Monday 23rd November 2015

Geological Wonders of the World
The mile-deep USA Grand Canyon and the
Ganges Delta is life-sustaining & destructive
10H00 in Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Contact : Alain Leger 044-533-2963

Monday 23rd November 2015
U3A Film Club : Untouchable
Charming French-drama film with English subtitles
Brilliantly played by Francois Cluzet & Omar Sy
18H15 in Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Contact : Ian Hogan 044-533-6980

Tuesday 24th November 2015
Italian Conversation
10H00 at 12 Challenge Drive
Contact : Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 25th November 2015
Art Film : The Private Life of a Masterpiece
The Annunciation painting by Jan van Eyck
To prepare us for the final Christmas spirit
10H00 in Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Contact : Lynette Timme 044-535-9041

Friday 27th November 2015
Tai Chi Class for U3A members
09H00 to 09H45 at St Peter’s Church Hall
Contact : Jennie Anderson 044-533-0089

Friday 27th November 2015
French Conversation
10H00 at 7 Glennifer Street
Contact : Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 27th November 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Game
13H30 in FGV Small Dining Room
Contact : Amelia White 044-533-0113

No U3A lectures as from Monday 30th November 2015 till February 2016!

In the footsteps of elephants – Lunchbox Theatre tour in the Baviaanskloof

Lunchbox Theatre has just returned from a tour to the rural farm schools of the Baviaanskloof area and Langkloof, Eastern Cape, from 2nd to 6th of November. This project was made possible through a generous grant from the National Lotteries Commission. The tour was special in that the play that the NPO took to the schools specifically concerned the area being visited.

Eden to Addo Corridor Show is a story about a young girl Eva, who meets an elephant that escaped from a circus. The elephant is trying to find a road to Addo Elephant Park where his grandmother lives. The journey starts in Harkerville just outside Plett and ends in Addo, and on the journey they meet many new friends who teach them about the area they are passing through. The show focuses on understanding how people, animals and plants can coexist and need to find ways to live together.

The show was first commissioned by the Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative to increase awareness around ecological corridors. There are a number of organizations in the southern Cape working with land and people together to assist change towards resilient, economically viable socio-ecological systems, and connectivity of ecosystems is a vital part in it. Through this fun and educational Eden to Addo children’s show and educational drive Lunchbox Theatre contributes to this important work. It is one thing to discuss with farmers and conservationists to come up with sustainable solutions, and yet another to instil wonder and respect in children’s minds towards the ecosystems they live in and will be farming one day. Right on the doorstep of Addo, where elephants still live.

Lunchbox Theatre performed nine shows to 1444 children in the towns of Kleinpoort, Wolwefontein, Steytlerville and Kirkwood. A highlight of this tour was that eight of the schools experienced theatre for the first time, and many are hoping for Lunchbox Theatre to return with more shows. The actors also enjoyed this special tour with Lunchbox Theatre once again taking them to parts of the country they have not yet visited. They went to Addo Elephant Park in the end of the tour, and were astonished by encountering and pondering on the wild elephants, dung beetles and the connections between all living things. These real-life encounters, with exciting live theatre or encountering animals during our days, can create wonder in people’s minds.. wonder leads to learning, respect and understanding and can instil compassionate actions. Lunchbox shows also bring laughter and learning to our days, and we can all always do with a bit of those!

Big thank you to the National Lottery Commission and the Eden to Addo Corridor Initiat


With the matric exams in full swing and one or two subject papers ticked off the list, the Class of 2015 is likely to start glimpsing the freedom that lies just a few weeks away. Unfortunately, this enticing vision may lead to a more relaxed approach to remaining papers, and impact negatively on results, an education expert says.

Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education institution, says matriculants who are starting to feel an almost palpable lifting of pressure should take this as a cue to re-assess their approach during the home stretch.

“Of course it is a welcome feeling, but it should only be welcomed if you are absolutely certain that you are putting in your very best, for every subject, right until the end,” she says.

“The reality is that the hard work of the past decade and a bit could be negatively impacted by a relaxing of focus during these last four weeks of your school career. This is especially so since matriculants are experiencing a period of relative freedom, with the loss of routine which came with going to school and having to do homework every day,” says Coughlan.

