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Meet the techies: Nita

She’s flown in a two person plane over the sea, went down a Breë River rapid eyes closed and occasionally she catches a tuna. One of these days a hot air balloon ride, jumping out of a plane and riding on an elephant’s back, will be added to that list. To imply Nita de Lange loves a challenge and likes to keep busy would be somewhat of an understatement.

When her feet are planted firmly on the ground, she’s responsible for project coordination, administration and financing of KKW requests and NIMs (repairing and fixing network points, etc.) During these processes she works closely with Facilities Management, external contractors and the network infrastructure team at IT.

nita“Project management is already part of my personal life, that’s why I try and do so many things. It’s also my passion to help other people, tackle projects and be able to make a success of it.” She also completed USB’s Project management course in October.

Thirteen years of experience in banking comes in handy when managing two properties in Gordon’s Bay. This, and the financial experience she gained during the two years she worked for a Home owners Association, led to her position as chairman of their Body Corporate. Even renting and managing property has its challenges, but for Nita this means exposure to a whole different area and she sees it as a positive experience.

“Do something for someone who can’t do anything for you.”

Last year Nita became involved with Die Ark in Faure, a charity organisation looking after approximately 1000 needy people, the homeless, the jobless, drug addicts and prostitutes. Even though it’s existed for 20 years, it’s always in need of help.

Initially she helped collecting Christmas presents for the 200 children living here. However, she soon realised she’d like to become involved on a more long term basis. she also realised it would be more than she can handle on her own and got 6 other people, Cheryl Cornelissen, Gareth Cornelissen, Terence Pietersen, At van Hout, Marijhan Hendriks,  Elma Titus, Michelle Pietersen and Petro Uys involved. Together they would like to try and improve Ark residents’ conditions and future and make a difference in the community. The project is a registered Matie Community Service Project and Nita’s also currently doing a course in Community Interaction  – something which inspires her even more.

During a 4 year stay in New Zealand she learnt to stay humble. Whether you sweep streets or have your own business, over there, everyone’s the same and your treat each other with respect. “Never think you’re better than anyone else.”

During this time in Auckland, also known as the City of Sails, she gained valuable experience in banking, but also learnt a lot about herself and how to be independent. But she also developed a love for the ocean. It was here, in a city with beautiful beaches and a culture of sailing and fishing, where she got hooked.

“You don’t mess with the ocean.”

The ocean teaches you a lot and you have to respect it. She’s been in many dangerous situations, among others, one where they struggled to find their way back to land due to a GPS that hasn’t been programmed yet. But she’s also been at sea for 13 hours straight. It’s a good thing she doesn’t get seasick.

Tuna and galjoen are quite common, but nowadays fish is becoming scarcer and a Fish Finder is necessary so you don’t aimlessly float around on the ocean. Turtles, sharks and even dolphins sometime accompany the boats – an experience far from her upbringing in Alberton. .

“I love living close to nature.”

And since South Africa has so many beautiful places, camping is the ideal hobby. “By traveling and seeing other places and cultures, one can learn so much about people and their habits.” The Breë River white-water rafting was a different and scarier learning experience – probably because she can’t swim.

At the safer end of the hobby spectrum, you’ll find dancing, tropical fish, bonsais and herbs. Bruno, a strong and clever border-collie and husky cross is a full time training project. One can safely say, she has more than enough to keep her busy.

If you’d like to know more about DIE ARK project, contact Nita at nita@sun.ac.za. More information will also be available soon on IT’s Community Interaction website.

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