When last did you smile?

South Africa is so rich in diversity that we often tend to be too bright for the world. The rest of the world often need shades to view us properly. The only problem with this shades is that generally the good things as well as bad things tend to be overlooked.

What I mean is that when we look at political conflicts, murder cases, rape cases, etc. we tend to shake our heads and move on. This happens with the good things as well (except we nod our heads and move on). Often not a lot recognition is given to NGO projects that do good in the community. Well, today I’d like to give recognition to a specific NGO that helped me and millions of other kids and adults alike realise their full potential. This NGO is Life Choices.

I applied for this program on a whim in 2013, in my grade 11 year. I wasn’t sure I was going to be accepted for this specific course because the competition I was up against looked tough. Nevertheless, I got accepted and I was pretty amped up to be on the Leaders Quest journey with awesome people that believed in me and back me all the way. They gave me hope and encouraged me to be the best I can be.

I could go on and on about what they do, how they benefit people and all the lovely people that work there but I won’t because you can see that  for yourself. However, who I am today, what I’ve become? Has all been built up by the people that believed in me, that saw the potential in me and persevered with me until the very end and even at that very end they still are there for me.

Although, at times, the world looks gloomy and not appealing at all, you always get some people in the world that is willing to wipe away the grit from your lenses and open you up to newer, brighter possibilities. And that, is people you always want around you despite the circumstance.

I will leave you with this message; No matter what you do at any given time, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is, no matter the consequences that lead you to it, always remember you have the ability to change a persons life just by putting a smile on your face in a world where smiles are few and far between.

~Poppie Tee

*Image by Life Choices

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Dramatics.

December 27, 2015

I intended to sleep late this morning as it is my last day. However, that did not go as planned, I woke before my alarm even went off and I couldn’t for the life of me go back to sleep. All because of that gushing waterfall. I know, I know, I should be at one with nature and all that but isn’t sleep also natures course? I know I’m being dramatic but I’ve been running on at least four hours of sleep a day. The only time when I do sleep is during the day with the flies bugging me.

Okay, I’m done ranting. With a cup of coffee in me and a few left over baked beans, I set off to start writing. Hear that? Contentment. Uh, no, wait, it’s… Barking. Dogs barking. Puppies to be exact. Escaping from their place of rest. Aw, they’re so cute! I bet their owners adore-

-Oh, my gosh. Those pesky little mutts. They ran right towards me! I couldn’t even defend myself. I ran right into my parents’ little camping spot, waking my parents up in a panic and hid in their little bungalow watching how the little puppies dismantled our camping spot from the safety of my parents’ humble abode. My parents went on sleeping when I told them what was going on, dismissing me and telling me that they’re just playful little dogs. Did they just momentarily forget that I am highly afraid of dogs? Ugh, those little buggers are not cute anymore. Oh, no. They’re Satan’s evil little balls of fur.

Once they were gone, I went walking again on my normal route but I felt jumpy all the way. The sheep were already out, staring at me like I ate their young. Who even eats sheep meat? I sure don’t. The horses kept on giving me the side eye, coming all near the fence as if to jump it and attack me. The goats were a bit agitated trying to escape to beyond the fence and to my dismay they succeeded. I ran back so fast not looking back. I do not feel safe. I know, I’m probably in the safest place and I’m being just a tad dramatic but still. Today is my last day and I don’t want to leave on a bad note. I’m determined to make my day better despite my morning.

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After my walk and when the rest of the world woke up, I decided to take a walk up to the waterfalls just to sit and take it in. I needed that. That felt good until I felt a spider climbing on me. Nope, I’m outta here. Went back to the camp site and we just lounged around, sat under the shade on towels and had our own little picnic. It  was nice. We went up to the waterfalls several times during the day just to cool off, once we made it back to the camp spot again, our clothes were dry again. That’s how scorching it was.

These last three days were phenomenal. Family time, nature time and writing time. What more could you ask for? I have learned so much about myself during these pass three days. I’ve learn’t that I’m a bit overly dramatic… Okay, a lot. These past few days has taught me to be thankful for family, that we’re in the 21st century, electricity, having all my senses, paved roads,WiFi and other mundane stuff that I take for granted everyday. Now, it’s off to work and a new me in 2016.

