• 10Feb

    ASAP/Hlom. video

    filming Over the months I’ve talked with Priscilla about the idea of doing a short documentary/promo video for the organization. It’s going to be a “day in the life” look at one of our Village Health Workers. There are so many incredible VHW in the surrounding rural areas, some cooking for as many as 50 orphans per day!
    Ultimately we are planning to put the video on YouTube and the ASAP website, which means that I really needed to find a VHW with good English. It would be too difficult to read subtitles on a small screen.


    Interviewing in the sewing room

    So we finally chose a village health worker named Sylvia Nqenqa (pronounced N-click-en-click-uh.) She is 79 years old. Several days per week Sylvia cooks for and feeds 14 orphans, in addition to her own son who lives at home, 11 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. There are a lot of stories from her 79 years, and she is totally adorable. A little frazzled, and her train of thought gets really wack-a-doo sometimes, but she’s great.

    Mrs. Nqenqa

    Mrs. Nqenqa outside the garden

    Yesterday, Andy and I—along with Precious, our translator—went out to Mount White, Mrs. Nqenqa’s location, about 50km from Mount Frere. We spent about 3 hours interviewing her; touring her house (including a sewing room with 5 sewing machines where she makes school uniforms, shoes, and decorative items); discussing and shooting her large garden full of mealies, potatoes, cabbage, and many medicinal plants; and looking at old photographs.

    young Nqenqa

    Young Mrs. Nqenqa!

    We’ll go back again in a few days/weeks to get footage of the orphans coming to Sylvia’s drop-in center for nutrition. There’s also a big party coming up at Mrs. Nqenqa’s. Her husband died in February of 2008, and so there will be festivities at the one year anniversary, when she will be given many presents, and finally allowed to change from the navy blue mourning suit she has worn for the past year. We’ve even been invited to the braai—and you know I love a good braai!!!


    Medicinal plants in her garden

    PS-After we’d finished the interview and were waiting for Themba to pick us up in the backie, Mrs. Nqenqa’s granddaughter brought us some mealie juice! It’s been offered before, but this was the first time we drank it. It’s basically stamped corn and sugar mixed with water. It was good… kind of.

    mealie juice

    Yumm... and we didn't even get sick!

    PPS-In answer to Chrissy’s question, and for those of you who are unclear: we work for African Solutions to African Problems, which is a non-profit organization that offers assistance to already-existing community based organizations in rural SA. Specifically, we are working with a CBO called Hlomelikusasa, but most of what we do goes through and is approved in on way or another by Priscilla / ASAP.

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5 Responses to “ASAP/Hlom. video”

  1. Dad Says:

    Fabulous! I’m so glad you’re getting started on this. Did Andy drink that whole thing?

  2. molly Says:

    wow…how fascinating! what great pictures
    when is your year in africa up?

  3. Crazy Eddie Says:

    Wow. Amazing. Sylvia sounds like an incredible woman. So selfless. This world needs more people like her.

    I can’t believe you’re in Africa. It’s such a beautiful place. It’s also amazing the incredible work that you’ve done and are currently doing. I admire you and your husband.

    I was away from blogger for a while because I had gotten bored with the whole thing. I just recently came back because I regained the interest I had lost. Glad I’m back to chat with my loyal friends.

    Besos para siempre

  4. Carolina Lange Says:

    Wow! How amazing! I hope you love your time there!

  5. Dad Says:

    It just occurred to me that you could call your production company Hlom Movies.