“That is why it is important to take a little bit of time now to objectively evaluate where you are, how your studies are going, and where you possibly need to make changes to keep the momentum going. Once you pass the halfway mark, you are going to need all the focus you can muster to counter an increasing number of distractions,” she says.
Dr Coughlan says matrics can take the following steps to ensure they continue delivering their very best throughout the exams:

1) Do not be thrown off track if one of your papers did not go well.
Stop stressing about the subjects you’ve already written, advises Dr Coughlan.
“There is nothing more you can do about those results. Throw yourself into each subject as its time comes, and especially for the so-called ‘easier’ subjects which are often scheduled towards the end of the exam timetable. Every paper counts.”

2) Review your study roster.
Dr Coughlan says learners should now be well into the groove of studying, and should consider whether they can up the ante a little bit, by putting in an hour or two extra to complete a mock paper, for example.
“Every little bit of effort will pay off, and make you more confident when you enter the exam room,” she says. And that is important, because a few extra marks may well mean the difference between your application for a position, and that of your competitors in the job market.
“It may also mean the difference between being accepted into your course or institution of choice, or having to look at alternatives.”

3) Develop a daily routine and eat the frog.
It is very important to decide on a daily routine and stick to it. By having a set routine you don’t have to decide from moment to moment and hour to hour what you are going to do next, which allows your full attention to be on your preparations. Importantly, you have to eat the proverbial frog, says Dr Coughlan.
“Don’t ease into the day by fiddling with this and that and then only tackling your studies by mid-day. If you take the biggest task for the day and dispose of it first thing in the morning, you would have built momentum that will energise you throughout the day. Everything else will seem easier after you start the day with a major accomplishment.”

4) After each paper, get right back in the saddle.
Learners will, understandably, be tempted to take it easy on the afternoon and evening after writing a major paper, says Dr Coughlan.
“But rather than spending too much time relaxing, aim to take a short breather only, and then immediately shift your focus to the next paper. Review a chapter or two to get your mindset instantly on the right track.”

5) Tune out all noise and distractions.
“Switch off your mobile phone and any other devices while you are studying, and do not study in front of the television,” says Dr Coughlan.
“You can check your messages or social media in your scheduled breaks, but these kinds of distractions should take a back seat for the next month. You won’t remember your friends’ status updates even a week from now, but if you allow them to distract you, you may have to live with a less than satisfactory result for the rest of your career.”

6) Practice saying no.
As the exams near completion, you will be faced with more and more invites and events that seem much more exciting than yet another study session.
“There will be time enough for fun when you’re done. While it is good to socialise a little bit during this time, just to stay in touch with the real world, the limited time you have available for studies should be jealously guarded.”

7) Stay balanced.
As always, the best counter to stress and anxiety is living a balanced, healthy life, says Dr Coughlan.
“Make time for exercise, get enough sleep, and try to keep your diet healthy and balanced,” she says.•

So You Want to Adopt a Rabbit!

Thinking of adding an “Easter Bunny” to your family? From an early age, we see those ridiculously cute faces, twitching noses, long whiskers and, in some cases, irresistible floppy ears. They are just too cute. But many people don’t realize how much it takes to properly care for a rabbit. And, as a sad result, these adorable animals are often surrendered to shelters. Rabbits truly are great pets, but before you add a bunny to your family, here are some things to consider:
Rabbits are not starter pets. As cute as a bunny can be, they need a lot more care than a goldfish does. They require daily food, weekly cage cleaning and lots of love. And kids should never have the sole responsibility of caring for rabbits.
Consider the time commitment. Most domestic rabbits can live 7-10 years. They’ll need daily exercise and time out of the cage, weekly cage cleaning and fresh hay and clean water daily.

Spay or neuter. Un-neutered male rabbits are prone to prostate cancer and un-spayed females have a 60-80 percent chance of developing ovarian, uterine or other reproductive cancers. And since we all know the phrase “multiply like rabbits,” you’d be wise to neuter and spay your rabbit–or else you could be very quickly outnumbered!
Find an “exotic” veterinarian. Rabbits are considered an “exotic” pet (as are birds, reptiles, chinchillas and ferrets), and not all veterinarians treat them. Do your research to see if there are vets near you who treat rabbits. Local animal shelters and rabbit rescue organizations can help you find one. Get yearly check-ups for your rabbit until the age of 5, and twice a year after that.
Adopt. A sad fact: Rabbits are the third-most surrendered animal to shelters. There are rabbit rescue groups across the United States, as well as rabbits waiting for homes in local shelters.