“But there’s a beginning in an end, you know? It’s true that you can’t reclaim what you had, but you can lock it up behind you. Start fresh.”
Alexandra Bracken, The Darkest Minds

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~Poppie Tee

Hungry horses, evil eyes and throbbing hands

December 25, 2015

Early up this morning, wanted to run but decided it wouldn’t be safe as I do not know this place. Camera, apple, walking shoes? Check.

I set off down the gravel road because tackling the hiking trail alone today did not seem appealing. I wanted to see the animals. And, indeed, I saw animals.

At the office of this place there is a farm with mostly sheep, goats and horses. I first came across the sheep, cute little buggers, reminded me of Mary’s little lamb but good Lord, do they stink! And praise the almighty that they were in their little section with a fence separating us, I did not want to be chased by a sheep.

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Next was the goats. These buggers have weird, crazy-looking eyes and long-ass goatees. Reminded me of some bad guy in a movie playing his role real bad.

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The horses. Ah, gosh. Before I say anything further; let’s just establish that this would be my first up close (kind of) and personal encounter with a horse.

So, I’m there, snapping pictures of this one majestic horse with my huge camera and a half-eaten apple in my hand. I get bolder and move a little closer to the fence, snapping pictures, la-di-da. No care in the world when all of a sudden the horse looks up, looks me (I swear to God) in the eye and walks closer. At this point, I’m freaking out because this huge, majestic animal is coming straight at me. I. Am. Flipping. Out. In my haste to get away I almost trip. Almost. This huge animal is by the fence now and it looks like he could easily walk through it. I stand in the middle of the gravel road dead still, my eyes never leaving him and I fall. Hard on my bottom. I never understood how people could just fall over with doing anything and there I went did it, I don’t know how but I did it. Trust me to have a traumatic first encounter. And all the horse wanted was my freaking apple!

Now, I’m currently sitting sitting on a rock waiting for the world to wake up as it’s only 7 in the morning. I’ve been up for three hours already. What does the day still have in store for me?

So, the rest of the morning was pretty chilled. Slept for an hour after my traumatic experience and then we drove pass two ghost towns, came home and braaied, you know, the norm.

We came to our camping spot, ate huge watermelons and spoke of this and that. We decided to go for a short hike to, the reason the place is named 22 Waterfalls, the actual waterfalls.  We hiked for a short while and came across the first waterfall. Beauty. The  10 grand camera doesn’t do it justice.

Then we came across what I would from now on be referring to as the “stairway” leading to heaven. It even had a gate! Now, I’m not an experienced hiker, traveler or photographer. I had tried my best to go even further up but because going up alone did not appeal to me and I didn’t want to risk my family members’s lives (JK, I was scared out of my mind that I’ll fall to my death and that is not how I plan to leave this world). But anyway, we went up to the second one of the 22 waterfalls (I know, scary right? Hey, don’t judge the mountain is steep). Magnificent. Words cannot describe the beauty and I’m not even going to attempt to.

 

I was terrified going up and coming down that I’d somehow injure myself. But, alas, I came out unscathed until we were by the campsite and I cut my hand on a key. A. Freaking. Key. Are you kidding me? I could have laughed at the irony if my hand wasn’t throbbing right now.

After I got cleaned up and bandaged up by my mom. We ended the day with a bonfire, some crackers, popcorn and a steaming cup of coffee, not forgetting the ghost stories. With my feet (and hand) throbbing, I know today was a good day.

“Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can.”
Douglas Pagels

~Poppie Tee

Off we go…

First installment of my three day adventure. This is a personal journal entry of a very inexperienced adventurer who is way out of her comfort zone. I hope you enjoy.


December 24, 2015

Leaving the house was a debacle in itself. Who knew you had to pack your whole house up in order to go camping? Anyway, with our house packed up and me bobbing with excitement to leave the house when all of a sudden we can’t seem find the car keys! We searched the house inside and out, had to unpack the car until we ended up finding it more than an hour later. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little but still we literally only left an hour later.

