Interest & Blogs

Interest & blogs

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Party Time at Butterfly Space – Dorothy Engelbrecht

On Friday I headed to Butterfly Space after lunch and settled in at about three o’clock. I greeted Kaja on my way in, she looked refreshed with semi-wet hair and a black t-shirt and shorts. As I went in further past the Media Room I was met by Max who wasn’t busy and Luke who was walking around. We spoke about the party that night and I said I’d have some trouble getting home. Max offered to walk me home at ten o’clock.

Since we had all lunch we waited until dinner for people to fill themselves. I had carried two bananas to curb my hunger. One which I ate shortly after my arrival. Max and I decided to watch a movie, Resident Evil to kill time, we watched as zombies took over a small town and grew grossed out, interested and scared as the plot as unfolded. When that movie was over we started another movie but stopped in the middle to meet up with the others.

Kaja who was quite excited about the party said it would start after everyone had had their dinner, which would be at around six o’clock in the evening. We talked a bit and then went back to the Info Room. Max and I tried to put the movie on but then it started getting dark and he said he wanted to go home to have dinner and come back later for the party. We left the Info Room and went to the bottom deck where we met with Kaja and Amanda who were both reading. I asked if I could join them and they obliged. Max went home for dinner.

I sat down on a chair by a table on the deck and watched the water. As it got darker, mosquitoes started to fly around, some bit us. Two dogs startled us as they played on the wooden floor under our table.

We were joined by a French girl, Lea and Belgian guy Florijn who both grabbed a seat as Kaja and Amanda went to sort out their dinner. Lea had a scar on her arm which she said was from falling off a motorcycle and Florijn and I talked about our origins. Kaja came back to the table to chat a bit. Lea offered to get her a drink and she said “sure” that was when the party officially started. Lea ordered beers while Florijn and I talked and when she came back she asked Florijn to play a game of pool with her. He agreed and stood up to leave. I said I’ll watch because I didn’t want to sit at the table alone. The game of pool commenced and people made their dinner orders. A crowd gathered around the pool table watching the game. Lea eventually beat Florijn during that first game and I offered to play next. I was going to play tag team pool with Luke, a South African volunteer and another team made up of people we’d met that night. Luke and I won and played another round of pool. Natasha came, drink in hand with a speaker and her phone which she started playing music from. There was loadshedding and therefore we decided to use a portable Bluetooth speaker to play music from, there was no music before she came,just the sound of the pool table and people talking.

People were getting their orders delivered to them. Most of them ordered pizza. Luke and I high fived every time a ball went in but weren’t happy when we eventually lost. Teams were buying the winning team shots of gin but I didn’t participate in the shot taking because I don’t drink. We played another game of pool against Lea and Natasha and eventually just me and Kaja played a round. We weren’t very good but we tried our best. I met Max’s brother, Prince. He came during the second game of pool. He was well spoken and friendly and had a cool air about him. He said he didn’t know where his brother was but wasn’t worried. I took a break from playing pool to rest and listen to some conversations. Florijn was talking passionately for most of the night. He was later joined by Kaja and Natasha who started dancing with each other. Max eventually showed up but said he had slipped dinner. Either way, he ordered a drink and sat quietly at the bar. Some guy started talking me, leaning over my frame and I moved from him because I couldn’t hear what he was saying and he insisted on carrying on. The guy was obviously too drunk to even notice that he was harassing me. I moved over to Max and stood there hoping to get away from the guy but he reappeared and started standing next to me, swaying and talking incoherently. Prince moved him with his hand and said, “She does not like what you are doing” and we waited for him to go away.

More pizzas showed up and Luke, Natasha and Florijn all dug into theirs while talking, dancing, drinking and playing pool. Luke and I played another game of pool and won, that’s when some guys from the neighbourhood of Chikale came and sat around the edge of the room. They wanted to play next and a fight almost broke out between one of them and Luke about who was next. We were meant to play another game if we won and we did and then gave them a chance at the table when we were done. I didn’t enjoy all the people I spoke to but I tried to keep my cool. It seemed I was one of the only people who were completely sober so I seemed lonely in my experience. The music stopped for a bit then Natasha charged her speaker and the music continued. Lea and I sang along to Jorja Smith, Florijn wanted to introduce us to Belgian musicians and eventually I got to pick a song on the Spotify playlist. A lady came looking for me and asked if my name was “Dorothy” I said “Yes it is” and she pointed to the doorway where I saw my dad was standing. He had come to pick me up. I was a little shocked when I saw him and relieved because I had no strategy for the guy who was harassing me and I started not enjoying myself. I told Max I was leaving, tapped Florijn on the shoulder to say goodbye and hugged Kaja goodbye. Overall it was a blast, the pool and the music were definitely highlights of the party though advise one much come with a guy if you’re a woman, or come as a group to prevent getting harassed, you’ll definitely need spending money to buy drinks and perhaps a pizza, anything from seven thousand to twelve thousand will be more than enough. Do come over to Butterfly during the festive season or after you’ve saved up a bit of money.

