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South Africa disc golf Options
L_Stephens
Posted: Monday, September 01, 2008 9:43:53 PM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 7/6/2008
Posts: 437
Every year, the last two weeks of December I get paid holiday from work.  Last year this allowed me to play disc golf in Alabama and visit my family in Georgia as well as friends in Florida.  This year my sister has decided that she has been too blessed, life was too easy for her...seems she forgot about the misery, failures, and disappointments on the way to success....and she has decided that her new mission is to move to South Africa with my 13 yr old niece and put shoes on the soles of children and help enrich the souls in their hearts.  I applaud her for making such a monumentous decision but I'm pretty sceptical of helping people that have a history of not helping themselves...you can stop your ranting about that statement now.

We've shown these people how to dig wells, grow crops, reduce the spread of HIV, and try to instill in them a moral fiber that has yet to take hold.  Every decade violence erupts and millions are dead in sensless violence in an orgy of evil and always blamed on religious or ethnic cleansing.  My heart is pretty hard against these folks.  HOWEVER, in South Africa there are millions...waves and waves of displaced children that have no blame or fault in the sins of their parents.  They come across the border and  fed, given medical attention, clothed, educated and hopefully one day will lead their people in what is right and just.

So...as you can see...I'm going there with a very closed mind about one issue...and a very warm heart about the children.  I thought maybe I could take some blue prints I got from discraft and make workable baskets...take a few discs and show the kids a sport that anyone can learn.  Instill in them the virtue of DiscGolf that to help a direct competitor to become better is a major part of our game.  A game that creates non-violent competition.  That can help them deal with frustration and over come adversity to become better.  A game that can take their minds off the horrors of what they have witnessed at such an early age in life....hopefully a game that can help heal those wounds.

I'm not on here asking for support.  Baskets would be too costly to transport when I can make them there.  Any kid that argues that a Titan should be legal due to Inside Demensions and are far supperior to Chainstars will most likely get a teary-eyed hug...not a debate.  I don't need financial support...and don't even need emotional support...I just wanted a pubilc forum to get something off my chest that I've been holding in for a while. I don't know how I'm going to react once I get there.  The last time I was on that continent  was under different circumstances and a different mission.  I still don't trust anyone over 16 there...but the little kids may break my heart and shatter a wall I've built up for decades.
frizgolf
Posted: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 5:35:48 PM
Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 5/17/2003
Posts: 221
If you do build baskets, I wonder if you could make them out of durable but less valuable materials so they won't be stolen... or is that even a concern...
Good luck. I hope the trip goes well.
STEVO
Posted: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 8:50:39 AM
Rank: Veteran

Joined: 3/10/2003
Posts: 228
Take pictures, Lee!
Micah
Posted: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 4:15:01 PM

Rank: Tree Hukker

Joined: 7/11/2008
Posts: 24
Location: Harrison, OH
wow lee that is so cool dude , i wish that i colud help you out on this . it sound s like a good trip and a good time . if you need some more disc s let me know i have some that are just sittin around doin nothin . good luck and have fun man ! ! !
L_Stephens
Posted: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 11:41:23 PM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 7/6/2008
Posts: 437
Micah wrote:
wow lee that is so cool dude , i wish that i colud help you out on this . it sound s like a good trip and a good time . if you need some more disc s let me know i have some that are just sittin around doin nothin . good luck and have fun man ! ! !


You can go instead of me...just have someone doctor my Passport...I don't think you understand how little I want to go on this trip.
Micah
Posted: Thursday, September 04, 2008 4:41:59 PM

Rank: Tree Hukker

Joined: 7/11/2008
Posts: 24
Location: Harrison, OH
lol well i don t know if i would go , first off i don t have any money and i don t have any more time off from work . and why don t you want to go , you are goin to be teachin how to play disc golf . so you are basically goin to be playin golf the hole time lol .
maxpichulik
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 10:23:02 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/21/2008
Posts: 2
oh my gosh == Lee. you are seriously an ignorant N American Hick ... For someone who seems to know absolutely nothing about Africa - South Africa or Social Development in Emerging Markets, those comments are seriously flawed and simple (McCain style) for a subject matter which is so complex, so entrenched and long lasting - your ignorance actually blew me off my seat. It seems the extent of your social development or environmental preservation knowledge is bound to baking cookies for the local church or planting a tree next to your picket fence ...

We'll (South Africans) will definitely make a mental note that you are NOT invited to one of our weekly games -- in fact I will personally send that message to the relatively small Disc golf community (in Johannesburg and Cape Town) to ensure it ...