On the road, armed with snacks we headed to our destination. Now, my tummy was in uproar. I was super nervous about where we were headed, I’ve no clue where this place is and the fact that there is no electricity is starting to freak me out now. Why am I this freaked out? I put my earphones in and tuned out the world while watching the scenery pass by.

Finally, two tummy-turning hours later, the long never-ending road up north comes to an end and we come across a narrow, gravel road. Ever drove on a gravel road in a bakkie? No? Some people like it but I don’t. I was shaking in places I never knew could shake, I thought the bakkie was going to fall apart.

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What South Africans call a 4×4 Bakkie

A place called 22 Waterfalls

Reaching 22 Waterfalls. A dog barks in the background but all that catches my eye is the horses. Beautiful , majestic horses. I just wanted to touch them  but there was no time for that. We checked in and drove on.

Sheep. Holy Lordy. Sheep walking around freely. I’m going to sleep in a measly tent with sheep on the loose? I think I might have a panic attack or anxiety attack. Which ever is worse I’m having it.

Driving on, we search for our spot. It’s hidden in the trees on a little incline, it’s so cute and tiny. I think I’m in love. Ugh, I’m such a contradiction. There is a little river right opposite that sounds like a freaking huge, gushing waterfall. I love it.

We unpack and set up camp. Geez, I probably lost a few kilos just doing that. My soft hands are now filled with little scratches and scabs. Ugh, that’s going to take a while to heal.

With our camp set up and all the hard work done. I arm myself with the camera and head out to explore the rays of the setting sun on the beautiful mountainous region.

As I walk around and I come across a very steep… ladder? Staircase? I don’t know. Anyway, I tackle it and get a bit into it with some bushes but I make it out alive, scratched but alive.

My, God. Was that not worth it. At the top is a dam, sort of hidden. But the view? Phenomenal. A breathtakingly stunning sun just a few hours shy of going under.

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Sun going under by the dam – 22 Watervalle

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I go back to my camp spot dirty, tired but satisfied. After I’ve cleaned up, I sit down to write with a steaming cup of coffee under the stars with the bugs flying around me and the crickets chirping in the background and I feel content.

“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
Walt Whitman

~Poppie Tee

Taking it back to the old days

I’m so super excited right now. Two hours left until go time. Go where? You ask. Well, I’m glad you asked, my fellow comrades. I am off to the middle of nowhere, without electricity, water or any essentials really.

Okay, reading that back to myself sounds weird, like a remote prison or something. But, alas, it’s not anything as terrifying as that. It’s just camping, you know, the – swotting at bugs, being at peace with nature and letting out my adventurous side – camping.

A while back, my parents, on one of their adventures ended up in Lord-knows-where, a beautiful camping spot, with waterfalls so magnificent your heart would literally skip a beat, according to my parents. They took pictures and if the pictures are anything to talk about then I’d probably pee in my pants when I arrive there because it is utterly beautiful.

I don’t really consider myself a camping person, I’m a very girly-girl but I would camp because lets face it the equipment they come up with nowadays is out of this world (just check out a camping catalog), you are basically living in a five-star hotel instead of camping.

However, this campsite that I’ll be going to is several notches out of my comfort-zone. There will be little to no electricity (not even an outlet/main supply like most camps have), we’d be deep in the mountains surrounded by waterfalls and no civilization for miles. I’ll be going with my parents, I consider them experienced campers because of the many adventures they had. However, I’d only be going for three days as I’ve got work, they’d be staying longer because they enjoy adventure.

I fully intend to make the most of my trip. I was planning on having a blog post up everyday to record my adventures of the day but I will be shut off from the internet/world for those few days. But all is not lost, I will be taking it old school and putting pen to paper, recording my days in a journal. When I return, will type them out and post them up.

I hope you guys will enjoy the new segment that I intend to do for the three days in which I will be gone, lost in contact with the world, recording how it feels to be out of touch with technology and in touch with nature.