Bunny Basics
There are lots of rabbit breeds. There are about 40-50 breeds of rabbits recognized in the United States. From the smaller Netherland Dwarfs, which weigh 2 or 3 pounds, to Flemish Giants, which can top 20 pounds, rabbits come in all different shapes, sizes, fur-length and colors. Get a feel for what your family wants and call shelters and rescue units to learn about available bunnies who need good homes.
Cage-free time is a must. Rabbits should be kept in large enclosures, and if they don’t have free run of the house, they should be offered a chance to exercise for several hours every day.
Rabbits are “social butterflies.” While you might not have a Bugs or a Roger, each rabbit has his own personality. They will bond with other rabbits and cats (dogs, not so much!). Shelters will note if a bunny is an “individual,” a “couple” or a “trio” with other rabbits, so if your family falls in love with a bonded rabbit, you may want to keep the rabbit friends together.
Not all rabbits get along. Just like humans, not all rabbits can coexist. Before you get your bunny a “friend”, set up a meeting between the two on neutral ground to see if they will get along. Most shelters will offer a room to see if the two bunnies can be friends.

Rabbit Housing
Keep rabbits indoors. Every bunny deserves a nice warm place to live, and domestic rabbits should always be kept indoors, as they cannot tolerate very hot or cold temperatures. They can also become very frightened and suffer a deadly heart attack at the sight of another animal.
Make a rabbit’s home his castle. Aim to provide your rabbit with an exciting home. A multi-level cage with many areas for the rabbit to explore is a great option. You can also purchase toys, water bottles and a “cuddle cup” or a small cat bed for rabbits to sleep in.
Don’t buy cages with wire floors. Wire floors can harm rabbits’ feet–they don’t have pads on their feet like dogs and cats do.
Rabbits can be housebroken. Rabbits can be litter box trained! It takes about two months, and a corner litter box or level devoted to a “bathroom” is a good way to give a rabbit a comfortable home. Certain types of cat litter can also damage their digestive systems, so never use clumping litter, and avoid cedar or pine chips. The CareFRESH brand is a good option.

Rabbit Diet
Rabbits love hay. There are two types of hay: alfalfa and timothy.?? From 0-6 months, rabbits can have alfalfa hay; after 6 months, they should have fresh timothy hay daily.
Rabbits love fiber. Good quality rabbit pellets–18 percent fiber–are a must for a rabbit. When rabbits are young (0-6 months), they can have unlimited pellets. After 6 months, limit their intake. Ask a vet about the appropriate amount of pellets per day for your rabbit.
Leafy greens are good. Rabbits love leafy green veggies. Kale, arugula, spinach, watercress, Swiss chard, parsley and cilantro are favorites. Be careful though–watery greens, such iceberg lettuce, are dangerous to rabbits (they can cause diarrhea).
Fruits and other veggies can be treats. Dried apple slices, carrots, broccoli, celery, papaya, mango, banana slices, etc. can be given to a rabbit as a treat, but in small amounts. To see a full list of acceptable food, go here.

Rabbit Tips
Make your home un-chewable. Rabbits need to chew to keep their teeth at a comfortable length. Remove anything your rabbit might chew, especially dangerous electric wires. Go to your local hardware store and purchase electric-cord covers and PVC piping to keep wires safe.
Keep the noise down. Rabbits are naturally prey animals, so they tend to be easily frightened.?? They need peace and quiet, and don’t do well in noisy environments.
Keep the smell down. Rabbits’ cages can stink–and no bunny wants to live in a smelly environment. Keep your bunny neat and mess-free by cleaning out the cage one or two times per week.
Learn how to hold rabbits. Although some rabbits are okay with being picked up, most don’t enjoy it. If you do want to handle your rabbit, ask your veterinarian to show you–and your kids–the proper way. A rabbit will let you know if they are uncomfortable, so it’s important to watch for cues. Moreover, rabbits have very light, fragile bones. They have to be handled in a special way, and can actually break their own bones if they squirm too much.

Brush your bunny. Find a good quality brush and keep a rabbit’s fuzz in control. Brushing regularly helps remove soft and excess hair.
Create house rules. Because rabbits are fragile, you should create house rules about their handling. A good rule to start: Only family members can take a rabbit out of his cage. Or the kids cannot take the bunny out of his cage when only the babysitter is around. Not everyone loves rabbits, though. Check if your children’s friends have allergies to bunnies before they come over to play.??
Find bunny care. Rabbits need the same love that dogs and cats do. If your family is planning a vacation and leaving bunny behind, be sure to find a rabbit pet sitter to care for your rabbit. Some local farms and veterinarians will even watch bunnies during family trips, so ask members of your community.



