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#B2B2015: Conor McLaughlin Blog


Day Four

Third day in Blanco; what a day it has been. It was filled with plenty of ups and downs and was also very emotional. We were all up and ready for 9.00am and with some of Pierre’s finest chocolate croissants today was already a good day. The group were feeling a lot more comfortable going into the township this morning and me personally, i was buzzing to get in and build on what we have been working on these past couple of days.

As soon as we got into the Combi everyone was raring to go because of the two amazing days we have had prior to today. When we got into the township today there wasn't as many kids as there had been previously due to a lot of them being in school. I was feeling a lot more comfortable today compared to how i was feeling the first day when my stomach was doing somersaults. My third day in this special place and it already felt like home, from the kids calling my name every time they seen me to everyone making you feel so welcome the place really touched my heart. What the group had to do today was to go and hand out bags of food to the people within the township who need it most, the bags contained, bread, 2 onions, a bag of apples and 5 potatoes and these people were so grateful and appreciated it so much for what we would think is so little. I was excited because it was a new challenge and it was a chance to try something that made me come out of my comfort zone. The first house that we delivered to just broke my heart, it was an elderly women with only one leg and she was very sick as soon as we walked into the garden you could just smell something really bad and that was the bucket of urine that was sitting by the side of the women’s bed. We were told that this women’s family neglected her and never really cared about her and for us to just call in and check on her and give her this bag of food made her feel like she was someone and made her so thankful. This made me think about my Granda back home and it just made me realise how lucky i am to actually have such an inspirational person like my Granda in my life.Throughout these past 3 days there has been many thoughts and feelings running through my head, how can anyone live like the way the people of Blanco actually live.

The second part of the day we just played with all the kids up in the field, they were all just running about going mad and at one stage i think i had about 6 kids hanging onto me. Apart from the big squad that follow me shouting ‘Conor Conor’ every time they see me, from the first day i built a good relationship with a we boy called Brooklyn. He's from the township and the first day i seen him he was by himself with no shoes on, he came up to me and said ‘you get me T-shirt and shoes’ i couldn't believe that any kid could walk about in all that dirt and glass with no shoes on. This was a tough situation for myself because i didn't have any thing to give him but i promised that i will bring him some shoes and a t shirt before i leave. When i first met Brooklyn i didn't think that he went to school because he was in the park from 9 in the morning right until we left the township but today i seen Brooklyn at his house with his mummy in his school uniform. Its mad to say that i felt proud and was so happy to see that, even though i didn't even know this boy.

Tonights debrief was a lot different than the debriefs have been previously. Due to what we experienced in the township today with the food drop, tonights debrief was very emotional. The group opened up a lot tonight and that goes to show that the we all trust each other and it also showed that we were all there for each other when times got tough. Some people talk about their feelings of the township, others were more personal - which people in the group didn't know about but other members of the team connected with aswell. The team have came so far together and the support, trust and communication between us all has grown stronger and made us come together. We are all #B2B2015 FAMILY!!!

Africa has lived up to all expectations and more, it is still only the beginning. I’ve learned a lot more about myself and who I really am as a person and also that if I put my mind to something i can actually achieve remarkable things. The only thing holding you back from doing something is yourself and out here in Africa there is no time for holding back you just need to give it your all because you don't want to be going home with any regrets. Being able to just put a smile on peoples faces as well as them putting a smile on my face is a feeling i don't think anyone is able to describe. A quote that Pierre told us on the first day is a quote from Gary Player ‘The more i practice the luckier I get’ What he was trying to say is, to make a change in your life you have to keep practising because if you don't continue to use your skills and qualities when you are back home you are not going to be benefiting yourself. This is only the start of a life changing experience and i can't wait to give it my all for the rest of the trip.

‘People don’t decide their future, they decide their habits and their habits decide their future’.


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