I wish you guys a happy festive season and for my christian followers, Merry Christmas. Make the most of it, be adventurous, have fun and experience what this world has to offer.

See you on the flip side.

~Poppie Tee

Touring Familiar Streets

Tuesday was my fun-filled day. I explored Cape Town. Gosh, I love my city.

My friend and I decided to take the bus into Town and have a coffee date. My experience from my suburb to Town was interesting to say the least -I should note that this is technically my first bus drive since way back when. Anyway, we boarded the bus and spoke like rapid fire at which point people kept on giving us the stink eye because it was clearly too early to be having a conversation on the bus let alone screech at the top of our lungs but the rest of the passengers (us included) were in for a another surprise early in the morning. An old oke gets up and starts, I kid you not, preaching. He stands in the middle of the bus with a bible and a crucifix and he decides to tell us about his past, how he found Jesus, how he wasn’t always like this and how we should also ask for forgiveness. Which was so nice to see, he had lots of peoples attention for like the first three times he repeated the same thing. So, our entertainment for the morning was sorted and our conversation come to a halt.

We got off the bus, walked onto the parade in Town and I was totally in awe of the what I saw; the building opposite, the City Hall is magnificent. So beautiful. The structure, the antique style, everything was just too much to put into words.

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City Hall, Cape Town. This picture does not do justice but to be fair I was kind of scared of being robbed hence the crappy picture.

We roamed around Town for a bit until we come to the main reason we even went on this trip; Truth Coffee. Boy, was the whole trip worth it. If you’re ever in Town, this Cafe is a must. Listed by Telegraph UK as the #1 coffee shop in the world, I’d have to agree. Their theme is, to say the least, unique. It reminded me of a grungy mechanics store with a warm feel and a delicious smell.

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Truth Coffee

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Then we painted the town an even deeper shade of red, walking into quaint stores and marveling at the beautiful architecture and little bargins.

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This is made of books!! ~ This can found at the Cape Town Library.

We came across another gem; Charly’s Bakery. This little bakery located in District 6, is the home of Charly’s Cake Angels. The cakes are to die for and quite cheap considering its basically heaven in your mouth.

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Charly’s Bakery, District 6, Cape Town.

So, with our belly’s filled with heaven we marched on and took a taxi to Sea point to rest our feet a bit at the beach. We also received free entertainment of people paragliding off Signal Hill and landing on the beach front. We stayed until late afternoon, then took a taxi back to Town and from there a bus back home.

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Sea Point
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Landed
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Loins Head and a small part of Table Mountain can be seen in the background.

To say the day was a success is an understatement. I utterly enjoyed being a tourist in my own city. I will most definitely do it again. Have you ever been a tourist in your own city?

~Poppie Tee

Will you date yourself?

Hi, everyone. Okay, so I know I disappeared suddenly without a trace. I tend to do that when its exam time. Ugh, the life of a student.

I just wanted to post something, so that you guys know that I haven’t abandoned this really awesome hobby of mine. And, also to tell you that after this week, I will be posting so much that you’d be scratching your eyes out with a spoon (a few weeks without posting can do that to ya).

So, let me give you a little insight into what was going on in my life lately; I’ve been studying. That’s basically it. Oh, my Gosh, I live a sad life.

However, I am extremely proud of myself because despite of obstacles that were scattered in my path, I have stepped over them, worked around them and embraced them. I feel like I have become the best version of me. As this year draws to an end, I have felt that I have found who I am and what I want to be even if that means that I no longer want to do what I did or if I want to continue doing what I do. I have discovered that being the best version of me for myself is all that matters.

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I have realized what I want in life and I don’t think anyone can stop me from getting what I want. My sister said something to me recently which struck a cord with me. She and my mom were discussing my blog and how it might get in the way of my studies, when she said, “If she wants to post something that’s on her mind, she will do it and no one will stop her.” I don’t think her intention was for that to impact me as much as it did but it has.