Kind Regards
Max

13ruce-1337
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 11:49:04 AM

Rank: Veteran

Joined: 2/16/2008
Posts: 199
Hey Max, I think the point Lee was making was he is visiting the underdeveloped less fortunate areas as his sister is there in a humanitarian context. That being said, where do you get off flaming him for trying to spread the joys of disc golf. P.S. We get south Africans to plant our trees for us here in the States...
discndat
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 11:56:27 AM

Rank: Expert

Joined: 3/1/2003
Posts: 1,550
Max Max, a guy gets on here and admits his own inner struggles yet is willing to go there and offer his support and then you get on here and blow him up. Not good, no matter what your political or social views.
perica
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2:41:37 PM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 9/18/2005
Posts: 370
Location: Where it puts the lotion on its skin
maxpichulik wrote:
oh my gosh == Lee. you are seriously an ignorant N American Hick ...


takes one to know one i guess
mikesech
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 3:30:22 PM

Rank: Veteran

Joined: 6/4/2007
Posts: 152
Location: Fairfield Ohio/on the discgolf course
you do know disc golf is (WORLDWIDE)so they have just as much reason to play disc golf as us and you should also think about other people too they did nothing to you for you to dog them like that maybe they think the same about you MAX so THINK ABOUT SOMETHING BEFORE YOU SAY IT you should give lee credit for thinking about some one else you don't have to be jealous hes a nice guy. good job lee


L_Stephens
Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 12:02:54 AM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 7/6/2008
Posts: 437
whatever...I'll just ignore this person.

As for where I'll be...I will be far away from civilization...whatever your interpretation of civilization is...I'll be far away from it....hmm.. as far as being an ignorant north american hick...atleast I wasn't called me a yankee. I'm not going to a 'developing market'...I'm going to a place that will put a tear on the face of even the most unsympathetic heartless person. I'll be seeing children everywhere with snow white hair because they were malnurished for many months before they arrived at the holding areas. Where children laugh and play and no parents anywhere because of fathers being killed in war and mothers dying with aids.

Call me selfish..but I'll go on a 'vacation' and come back in a depression. I've been to your continent before and I'm appalled at what man can do to themselves...then again I'm appalled at what we do to ourselves in Cincy every day in the most spoiled and wonderful country in the world.

I could go on for hours..but I'll just shut up...go to sleep...and go to Idlewild in the morning and try to lose myself again like I do almost everyday.
zac
Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 9:16:53 AM
Rank: Regular

Joined: 6/18/2008
Posts: 63
open forums guys,.. if lee has the right to voice his opinion, so does this south african gentleman. i would be careful to to get too defensive, or offensive ("P.S. We get south Africans to plant our trees for us here in the States...") due to the fact that in some perspectives these are most likely racist comments. sure, speak your minds... but be aware of what you're actually saying.

Micah
Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 10:36:42 AM

Rank: Tree Hukker

Joined: 7/11/2008
Posts: 24
Location: Harrison, OH
well i haven t been on here for about a mouth and dang have i missed a lot . but most of the peolpe in here are right . lee is a good man and he is speckin his mind and sayin that he does look at this the wrong way and that he is goin to look pass it and try to bring something new to this kid s live s . now is that a bad thing to say or do cause if so than this max guy is lookin at life in the wrong way . and as zac said this are open forum s for people aka disc golfer s ( that would be all of us ) so we can speck are mind s on here . but if you want to get mad about it than get mad but you don t need to lash back at one guy for what he said .

so now that everyone has said what they needed to say and got there pant s in a bunch let s go out and play some disc golf and lose the anger and be frend s again =}

have a great day
Joshua
andersab
Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 11:10:56 AM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 5/22/2006
Posts: 692
Location: in the chains
zac wrote:
open forums guys,.. if lee has the right to voice his opinion, so does this south african gentleman. i would be careful to to get too defensive, or offensive ("P.S. We get south Africans to plant our trees for us here in the States...") due to the fact that in some perspectives these are most likely racist comments. sure, speak your minds... but be aware of what you're actually saying.

Finally, someone with sense.
13ruce-1337
Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 1:28:36 PM

Rank: Veteran

Joined: 2/16/2008
Posts: 199
i give up zac you win


maxpichulik
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008 3:26:31 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/21/2008
Posts: 2
Ok Everyone ... I work everyday in development in South Africa and Africa ... i don't appreciate these comments about South Africa because THEY ARE NOT TRUE

'I'm pretty sceptical of helping people that have a history of not helping themselves' (have you no idea about the history and struggle which ensued in S Africa)
'Every decade violence erupts and millions are dead in sensless violence in an orgy of evil and always blamed on religious or ethnic cleansing' (crap)
'Where children laugh and play and no parents anywhere because of fathers being killed in war' (what war?)
'You can go instead of me...just have someone doctor my Passport...I don't think you understand how little I want to go on this trip' (then don't go)