Butter Space – Dorothy Engelbrecht – 18.10.2022

Situated on a winding road on the way to Chikale, Butterfly Space is a lodge, restaurant and altogether hang out spot in Nkhata Bay. A twenty minute walk from the markets in Nkhata Bay, it is placed on the beautiful shore of one the bay area’s in Nkhata Bay. Home to chalets, a restaurant on deck, a small beach area amongst some rocks and array of almost treacherous staircases, it is easily one of the coolest hang out spots in the Northern region.

As I make my way into the spot, I’m greeted by a host behind a counter and told to wait for Josie, the owner. Someone else, a woman with dreadlocks sends Josie a message about my arrival. We walk up a staircase on the right and then to a room with an open doorway. There she is, the woman says and I meet Josie for the first time. Josie is a tall brunette with a cool short hairstyle, blue eyes and a dark tan. Immediately I recognise her accent and think she must be English. She’s quick to let me in on what the other volunteers are doing, from social media presentations to video editing workshops. We talk about my blogging background and then she lets me sit and talk to a man named Solomon. Solomon, a quiet kind of guy sits me down and we chat all about all the different kinds of workshops that have ever been held at Butterfly Space. This excited me as I feel like my blogging experience could help Butterfly Space as a whole. Solomon shows me the Info Room with a small library in it and tells me to wait for a guy named, Sean to explain what goes on in the Info Room.

I meet Max, a young man who started interning at Butterfly Space and now has a job, he’s a social worker who first came for the computer skills workshops and proves their success by sitting at a laptop typing. He seems to be Chewa as he talks to me in Chichewa but gets a response in English as I am Tonga and from South Africa. I haven’t gotten used to the Chichewa language yet. Ten minutes later, a trim man walks in with a tan T-shirt and blue jeans. He greets everyone; I’m Sean he says to me. And then he explains what the Info Room is all about. He says it used to be a place where people could access the internet but that stopped to focus more how the place could serve as an educational hub instead of merely an internet cafe. He says he’s been coming to Butterfly Lodge since he was a teenager and has known Josie since then, so they are acquainted. Finally he shows me the Raspberry Pi, a storage device initiated by one of the enthusiastic volunteers. The Raspberry Pie can connect to a phone’s Wi-Fi and a wide array of information can be accessed through the device. There are several databases including OpenStax which has books that one can read, topics one can pick like Humanities and Science and even recipes that can be looked up so you can totally learn to cook with the videos provided.

I’m impressed and grateful to Sean for showing me. Sean then takes me to meet Friday, the kitchen manager and another student from Germany who is also working on a social media presentation. The vibe is friendly. We then head to the Media Room after hanging out a bit because a young woman named, Natasha is doing her presentation on social media and content planning. We all sit down on two benches and lean in as she does her presentation. She goes on for about thirty minutes talking about the importance of styling the posts according to the target audience. She focuses on Solomon’s attention for he will be taking over where she left off when she leaves in the coming week. The rest have gotten the gist of the meeting and leave Solomon and Natasha to plan the weeks ahead in detail. We head off to the Info Room where Max is reading through a leaflet, planning a presentation.

The German girl, Kaja and Amanda, an American girl come to Max’s presentation. They sing the introduction song and then Max starts the presentation: the 21st Century Starter Pack – A Guide for Learning and Developing in the New Digital World. It sounds like fun from the outside as I overheard him talking about Facebook and YouTube and I hear the girls inside the Info Room giggling as some of Max’s quips.

They then finish the presentation and take a picture together. Everyone leaves feeling brand new and I meet Amanda. We sit and talk about Butterfly Space’s online presence and both seem excited to contribute. She leaves and says she’s see me “mawa” which means tomorrow in Chitonga. It’s nice to know that she’s already picking up on the local language. It’s lunch time and Max sneaks off to feed himself. We sit down and chill and listen to the waves of the lake. After a while Max comes back and everyone hangs out, chit chatting and getting acquainted. Sean works on an image that he’s photoshopping for a friend. I ask him a series of questions from whom he lives with to his favourite food, he doesn’t seem at all distracted.

I, on the cue of my stomach, start preparing to leave. I’m glad that my skills are wanted and it was great meeting such fun-filled, energetic and helpful people. Glad with the amount of socializing I’ve done, I head into the sun, back into town, excited for another day at Butterfly Space. I’m thrilled to be part of a vibrant volunteering team.