Why you should say YES to the most impactful year of your life – study in Sweden…

The name of this blog rests completely on the reason for starting the blog. This blog was initially intended to be a portal of information and keeping in touch while I studied in Sweden at the International Youth Initiative Program. It has since evolved into a space of connection, sharing and a place that others that have studied there come for comfort, joy or the reminder of times gone by.

Today I received an email which announced that applications for the 7th year of YIP are now open.

yip-apply-now (CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW —> DEADLINE 15th MAY 2014!)

It is only now (about 2 years since completing my year of study) that I see the invaluable experience that YIP was. Since YIP I have seen my dreams and wishes come to life. Since YIP I have re-discovered myself and the power that Didintle Ntsie possesses. I have felt so inspired that there was no other way to live life but to live it as I have always wanted to. YIP offered me the fertile ground to plant seeds, nurture the plants that grew and take the fruits from that plant and share them in the world.

YIP has been the catalyst to me finding the best version of myself (an ongoing expedition…)

YIP is the reason I forgive, it is the reason I understand people better, it is the reason I am able to accept, it is the reason I am able to remember that there is nothing (and I mean that) that can stand in the way of me reaching my goals, dreams and desired outcomes.

It made real to me the truths I had whispered in my ear since I was born, that “anything is possible”

(CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW —> DEADLINE 15th MAY 2014!)

Since YIP I have been an important part of a team that co-founded an amazing global citizen-driven initiative called 100in1day Cape Town, I have also finally plucked up the courage to birth an idea I have had for over 4 years, it has come to this earth as The Travelling Speech Bubble. I am now working in an organisation that is forward thinking and impactful in it’s work. I am where I should be, and there are no doubts in my mind.

Since YIP I have begun writing a short story.

All these things because YIP reminded me that I could and I can.

Take some time to think about the things you would like to achieve.

Take a moment to think about the YOU that YOU would like to become.

Take a moment and think about a wall of mirrors that are all there to show you something about yourself.

Take a moment to do this for yourself, in order to better share yourself with others.

I humbly, warmly, lovingly invite you to apply to participate in the most enlightening year of your life with other phenomenal beings from all over the world.

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The price of Freedom

I came across this image a little while ago while searching images for “Church Square”. This image of the well-known Church Square in Pretoria (the capital of South Africa) popped up. I found myself staring at it for much longer than I had hoped to. I began to feel sad.

I remembered some stories that my dad had told me on my recent trip home to Ga-Rankuwa.

Church Square

He told me of how beautiful Pretoria was when he first arrived there, he spoke of the Jacaranda trees that brought on a burst of purple streets accompanied by fresh fragrances which now remind me of home, he spoke of the trams that ran through the city centre, he stopped a second and mentioned that he never ever enjoyed a ride on one, I absent-mindedly asked “Why?”, and he turned to me and said “I wasn’t allowed to”, it dawned on me, black people were not allowed to. Instantly that sentence transported me to a time that I have never known, a time when my parents’ movement was restricted simply because they were “non-white”. This conversation with my dad weighed very heavily on my heart.

Apart from the sadness that surfaces every now and then when I look back on this conversation and the life my dad was forced to live I learnt a few things:

– Beauty belongs to us (nobody can take that from you). My dad still saw the beauty of Pretoria despite the terrible reality he and others faced.

– We are incredibly fortunate to be living in a time when I (a dark-skinned female) can sit at a computer, sharing this with you, in the centre of Cape Town, before catching a bus to my home on Kloof Street. I need to remember to enjoy these things I take so for granted.

– What is our offering for coming generations? People died for the life we now enjoy. We walked into a life previously dreamt and fought for. What kind of future do you dream of? What are you doing to contribute towards that?

– Speak to your parents (and other elders): It is such a deep wealth to have the opportunity to live through them. Live through a time you have never and will never experience. This also is a free wisdom exchange. Make the time, find the space and drink their wisdom.

Say Hello… to amazing!

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you a band that is already beyond it’s time, a band that makes me feel like I am looking back on my life. John Wizards (click here and go and fall in love)

These videos are brilliantly brought to you by my amazing friends at Glow LDB (click here and be amazed!)

and here is one more to shake you up while you have  your morning tea….