Its very irresponsible and ignorant to make such comments -- and shows very little knowledge of South Africa. I don't deny you might be a great guy - but if you're coming to our country - best you shape up your attitude, bring positive energy here and make a difference - and more importantly, get to understand the issues at a deep level if you hope to have any real impact on the ground. Bad mouthing South Africa after all the effort its people over decades have put into it - to make it one of the only real success stories in Africa, does not give any justice to us who work on the ground. (NB The grass might only seem greener in the US because people made it so - come do that here instead - far more aspirational)

-- The sufferings of the African continent (for example the Congo - are largely caused by Europeans - Belgians specifically, and the Americans - The Gov and CIA during Mobutu's era -- in widespread ethnic cleansing and economic pilfering and ivory/rubber) have a widespread history which started during imperialism and continues through independence of these countries.

Much of the ills of Africa have been co-created by minority dictators put in power by European and American counterparts and now with increased pressure from countries like China who are looking for cheap resources and seek to secure their energy (oil) supplies ... In developing countries it is always the majority who suffer in poverty and struggle to help themselves as they are badly equiped/educated to do so ... and its always a corrupt minority kept in place by the powers that be to maintain their own agenda (usually very cheap resources).

Ok -- i'm over this type of talk -- i do hope that the bad mouthing can stop now ...



DanH
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008 6:38:09 AM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 4/4/2006
Posts: 515
Location: Lebanon, OH
I have Ninja edited my message shortly after posting.  I'll just say this instead:  For those who want to learn more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_africa

And now back to disc golf.

discndat
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008 6:45:27 AM

Rank: Expert

Joined: 3/1/2003
Posts: 1,550
I'd just like to know a little about disc golf. Do you play Max? Do you have courses with baskets there? What's your favorite disc? Where do you get your discs? Do you have any tournaments? Thanks
DylanWallett
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:21:19 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/23/2008
Posts: 1
Hey Guys
I am a South African and play Disc Golf with Max. Max works for an NGO helping small companies get off their feet due to lack of various resources. He is in the fore front of helping "dig those wells, grow crops, reduce the spread of HIV, and try to instill in them a moral fiber." Rightly so - Max felt offended by the accusations made out of ignorance.

South Africa has an amazing history. In 1994 we went through a transition of a very unfair white regime called appartheid into a free Democratic Republic. It was beautifully peaceful and completely beating the odds. Nelson Mandela freed the Black people from oppression and freed the white people from a terrible guilt we had to endure due to a terrible apparteid government. There were two wars in South Africa: one in the mid 1800s British against Zulu people and the other was Dutch against British which ended in 1899. Very similar to your civil war. There has never been ethnic cleaning or any religious war in South Africa

This forum was spread around the disc golf community as a complete shock - Everything that Lee wrote was completely misinformed. The people in the rural lands are very poor but still hold onto a rich culture that is taught - generation to generation. They are a proud people, a happy people and a people instilled with more moral fibre I have ever seen in any 1st world country. South Africa is a mix of many different groups of people but we are all South African and proudly South African.

The problems in South Africa are so complex and so sensitive, it takes professionals a life time to get it right and sometimes even then don't. People like Max are trying to empower people and make sure they don't develop a spirit of "taking" and entitlement. Lee - if you want to give people baskets and disks try and make them earn it: Get them to help in there parents gardens for example - Make them feel ownership and appriciation over your gifts. Don't give rural children sweets rather give them fruit. They don't brush their teath like you and me.

Disk Golf in South Africa held it's first tourniment two weeks ago. There were 11 people from all over the country. We import our disks from the States and use marked trees, not baskets.

Our main focus is ultimate. We work together with a government organisation called "Love Life" They took ultimate on because they loved the idea of a self regulating game that instilled a sense of sportsmanship.

I hope this has helped a little. Let me know if you have any questions

Thanks
andersab
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:47:24 AM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 5/22/2006
Posts: 692
Location: in the chains
You know what is cool, our disc golf site has gone global
computer
bobherb
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2008 11:58:10 AM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 8/10/2004
Posts: 449
It seems we ALL have a lot to learn.
Max and Dylan, thanks for the time and effort you have taken to describe another part of the world to us.
We have some places in the U.S. (Appalachia) that could benefit from the "empowering" principle you wrote about:

"The problems in South Africa are so complex and so sensitive, it takes professionals a life time to get it right and sometimes even then don't. People like Max are trying to empower people and make sure they don't develop a spirit of "taking" and entitlement. Lee - if you want to give people baskets and disks try and make them earn it: Get them to help in there parents gardens for example - Make them feel ownership and appreciation over your gifts. Don't give rural children sweets rather give them fruit. They don't brush their teeth like you and me.

Changing our minds is not an easy thing to do, but you two are obviously helping folks in a very positive way, and providing good examples for others.
Thanks again...

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