Jo’s work was more than ‘just work’ during her Urban Greening Internship in Cape Town
How do I start without exaggerating? Well, I can simply say that I had the greatest time of my life during my internship in Cape Town.
When I applied for my internship, I never imagined it would have shaped my life so enormously, but it certainly did. Only two years ago, I could not have pictured myself being able to say that I would be part of a two-weekend festival (red: Platbos Reforest Fest) planting 8,000 trees. Nor by the time I turned 19 to have worked in a tree and vegetable nursery. Never imagining I could identify some of South Africa’s indigenous trees and actually say “Yes I know how to plant a tree”.
My switch to the Urban Greening Internship
And here I am, proving myself wrong. I came to Greenpop as a Horticulture intern [ed: Greenpop no longer offers a Horticulture internship], and while I enjoyed working there I saw my strengths more in working with people so switched to the urban greening program. Some of my tasks there included preparing plant days, monitoring older planting sites, and research on gardening/planting methods. Of course, I also participated in many of our plant days. Coming straight out of High School, I did not have any experience in this area, so I was able to obtain loads of new exciting information. My supervisors made my time extra special with trusting in me and my work, ice-bucket challenges and always being great support (even still now).
Sometimes I still catch myself walking around a city analyzing planting methods or seeing if I can identify any of the plants around me. My work was more than just work. It was children’s laughter, adults dancing, getting your hands dirty, many beautiful trees and most importantly, it felt like home.