Seeking Knowledge

 

One of the best pre-primary schools in the Western Cape is here in Stanford in the informal settlement ‘Die Kop’. The young children live 5 kilometers away from the regular governmental funded pre-primary school and that is not the 7 kilometer needed to have access to the official school bus system. Add to that the busy road the children have to cross, etc., etc. Except for a grant of 11 Rand per child per school day of the department of Social Development (for food, salaries staff and other running expenses) the funding is purely sourced in the private sphere; in- and outside South Africa and as far as the Rotary Club in Knoxville Tennessee in the USA.

Without this initiative of the NGO Food 4 Thought the parents would have kept their young children at home. Now the children have the opportunity to grow into further education. Food 4 Thought was founded in 2004 and initiated by ‘Black” and ‘White’ villagers including a significant input of mothers of the settlement.

An old municipal building was privately upgraded (new windows, proper sanitation, paint, etc. etc.) by the initiative takers and since than the school and the support from third parties have been growing. And still it needs quite an input of the participants to organise things like daily meals and drinks for the children, maintenance, dealing with ‘officials’ and so on. But the initiative in one that bears fruit and deserves wider acknowledgement within the Western Cape.

The name of the school is Funimfundo and that is Xhosa for Seeking Knowledge.

 

The Riding School

People of all walks of life are priviliged to live in a place like Stanford; we’ve said/written it before. Under the ‘dull’ first look of Stanford there is vibrancy inline with the good village life. One of the activities is horse riding at Bagatelle Horse Riding School and as the name says Bagatelle also offers horse riding lessons for adults and children. Owner Jake Uys (related in some kind to a few famous South African celebrities) is the local horse-wisperer and he does a great job. His ‘outrides’ goes through the properties (vineyards and fynbos) of neighbouring farms and in slow pace for the magnificant views changing around every corner or bend along the different routes.

When we were there we did not even know that this opportunity existed (just had to photograph a few horses for a magazine illustration) and that is where we met Jake (Cell: 079-4689060) just busy with a few pupils.

Before the lesson starts the ‘students’ first have to brush the horses (also after the lesson) and saddle the animals. And than they go on the ride with Jake guiding and telling/advising about (riding) horses. Very entertaining. Kids of all ages (up into the eighties) love it. A must for horse-loving village visitors as well. And the rates? Well …. in comparison with the tourist hotspots in south Africa….. these are a ‘bagatelle’!

This kind of activities BTW also (as does amongst others also canoeing and hiking) attracts tourism that avoids masses but goes for pure quality.

Cheers from Stanford

This morning’s Sunrise

Early birds like us take the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise. Also this morning and although not the most beautiful one we’ve ever seen it was worthwhile to take a picture at the original entrance of the ‘Sir Robert Stanford Estate’. Stanford is the name giver of our wonderful village.

Not a GM Cow

Sometimes we, like most people we guess, don’t see things in perspective. ‘Minor’ items getting out of proportions and priorities mixed up.

Adobe Photoshop (Ps) is an outstanding tool to express one’s ‘proportional’ feelings. Yesterday we saw our village (Stanford, South Africa) in a different perspective resulting in the remake of the main road (Victoria Street) as seen from Moore Street and it went fully out of control and we just let it go. What you see, for example, in the background is not a GM cow but a Ps Cow. With thanks to farmers in farm workers of Papiesvlei for ‘abusing’ their infrastructural works, properties and ‘free range’ livestock…

55mm in 1 hour brings transparency

Inspired by the heavy rainfall this morning (55mm in 1 hour).  A good rain shower shows where one has failed (shortcuts???) to maintain and create proper infrastructural works. It brings clarity and transparency. We now know, for example, the weak spots on the road between Hermanus and  Stanford. It also indicates that nature is more powerful than human interference with it…..

Romancing the Flower

Clarissa, one of the ‘girls’ of the Stanford Hotel, likes to go into the open. She loves flowers and one night, when she was off duty, she fell in love …

Battle of the Giants

Yesterday we published about our first experience with Adobe Photoshop (as part of Adobe CS6 Premium Production software). Today we show you our second attempt of composing a new picture with this software. It’s slightly better (we named it ‘Battle of the Giants’) and it tells more of an imaginary story. Still a long way to go. In a few months or so we hope to show you some real progress.

In the background (main picture) our village (Stanford, South Africa)  by night. Added elements are partly the same (FABRIKK Gassenschau, Switzerland, enormously entertaining even if you don’t understand Swiss/German) and partly taken in and around our house (plants, wooden dog, lampshade).

It’s a low resolution picture but if you want a high resolution one for FREE just send your email address to greenc2 -at- me -dot- com.

 

And here: Battle of the Giants -Part 2 (Attack of the planets)

Moon Harvest

Last week a new iMac was delivered together with Adobe CS6 Premium Production software which includes amongst others Premiere Pro (movie editing) and Photoshop. All together a very extensive software program and it will take a few months before we can master the majority of possibilities. This week we started to ‘play’ with Photoshop. Amazing to experience how we were able to manipulate pictures and we are just at the beginning of the exploration. The very low resolution photo assemble you see at the top is just an example. Note: the original Moon picture (see below and made with Sony Alpha77 VQ with Sigma 70-300 lens) was a 20MB file and the additions (snapshots with Sony Cybershot) 75KB each. That explains why the end result is far from perfect but it provides at least an indication of the direction we’re looking into: creating art posters in limited editions. It will take at least 6 to 8 months before we start marketing these via online shops in amongst others the USA and the African Continent. Here are the pictures of which the featured photograph is assembled:

Main picture made from our verandah in Stanford, South Africa. Shot in RAW format with Sony A77VQ (original 20MB file)
Actors; shot with snap shooter during performance of FABRIKK (outdoor theatre spectacle) in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Director: shot with snap shooter during performance of FABRIKK (outdoor theatre spectacle) in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Low resolution picture made with Sony Cybershop (our snapshooter) in Stanford, South Africa
‘Butterfly Brigitte’ shot with snap shooter during performance of FABRIKK (outdoor theatre spectacle) in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Sunday Sundowner

Life is good for us Stanfordians. Yesterday (a SUNday) we had dinner at Stanford Valley (guest farm and conference centre) 10 km out of the village. Well one must experience this to contemplate it in full but here an impression. The musicians ‘Nossa Vida’ fitted in very nicely in the cosy sphere of this specious venue.