Important things for Didi to remember…

This weekend marks the first gasp of breathe upon reaching the shore after a long, deep swim in the waters of hard work.

What better way to unwind and reflect than to spend a weekend in a wonderful wooden home on a mountain overlooking the sea?

A busy train ride to the seaside transported me to a totally different space. One of the things I appreciate most about this place I call home. That it is possible to hop on a train and be by the seaside.

This weekend highlighted to me some really important things. Things that I very often forget and take for granted. Here’s my top 5 list of important things for Didi to remember:

  • Surround yourself with strong women: Powerful women replenish my energy levels, they hold a deep understanding like no other. Remember to connect with them in order to remember that which you forgot that you have forgotten.
  • Drink Tea: There is some ancient wisdom that comes in each tea-leaf. This wisdom enters through your taste buds and stays and restores some kind of calm. (I discovered PMS tea this past weekend. What a wonderful invention, made up of a concoction of wholesome herbs)
  • Read a book: In my rush of getting things done, I have been reading loads, staying up late cramming into my brain; information about some serious topics to be used in my daily work. This weekend I packed a book I bought in Belgium that has been lying patiently by my bedside, wishing me goodnight and goodmorning each day for months. We re-connected again. I had lost touch with how good it feels to travel to some other place, using words and the imagination as a decorated vehicle.
  • Sunsets are a free reset button and sunrises are a reminder of the blank canvas that is each new day: A kind, gentle reminder to breathe and let it go. Let it go. Whatever has happened has happened and the only way is forward. Let it go.
  • Long baths offer some healing for the body and soul: I’ve mentioned in this Blog a few times before; the power of healing that water holds. I was very quickly and beautifully reminded of that by taking a wonderful hot bath with oils this weekend. I want a bathtub! I’m not sure how. But I do!

The last 3 days have been a gift from heaven, thank you to my beautiful friends for this. Next week is more of the same with a different pocket of friends and the next week sees me playing bridesmaid for a good friend of mine who is marrying another really good friend of mine. How lucky! I am nervous and excited. Mainly nervous because I don’t know if I’ll fit in the dress…eeek! Time to get jogging!

November looks like it will be the soft bed I’ve been fantasizing running home to jump up and down on!

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Okay, Okay, more like….

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Source of image 1 – here

Source of image 2 – here

More about the work I have been immersed in in the next post…

My words have power. So do yours…

This post was meant to be about my experience at Pecha Kucha Cape Town and how powerful words and sharing them is. But this morning I opened my facebook to find a wonderful message from a young lady from Hawaii who is going to be embarking on the  Social Entrepreneurship experience I have experienced on YIP in Sweden. The very experience that activated me to start this blog.

“Aloha Didi, My name is Kailea Frederick I am from Maui, HI and I am going to be participating in YIP this year ~ I just wanted to be sure to let you know that your blog on your YIP experience has proven to be such an extremely powerful tool for me. I myself had started a blog with the intention of chronicling my YIP experience for future Yippies, because I was having a hard time finding anything written online regarding personal experience in Jarna. I was so pleased when I stumbled upon your words, and have since used them in times of doubt when it seemed my YIP goal was out of reach. I have now started reading it as a way of preparation. I found it to be incredibly insightful. I appreciated how truthful you were in chronicling hard moments. It has been a great reality check!

The time you put into it, is so appreciated.

Mahalo, Kailea” 

Power of blogging

This note gave me a little pat on the back. I often wonder who reads my blog (apart from some really close friends) and what they get out of it. This reminds me of the power of our words and the power of sharing them. Also this highlights the power of blogging!

Check out her blog over here. Paying it forward.

The above image was taken years ago by my wonderful friend Nonku Phiri, lover, music-maker, artist, extra-ordinary female human soul.

Picking up the pieces

The last few weeks have been easily the most stressful few weeks of my life. I plunged into a dark phase that I never knew was possible to reach. I struggled with the fact that that was where I found myself. In the pit of some dark place I had never previously visited.

During this phase (which I am slowly coming out of) I have had to learn some serious lessons. Lessons that I have known, felt and adopted as my own knowledge before this, but have had to re-learn. Here are some of them. I share these difficulties with the hopes that they make some impact on someone else. I share these here, publicly, because these words will outlive me.

