISO crèche in rural Zululand to which many of my friends around the word have contributed so generously (donation funds).

I visited the crèche today.

The teacher and the kids were not at the crèche as they are currently on school holidays.

As always, a few kids from the neighborhood swarmed in as soon as I flew my drone. They love the little flying machine. I have to take off and land at least five times before they are satisfied with the performance.

The fence is now finished and is looking very good. Thanks to Thanda Safari for all the fence materials. From my donation funds I was able to pay for the gates and for the required labour.

I also delivered and installed a new wall mounted white board, small white boards and pens for the children, some educational posters and new brooms to keep the place tidy (all of this was also paid using some of the donation funds).

We are currently getting quotes for roof gutters to capture rain water for the crèche. I will also get two chains and locks for the gates and I will order some colorful Inkanyiso Crèche signs. I have still some donation fund money left to help with these expenses.

And I have still a few more projects in mind to help the crèche 🙂

This is a list of some of the items:

– A Jungle Gym

– Daily meal (breakfast) allowances for the kids

– Small sound system (battery operated with solar charger) to play music

– Teacher’s table and shelves for the staff room

– Teaching materials (on-going)

– Rails to hang up paper/maps

– Floor files

I will visit again as soon as the school term has started and deliver some presents which I got from one of my recent guests at Thanda (for kids and the teacher).

Thanks to so many of you who contributed to the project and thank to Thanda Management and Sbu Mlambo (Thanda Community Liaison Officer) for all the support.

I will keep you updated about the progress!

DONATIONS WELCOME …

Many of my friends around the world have already helped with donations of useful materials and with money donations to buy various things. Thanks a lot.

If any of you – wherever you live in the world – would also like to help with a donation then please contact me at christian@sperka.com or via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. I have bank accounts in Europe, USA and South Africa and I also have a PayPal account. So transferring any funds would be simple and would not cost a lot. Even the smallest contribution will be very much appreciated.

Be assured that 100% of whatever is donated will be used to pay for crèche projects.

ELEPHANT WEEK

I am featuring a species per week on my social media channels. Here is a summary of the last week’s posts (and some blog bonus images). I hope you enjoy some of my favorite Elephant pictures :-).

Parade …
Close up …
Massive …
Cheeky …
Rolling hills of Zululand …
Mud bath …
Face paint …
Bums …
Majestic …

Sand bath …

All pictures were taken at various locations in South Africa.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

http://www.sperka.com

ENGLISH IS ONE OF THE KEYS …

Aerial view of the Mmemezi High School

For once this blog is not about wildlife, it is about people!

I love teaching! Which in one way or another I did all my life, mostly in IT and the last ten years in Photography. I never had to learn how to teach, I just always knew how to ‘package’ information for others to understand.

In the last few years I have often visited the Mmemezi High School with Thanda Safari guests. It is located in the Ngwenya community on top of the Lebombo mountains, about 40 minutes from Thanda House.

I realized that most of the students at the school had very little opportunity to speak English. Mastering that language is a key for these kids to be able to get further on in life.

So end of last year I offered to the principal Mr. D.L. Mnisi and to one of the department heads Mr. S.Z.Shange that I could help out once in a while by volunteer teaching some of the students in English. They accepted my offer!

Since a few weeks I am teaching once per week (if my work schedule allows) the subject of TOURISM in English only. Their regular tourism teacher Lati Thosago supports this very much and we work well together. I am teaching grade 10 and 11 once per week. And recently I even helped out to explain the world’s time zones to year 12.

To encourage the student to speak English we came up with a point system. Every time they ask a good question or make a good statement in English they get a point. Every time they speak isiZulu in class they loose a point. And if they laugh about anyone else’s mistakes they lose two points. Whoever has the most points at the end of the year will get a special present from me. Zulu kids are usually very shy in class but this incentive system has improved things a lot.

I donated a large map of the world and also some long power leads to the school, which we need if we want to use a projector and screen in the class rooms for some of the lessons.

The students seem to enjoy the lessons and are eager for me to come back – so Lati tells me 🙂

I know that I cannot change the world with all its imbalance in opportunities and wealth. But as with supporting the Ikanyso Crèche (with the generous help from many of you) I think by teaching at the school I can make a little difference in the lives of people who are much less lucky than I am – just by applying some of my skills.

I hope stories like these will encourage more people to help in whatever way they can!

About Mmemezi High School and Ngwenya Community:

This secondary school is located in one of the poorest communities in KwaZulu Natal. Unemployment rates are high and job opportunities are scarce.

Thanda Safari is one of the larger and important employers in the area. Many staff member come from this local community.

These are the GPS coordinates of the high school in case you would like to have look at the area -27.702275, 32.151540 | https://goo.gl/maps/1VaZN2JbbQm.

Ngwenya Community and the Lebombo Mountains – seen from Thanda Safari

 

NYALA WEEK

I am featuring a species per week on my social media channels. Here is a summary of the last week’s posts (and some blog bonus images). I hope you enjoy some of my favorite Nyala pictures :-).

