Meet Our Interns: Sophia Harzenmoser
Sophia, a teacher from Switzerland, ventured to Cape Town this year to join Greenpop as an intern in their tree nursery, which is a showcase for urban greening and an eco-education hub for the local community. Here’s how Sophia experienced her time here.
As a primary school teacher, I need to spend 12 weeks in an English speaking country to finish my studies, seven of which I’ve spent in England last year. This time I wanted to travel further, go to a country I hardly knew anything about. I’ve always liked spending my free time outdoors, volunteering in a zoological garden for ten years, hiking in the Swiss mountains, cycling around the city, skiing or evening walks. But just having 5 weeks of holidays in South Africa didn’t seem fulfilling enough for me, so I started to look for an internship in Cape Town and found Greenpop. Greenpop was the perfect choice for me. I was looking for an internship where I would not only learn a lot about the country, its people and urban greening, but also get physically active in nature. My soil soaked hands are proof of that!
I usually had three different type of days; office days, nursery days and planting days.
In the beginning of my time at Greenpop, I used my office days to do research on companion planting, the benefits of Stinning Nettle and how to build an Herb Spiral. Through that I’ve learned a lot that benefited me on my days at the Nursery.
“The highlight for me was to notice how my awareness for nature and specifically trees increased…”
After this research I started my main task, which was to write a guideline for the cooperation with the schools. This curriculum-based guideline suggests activities to do with the students that are related to the planting days or eco-topics in general. Needless to say, as a teacher, this task fits me perfectly. It was really great to create something that will help Greenpop and the schools in the future. On nursery days I helped plant seedlings, pack mulch and compost for the planting days and built the Herb Spiral.
The highlight for me was to notice how my awareness for nature and specifically trees increased, and to use the newly gained knowledge to build a Herb Spiral at the Greenpop Nursery.
I liked Cape Town and its beautiful surrounding nature so much that I will definitely come back and bring family and friends with me. My highlight in Cape Town so far was hiking Table Mountain on the Skeleton Gorge route, which was challenging but very rewarding in the end.
I will definitely miss the incredibly lovely people I’ve met here! And being inspired by those people every day, to rethink how I live and what my priorities are in life.
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