Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get from Johannesburg airport to the Hands at Work Hub?
Hands at Work is about four hours away from Johannesburg and there are various transport options depending on your budget. We would recommend finding a flight that arrives in the morning to Johannesburg so you have plenty of time to get here. If you arrive in the evening you may have to arrange an overnight stay in Johannesburg, which we may be able to help you with. We recommend that you come on the ‘Lowveld Link’ if possible as it drops you off in White River. Alternatively, you can arrive on the Citybug into Nelspruit. Or get an internal flight from Johannesburg to Kruger Airport. We can then arrange for someone to collect you. Flights from OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) to Kruger Airport (MQP) leave daily. Whilst a more expensive option, specials can be found if booked in advance. Flight time is about an hour; with the airport situated a 20 minute drive from the Hands at Work village.
Your orientation fee will cover the cost of collecting you from White River of Nelspruit.
Rental cars are also available at OR Tambo International Airport
Getting to Hands at Work from Johannesburg is not too difficult, but it would probably be good to buy a South African road atlas. Start by taking the R21 South to the N12 East. Take the N12 and merge with the N4 (about 50km on M12 before merging) towards Witbank/Middleburg. The N4 splits about an hour and a half outside Pretoria. You can take either route N4 via schoomensdal or N4 via waterval boven (many people say the schoomensdal route is quicker). You will continue to take the N4 all the way to Nelspruit. Once in Nelspruit take a left onto the R40 to go towards White River. Going through White River you must turn left to stay on the R40 and it merges with the R 538 follow the signs for Numbi Gate. Now stay on the R538. You will need to take a right to stay on the R538 (keep following the signs for Numbi Gate). You will turn right at a group of shops and restaurants called Casterbridge to stay on the R538. On the left there is a place called “Fez” and on the right there is a store called, “The Green Door.” You are almost there. Follow the R538 for about 10 KM, pass the Protea hotel n your right until you see a sign for Peebles. (this will be on your left after coming down a big step winding hill) Turn left onto Peebles (dirt road). ASM (Africa School of Missions) will be on the right. The second gate on the left is Hands Village.
Should I use traveller’s cheques?
In our experience, traveller’s cheques work out very costly so most volunteers use their bank cards in the cash points (ATM) here. Many who visit find a bank that allows low cost or free cash withdrawals, or they apply for a credit card (e.g. Capital One), that allow you free overseas use. Many people have had more success with using a bank card from a larger established banks apposed to a credit union or smaller bank.
How do I pay you for accommodation?
You will need to pay for your accommodation and other fees (e.g. transport) in cash each month. You will be given a monthly bill detailing how much you owe, and then payment can be taken to the finance office.
Do volunteers stay at Hands over Christmas, or can volunteers travel home?
Hands at Work closes its offices during the Christmas period. You are very welcome to travel home to visit relatives, but Hands at Work asks that you make us aware of where you are going and for how long.
Should I bring my laptop?
We highly recommend that you bring a laptop to Africa. For couples we recommend that you each have your own laptop as for much of the work requires use of a computer.
Are there any useful books I can read before I come?
Here are a few of our recommendations:
Community Growth by Jean Vanier
Generous Justice by Tim Keller
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Foreign to Familiar by Sarah A Lanier
28 stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolan
Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
The Wounded Healer by Henry Nouwen
The Love of Christ by Mother Teresa
Blood River by Tim Butener
When helping hurts by Corbett & Fickert
Christianity Rediscovered by Donovan
Prayer by Richard Foster
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
Life Together by Bonhoeffer
Irresistible Revolution by Shaine Claibourne
If you come up with any other good books you would recommend, please let us know!