DIMORPHISM
FAWN
FIGHT
TROUBLE
CHANGE
DRINK
HORNS
DIFFERENCE
BEAUTY
AT WORK …
STARE

All pictures were taken at various locations in South Africa.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

http://www.sperka.con

CHEETAH WEEK

I an featuring a species per week on my social media channels. Here is a summary of the last week’s posts (and some blog bonus images). I hope you enjoy some of my favorite Cheetah pictures :-).

Curious …
Kill …
Play …
Mom …
Race …
King …
Morning Mist …
Thought …
Tree Hugger …
Morning Sun …
Brothers …

All pictures were taken at various locations in South Africa.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

http://www.sperka.con

GIRAFFE WEEK

I have started featuring a species per week on my social media channels. Here is a summary of the last week’s posts (and some blog bonus images). I hope you enjoy some of my favorite Giraffe pictures :-).

Drinking …
Water …
Road block …
Boys …
Tongue …
Tall …
Sunrise …
Fight …
Boerbean …
Journey …
Sunset …

The pictures were taken at various locations in South Africa.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

http://www.sperka.con

LEOPARD WEEK

I have started featuring a species per week on my social media channels. Here is a summary of the first week’s posts (and a few extras). I hope you enjoy some of my favorite Leopard pictures 🙂

Thirst …
Breakfast …
Surprise …
Habitat …
In the spotlight …
Down the tree …
On the road to …
My favorite cat …
Age …
Baby …
Pure power …

The pictures were taken at various locations in South Africa.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

http://www.sperka.con

Imagine …

Imagine …

… you left your office for a short drive in nature

Imagine …

… you spend a warm summer evening on an open savanna

Imagine …

… a lite drizzle of rain and strong winds cool you down

and imagine …

… you watch a beautiful male Lion drinking, observing his surroundings and sleeping

Well, if you can imagine that then you shared one of my evenings this week 😊

Have a good weekend!

#Thandasafari @thandasafari #christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

Bad Monkey – Good Monkey!

A bad monkey rampages houses, takes goods from tables, threatens women and children to give up their meals and is not afraid of humans.

A good monkey forages in the wild, avoids human habitation, is quite afraid of people and can only be observed from a distance.

And who turns a good monkey into a bad monkey: Humans … by leaving food in the open, by feeding the cute creatures and teaching them the wrong behavior.

Only a monkey that has the natural fear of humans will remain to be a safe monkey. Once a monkey has lost that fear he is no longer safe.

Please keep them safe!

PS: A troop of Vervet Monkeys is stopping most afternoons at the Thanda House gardens to feed of and around the trees. They get nowhere near the house. If they see me and if they think I saw them then they immediately disappear into the crowns of the trees. If I am around and one gets to close to the house I give a quick shout and all of them take flight. At Thanda House we keep all food in fridges or in sealed containers and keep all doors and windows closed if we are not around. Safe for us and safe for the monkeys.

This picture was taken with a 500mm lens. The little guy has not detected me yet. As soon as he heard the click of the camera and saw me he bolted.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

#Thandasafari @thandasafari

The year in twelve pictures!

It seems that the years go faster the older I get. But my mother tells me that is the ‘modern’ world around me going faster and faster. Be that as it may, this busy year went by very quickly.

Here are 12 pictures. One for each month as a reminder of an interesting and eventful time.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year 2019!

In January I took this picture of a Secretary bird during a visit to Ithala Game Reserve. One of my favourite national parks in KwaZulu Natal.

On 19 February we had over 100 mm of rain and the Thanda House waterhole was full to the rim. In my over six years at Thanda I had never seen so much water!

I call March the month of the Lions. All North pride females presented their litters to the world and all the sudden we had 10 new Lion cubs!

One of my favourite subjects to photograph are White Rhinos on the Thanda Safari savanna. I really like this shot taken in April. The savanna was still quite green at the time.

It is always very existing when a herd of Elephants appears around a corner and one has to practice driving backwards to get out of their way. On this day in May the herd was in a hurry to get to a waterhole. And so was I!

Chewing the cud. This Giraffe was supplementing its body with calcium and phosphorous from an old bone by chewing on it. This picture was taken in June, one of the winter month when this behaviour can often be observed.

I love the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Lake St.Lucia. A boat cruise on a day in July presented many opportunities to take pictures of sparring Hippos.

Thanks again to many of you around the world who help me supporting Inkanyiso Creche in one of our local communities. In August I delivered a first batch of goodies (tables, games, pictures, …). More will follow in the new year!

A visit to Tembe Elephant Park is always worthwhile. In September I had the opportunity to visit again and I got some great Elephant and Buffalo images.

October: A bit of hanky-panky in spring. The most natural thing in the world. Making new Zebras! Note the Buffalo in the background watching with interest.

Baby animals are always cute, but little Hyena puppies win this year’s price for cuteness. Since November we had many sightings of them around their den.

Summer rains have started properly and the savanna is turning green again. Our new Cheetah males love the open areas which they share with many species. In this December image Zebras, Impalas and Rhinos are posing in the background for this Cheetah portrait.

And in case you would like to view more of my 2018 pictures just have a look at my images on Instagram – www.instagram.com/christiansperkaphotography

I will now take a few days off relaxing at Pakamisa Private Game Reserve.

I will be back in 2019 with more pictures from Thanda Safari and many other places in the South African Wild.

www.sperka.com | www.thanda.com