Monday 16th November 2015
Geological Wonders of the World
The lava lake at Erta Ale in Ethiopia
Burgess Shale in British Columbia with fossils
10H00 in Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Contact : Alain Leger 044-533-2963

Tuesday 17th November 2015
Italian Conversation
10H00 at 12 Challenge Drive
Contact : Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 18th November 2015
The Royal Ballet
Two short dance pieces by Sir Frederick Ashton,
Scènes de Ballet and Les Patineurs
10H00 in Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Contact : Michael Lond 044-533-0018

Thursday 19th November 2015
U3A Out and About : The Fernery Lodge
Meet 09H30 in FGV parking area to
Depart at 10H00 to Fernery at Storms River
Booking essential with Marina Niven 044-533-2699

Friday 20th October 2015
Tai Chi Class for U3A members
09H00 to 09H45 at St Peter’s Church Hall
Contact : Jennie Anderson 044-533-0089

Friday 20th October 2015
French Conversation
10H00 at 7 Glennifer Street
Contact : Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 20th October 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Game
13H30 in FGV Small Dining Room
Contact : Amelia White 044-533-0113

6 Tips and Tricks for Camping With Dogs

Are you interested in going camping with your canine companion? Here are 6 tips and tricks that will ensure that you have a fun, safe trip!

Do you love to go camping with your family? These types of outings provide an outlet for you and your loved ones to bond while getting some exercise and fresh air. And you can make your trips even more special by bringing your canine companion along! Here’s everything you need to know about going camping with dogs.

Before you decide to bring your furry friend along with you on your next adventure, it’s important for you to consider what type of dog he is and whether or not he has the right type of personality to thrive in a campsite environment. A pet who’s well trained and has an even temperament is more likely to behave than one who’s wild and unpredictable.

If your dog tends to wander, doesn’t listen to commands or likes to chase small animals, he likely won’t be a good candidate for camping. While out on a trip, your adventurous pup might encounter a porcupine or skunk and get a nasty surprise that could require veterinary treatment.

It’s also important for you to do any necessary research on your destination before you plan a trip. “Check the rules if you want to go camping with dogs — most parks allow them at the campsite, but not on trails,” says Anthea Appel, an animal naturopath.

Here are six tips and tricks for going camping with dogs!

Make Sure Your Dog’s Vaccines Are Up to Date
Before you hit the campsite, make sure that your dog’s rabies vaccine is current, as she may meet up with a wild animal in the woods. You should also make sure your pet is taking preventative medication that protects against fleas, ticks and heartworms.

Pack the Right Supplies
In order to be on the safe side, you should pack a first aid kid when you go camping. This kit should include items such as rubbing alcohol, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, gauze and bandages. It’s also important for you to bring enough water for your whole family, including your pet. If your dog is well hydrated, he is less likely to drink from dirty puddles or other potentially contaminated sources.

When creating a packing list, you should also think about what types of activities you will be engaging in. “If you plan to go swimming and dogs are allowed in the water, a doggie life jacket may be a good idea,” adds Appel.

Check for Ticks
These nasty critters tend to land on dogs that bound through the woods, so you should get into the habit of examining your pet on a daily basis. “Check the armpits, groin, folds of skin and around the ears, and if your dog has floppy ears, lift them up and check underneath,” explains Appel. You should also comb out your dog’s coat to remove bits of dirt, burrs and other debris.

Watch Out for Plants
You should never allow your dog to gnaw on plants, as leaves and branches can pose a choking hazard. You should also watch out for mushrooms, which can potentially be highly poisonous to dogs.

Leash Your Dog
By keeping your dog on a leash during walks on the trails, you can help to protect her from plants, animals and elements that you may encounter along the way. But be sure to pack one that’s the right length! Longer leashes can potentially get wrapped around trees or bushes, which can pose a danger to you and your furry friend.

You might also consider bringing a bright orange coat or vest for your pup to wear and a loud bell for her collar. These types of items will alert other people and animals to your dog’s presence, which will help to keep her safe.

Sleep in the Same Tent
The woods can be cold, dark and scary at night, so you should be prepared to snuggle up with your furry friend at bedtime. Bigger, meaner animals, such as bears or mountain lions, may be lurking in the surrounding area, so the safest spot for your pet is right by your side. To make sure he gets a good night’s sleep, you should bring a comfortable travel bed for him as well. And don’t forget to pack a blanket if the weather is cool!