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niall mellon township building blitz 2009

update: table quiz dec 3rd malahide…?

950 Volunteers – 1 Week – 200 New Houses

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Wallacedene, Cape Town, South Africa.

My third year to travel with The Garden of Hope Team, this year was always going to be yet another amazing project. As most of you know by now, I travel not to build houses but as part of a team of gardeners to, this year, build a community playground, football pitch and vegetable and fruit gardens.

What we didn’t bank on was the rain…. and by God did it fall.

But the options were….? We did have one half day of rain stops play… we then worked through as it got worse to make up the lost hours. And in the end it did work out. The sun started shining. It was always gonna happen 😉

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I’ve had to pause here writing this post…. It’s upsetting to be honest. My voice is gone. My bones are sore. There’s a pride inside me for what I as part of a team did… and then I think that maybe I could have done more. I’ve tears in my eyes. I’ve turned on the heating and type on my laptop and I’m trying, really trying not to write a sad post. Maybe to speak of the families and children with HIV and on housing lists for over 20 years…. when the rain came down one of the guys was telling me of a man they met with a frying pan trying to keep the water from his shack. I doubt he slept that night. But the people are so happy, friendly and polite. The children still smile. To see them dancing in middle of the water feature… that was the moment I took. Maybe I’ve numbed slightly to it after 3 years…

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I heard of one lady. Originally from South Africa. She works in a pub in Ireland and for the last five years has saved her tips. This year she done the trip. She paid €5,000 to come to South Africa to work. The same as all of the Irish did. I worked with ladies in their 60’s and 70’s who laboured as myself and Colin lay cobbles. I met people who had lost loved ones so recently. Those who had no jobs to return home to in Ireland…. I’ve just thought of them too.

I’m gonna sit and have a cuppa now. The vid is done. I have some writing done here and a blog post to thank you all so much for your support. In garden terms… I think you’ll agree the volunteers made the best of it and kept the smile sunny side up… More than that – I know you will agree that our new friends in Wallacedene love it.

Thank you all for everything…. see you in a little.

to read post no. 2 of the journey – click here

I’ve uploaded all of my 2009 blitz images/ photographs here

A great overview of the entire week can be read on the official Niall Mellon Township Trust blog – click hereReblog this post [with Zemanta]

gardeners charity poker classic in ballyboughal

are you going...?

are you going...?

***Tickets can be bought behind the bar in The Village Inn from Kevin or drop by my house or give me a call 🙂

From Yes folks 7 tables of 7 people will battle it out for the title of Ballyboughals best poker player Friday 16th October.

The gig won’t take place in O’Connors pub exactly as the people wont really all fit in… rather it will take place in the old school opposite… but systems are in place that a lounge person will run back and forth constantlty from one to the other with your beverage in case your taste buds dry out 😉

The reason… well of course the trad session is on so when you finsh your game of cards… simply walk the far side of the [very narrow] road and have a listen to some of Ireland finest musicians.

Sandwiches will be provided on the night and the trad session [as always] is free in.

All money raised will of course go to my trip to South Africa with the Niall Mellon Township Trust. Click here to see how much I’ve raised so far.

Never been to ballyboughal [just outside Swords btw] here’s how to get here

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