See, the thing is I never knew she thought of me this way. Heck, I never saw myself this way. The mere fact that she, my sister, saw me this way is very eye-opening to me. I tend to have a low self-esteem. I think a lot of people do whether they want to admit it or not. This is the first time that I am admitting this to myself and the world alike. Thinking negative thoughts about myself is what I do often. Not a lot of people know this, my own mother doesn’t even know this. And, that lady knows everything about me.

The thing with thinking negative about yourself, is that you never have time to appreciate yourself. Appreciating what you can do, what you’ve achieved and all your talents and skills. If my sister views me as someone who expresses whats on her mind, then what are other peoples perception of me? What I realized is that I so often put myself down that I forget to take a compliment for what it is. A compliment. Something meaningful and of value.

I didn’t know that I was a person who went for what they want. I always boasted about the fact that I’m a person that knows what I want out of life and maybe to an extent that is true but then I turn around I see that there is so much more that I don’t know about myself. And, I’m okay with discovering myself. I want to take my time and have a date with myself. Have you dared to try that lately? Are you okay with getting to know yourself? Will you be okay with what you find?

~Poppie Tee

Don’t you dare turn a blind eye

I am writing this because the world needs to know. They need to know that South African Students are being robbed of their rights to an education. They are being affected emotionally, physically, mentally and as per the topic, financially. For many of you who don’t know, South Africa is in the middle of a revolution, we’ll be going in the history books once again. This time, I am old enough to help make a difference and to help be a part of the Fees Must Fall movement.

There are things you need to know about me before we go any further. First, I am a proud South African. Second, I am in my first year of university. And, third, I wholeheartedly stand with the Fees Must Fall movement. A question that has been a recurring one in my mind is; why, as students, do we have to worry about our studies and still worry about whether we will have enough money to further our education?

Classes cancelled. Exams postponed. Disgruntled students. Education is not a privilege. Education is a right. In South Africa we have a right to education and our right to education needs to be exercised. But, how do we exercise our right if we can barely afford it? 

Many South African’s are still heavily impacted by Apartheid. We strive and we would like not to let our past impact us in a negative way, that is the goal. But, the reality is that we still feel the negative impact Apartheid has left. However, what I have witnessed while joining the nationwide movement of Fees Must Fall is unity. Whether you’re Black, White, Coloured, Indian, Muslim or Christian; we all stood in solidarity. We marched hand in hand, peacefully. So, then why do the police want to arrest us? Why did they arrest us? Is it because we retaliated on them using brutal force on a mass of unarmed students who just want their voices to be heard? Why do they insist on using tear-gas on us? Why do police need to be fully armed, when we are just merely students with a voice that needed to be heard?

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Stellenbosch University -Students Starting to gather around for the protest.

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United as one ~ Stellebosch University
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Stellenbosh University ~ Student addressing the crowd
I find it mind boggling that people in 2015 are still fighting for the right to education. In the face of poverty we are still required to scrape up money we don’t have in order to pay for something that should be ours no questions asked.

I am a 18 year old South African girl. I am in my first year of university. I already have debt to my name even though I haven’t even had a solid job yet. My father and sister are the only breadwinners in my family. My father is a self-employed auto electrician, my sister is a preschool teacher. We live decently, some days there is work, other days there isn’t but my father always manages to have food on the table for us every night, a roof over our heads and clothes on our back. I know that my father works extremely hard for us, he never complains and he never lets us worry about our finances. My parents always told me to go for my dreams not matter what obstacles lie ahead, you deal with them as they come along and they have always encouraged education no matter the financial burden on their pocket. However, sometimes the price of education can be ridiculous. Which is ironic because there isn’t supposed to be a price on education.

Now, I am not telling you this to get any kind of sympathy from you or for you to pity me, that is not the aim. I am telling you this because in my country I am considered privileged. I am too rich to reach bursary qualifications, too poor to take out a loan, so what am I expected to do to further my education with a ridiculous increase as well?

If I am considered privileged in South Africa then what about those who are under-privileged? How do they exercise their right? Surely, not all of them can get bursaries and student loans, so how do they pay for their education?