  1. Friendships and human connection are a very vital part of life. Never ever disconnect from this. It turns you into a cold, lost whisper of a soul.
  2. Debt is a real form of slavery. Grips you by the wrist and takes your freedom of movement, freedom of enjoyment and freedom of being human and alive. The shackles are real and very uncomfortable.
  3. Be patient. Why? Because “This too shall pass” as with every, single thing in our lives. This is but a bus stop on a much longer journey. It is the natural order of things (let’s call them the ebbs and flows of life, the peaks and dips of a mountain range, the calm and turmoil of the weather, the beauty and equal ugliness of our world, both inner and outer)
  4. Each new day is a step towards something. You might not know what this something is, but oh boy, it is there and it is important and it will reveal itself soon enough.
  5. Surround yourself with goodness, as much as you can. People who make you laugh, friends that come to your house, cook you a meal and then sit in your warm bed with you while you watch Cloud Atlas.
  6. Pray. I talk to God often and throughout my day. I forgot him in this past little period. I lost contact with him. Things were much much heavier because I carried the burden of my worries and struggles by myself. Remember to share the worries with God (or your version of God – whatever positive force that may be for you)
  7. Be honest. About the state of affairs. Both with yourself and with others. If you can’t afford to pay rent that month, see it, realise it, be okay with it and then be honest about the fact. Most people are understanding enough to get that it happens sometimes.
  8. Kiss someone you fancy. I kissed a boy last week. I enjoyed it. It made me feel loveable and beautiful and added an extra spring to my step. The boy in question is a rather beautiful being and I consider myself lucky to have been in a position to do so and to explore this with him, even if for a little while.
  9. Red wine is a remedy of sorts. I have not been drinking for a long time now – nearly a year. Very intentionally so. I won a trip to Belgium (the beer capital of the world) and started drinking again. I came back and for the first time in almost a year enjoyed some wine at home with friends. We cried, we laughed and we saluted what was, is and still shall be.
  10. Pick up the pieces. Because those pieces lying all over the floor are the pieces of a puzzle you are yet to figure out. Just pick them up. They might be shards of glass for now, but one day they will fit into a bigger picture. Without them the puzzle will never be completed.

necessary darknessI am by no means ready to fully face the world and bounce about with joy. No, not yet. I still need wheelbarrows of love and hugs and home-cooked meals. The sadness of my difficult hike in the dark woods still lingers and sits inside me. But it is slowly coming to the surface and will soon leave me and I shall no longer be its host. I don’t know when this will be. But I have to be patient, with the kind reminder of #3 listed above.

A warm slice of love and comfort…

I’ve been having a rather difficult and strange time since coming back from Belgium. Let’s call it a bumpy landing. And I have been quite open about how tough it has been to be back. A weird kind of tough which has thrown me off a little and has forced me to look, yet again at the sustainability of my work and put the spotlight on how to best take care of Didi. My friend wrote me this after I shared a realisation that part of the reason why I feel bad for taking a break is because I feel like taking a break is a temporary form of abandoning my dreams and vision for my life and the world.

This is what she had to say… It gave me so much strength and warmth. Both much needed on this cold winter’s evening.

“Dearest Didi,

I just saw your post about feeling like taking a break is giving up…I wanted to send you some words of encouragement, because I know you are doing such good work in the world. Don’t be discouraged if you need to step back and take a breath! In the little time I spent with you, I came to know a person with so many gifts and so much to share. Taking some time for yourself will benefit you and those you wish to help in the long run. They say that there are two kinds of people: those who shine a light, and those who reflect it to pass it on. You my dear are a pure source of original light, so by taking the time to tend to that light and make it strong, you are ensuring that it will reach the world tenfold, reflected by those around you!”  – Taylor Elverhoy Holland

 

Thank you Taylor! Even though you are so far away, you’re still able to deliver comfort to me.

I love you, thank you.

x

P.S: I wrote a piece today of some learnings I have gotten from this period of dark greyness, but I realised I have my tenses all wrong. Allow me to rectify it and post soon!

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