- Published on Thursday, 02 August 2012 00:24
- Written by Luguen Gass
How "awesome" (# said with an American accent, like "asem" in Afrikaans...haha, you just tried that didn't you?) was that - we got to meet such an approachable guy this evening. Someone to challenge our thoughts...
Usually, the first meeting with a guest is a tad strange...that awky-porky (Globo House slang for 'awkward') moment of "Hi, I'm ______" and then that "kriek, kriek" silence as everyone is seated in the lounge....NOT THIS TIME!
Meeting Michael Fileta with Mathew Smorenburg by his side - we all got on like a house on fire from the get go:)
...then comes the usual chin-wag of ooh's and aah's of the LLL project:
What do we expect out of the LLL project by the end of the year?
Uh, uh, uh, parum-pum-pum...oh yes, our community project. We'd really like to see it fly now. We're having 'training' this week with the STOP organisation. Soon we'll be bringing human trafficking to your doorstep. The world needs to know about the world's 3rd largest, but most unspoken crime.
We'd also like to see LLL in the world as a majorly prestigious project. There's already a huge crowd of people in Stellenbosch who hear about LLL and that we are participants, their jaws dropping (a few ooh's and aah's) and then life goes on. Well, atleast we have a groupie in Stellenbosch who're gung-ho for LLL, but what about the rest of university towns? We'd like to see LLL grow to a global spectacular - it deserves to.
We're going to Darling, dahling!
Yup, the Globo House is going to meet Pieter-Dirk Uys and his alter ego, Evita Bezuidenhoudt, at Evita se Perron in Darling...to catch a whiff of her brand, "Jeau Moer". We're going to hear what Evita has to say...watch this space!
Our guest from Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
So I googled Baltimore, and the first item I found was a Baltimore funeral home featured in an ESPN campaign...not quite what I was looking for. Then I found the www.baltimorecity.gov website, and the first thing to grab my attention was that this city seems geared to get volunteers involved. Seems Baltimore is made up of "do-ers", movers and shakers, albeit predominantly made up of the so called 'working class'. We also found out that Michael Fileta, from Baltimore, has volunteer programmes close to his heart...being someone who opened the eyes of colleagues and got them involved in volunteer programmes. South Africa is getting there...
So Michael said we're an extremely hospitable house... Well, we're amazing, what can we say? (#modesty)
For the chunky stuff: We were asked questions about how the LLL project has shaped our understanding of diversity and multi-culturism, and also what personal growths we have experienced by participating in the project.
Each of us in the Globo House has matured in a different way, and overcome various obstacles...the differences resulting in where we were all at, at the start of the year. Some of us experienced a huge acceptance toward diversity - from language, mannerisms, foods, to all things race and gender related. A major milestone for myself: LLL has made me brave enough to embrace diversity, because not only have I thought I would embrace sharing my personal space and build friendships with people I usually wouldn't come into contact with, but I have experienced it first hand.
Michael mentioned that he had come from an education system called "Community College" in which university-level education is made available to the general public without requiring majorly great grades, and it's cheap. However, the plus is that the college education is directly linked to a university...so, If you like to, you can move on to a university, and all your credits are transferrable. Wouldn't this be an alternative to getting education to the masses in SA? Afterall, education is the key to eradicating poverty...
All this time, our moments were captured on video....hence, "SMILE, you're on candid camera!". We've coined a new term. It's no longer "cheese!", to make you smile...it's "Baltimore!"
Oh, and those savoury cheese and bacon muffins, Michael...we'll have to send some over to Baltimore for you! It was a great pleasure having you here, and look forward to meeting again. (oh wait, "You're Welcome!" would've been better :-P )