I am an 18 year old South African girl and I stand firm with the Fees Must Fall Movement. I stand in solidarity with my South African brothers and sisters who are being being robbed of their education because of their inability to pay. I stand with my South African brothers and Sisters who cannot exercise their rights because they are not by the financial means. I stand because you are affected. I stand because I am affected. I stand because we are affected and something needs to be done. Amandla! Awethu.

~Poppie Tee

***Please help and stand in solidarity with us, you can use the hashtag #FeesMustFall, there are a lot of live media coverage that happened throughout this week and is currently still happening. Feel free to Google it and express your opinion. Also, I would like to hear your take on this, so drop a comment in the comment section below. 

Pure Bliss

Oh, what fun I had this weekend, chilling with my mates, going to rad parties and just living life on the edge…

Just kidding, I’m a total introvert and this weekend I have been my total booknerd-self. I participated in Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon. In my opinion, that was 24-hours of pure bliss. I managed to read a book and a half.

I know this post is supposed to be up eons ago but alas, I had to catch up on life (yes, I do have one, despite my introvert tendencies, *gasp* shocker!) and all things me, hope I’m forgiven seeing as the weekend is long past already. Yikes.

I must admit, I would’ve liked to read more than just a book and a half but I was distracted by general things like stressing over how I will be dying in a few days time because of exams and the Rugby World cup 2015. Yes, our Boys are in the semi-finals (Go Bokke. Whoop, whoop!). I’m proud of you guys!

Anyway, in addition to reading only a book and a half, this has been my first read-a-thon and I must say I have utterly enjoyed it and I’d like to think that I can do many more. With that being said, I’d like to participate in the next 24-hour read-a-thon which is happening in April sometime because I had such a blast live tweeting and Snap-chatting my (steady?) reading process with the world.

The amount of participants were tremendous, there were even kids participating and husbands that took over the household chores for the day. I loved the way the world came together just by reading. People from different spheres of the world were joined in the same experience, united as one. It made me as a single being in the world feel connected to a vast majority of people even though I had escaped into my own world of reading (I tend to do that a lot).

Nevertheless, I just wanted to share my experiences with my fellow readers and also a few odd pictures and things.

The beginning
The beginning
Oh, the high hopes I had for reading all of these.
Oh, the high hopes I had for reading all of these.
Good few hours in
Good few hours in
Yeah!! Go Bokke!
Yeah!! Go Bokke!
Shout out to my Momma!
Shout out to my Momma!
I got tired of thinking of sayings..
It’s busy getting dark and cold just like my soul, kidding, it’s perfect weather.
The book I finished.
The book I finished.
The book that I read half way through.
The book that I read half way through.

This pretty much sums up my weekend. Thanks for reading about my blissful weekend, guys. Oh, and follow me on Snap chat too: poppie_tee.

Oh, Congratulations to my fellow blogger, Nihaad of The Little Blog of Stuff for actually winning the prize for her participation, I’m so happy for you and proud of you. You go, girl!

~Poppie Tee

Read-a-thon

So, Dewey’s 24 hour Read-a-thon will be taking place in a few minutes and I’m crazy excited. I only decided to do this a few hours ago. I was inspired by The little blog of Stuff to take part in this challenge.

READ-A-THON!!
READ-A-THON!!

I know this post might seem rushed but I’m excited to read! So, this is the pre-party post which just requires you to answer a few questions. Here goes:

1.What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Cape Town, South Africa. The Mother City. I got mad love for this city!

2. Which book in your book stack are most looking forward to? 

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. The book just looks super cool and the blurb! Oh and not forgetting the reviews; all good.

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Apple and peanut butter sandwiches. Yum!

4. Tell us something about yourself!

Well, if you haven’t guessed it, I’m a major booknerd. I love my country. I tend to have really long explanations of things that are rather irrelevant. I’m a total girly-girl, so I really love shoes (Heels!) and make-up. I’d love to talk all day about me but I have to wrap this up now because it’s almost time. Eeeep!

5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s the one thing you’ll do differently? Or if this is your first time, what are you most looking forward to?

READING!! (And snacking but mostly reading.)

You can follow me on Twitter, which is the platform I’ll be using to updates my followers.

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~Poppie Tee