Right here it goes; fourth day in Blanco and wow all i can say is it took me by storm! Most of the group was up and ready for half 7 but me being me i managed to sneak an extra 15 minutes of sleep until Caitlin came in acting the alarm clock of the house like she does every morning. Once everyone had got breakfast into them we were itching with excitement to get into the township and continue the work that we had previously did the last three days.
Today when we went into the township the group was getting separated into three. The first group was going to the clinic to hand out food to the people waiting to see the doctor, the second group were heading up to the park to take measurements for new climbing frames that will be put in as the old one’s had been vandalised and the third group stayed at Stella’s house helping her prepare the food for the food drop that would be done later on in the day. When we were ready to leave for the township everyone raced to the combi and when i say raced i literally mean raced all because no one wanted to be the one to sit in the boot but of course me being the nice person that I am I sat in the boot and it definitely had nothing to do with that fact that I was last to the combi.
Today when we were driving into the township the kids were sitting outside the shop waiting on us and as soon as they seen the combi’s all i could hear them shout was “bogamentas” which means white people. They chased the combi’s to Stella’s house and when we arrived outside there was also a crowd of kids waiting to see us there. Knowing that all those kids were sitting at 9 o’clock in the morning waiting to see us was just sensational, I can just about crawl out of bed in the morning for school never mind sit and wait to see people. When we got into the township I felt different than I did the previous days due to the fact that this could be our last day in the township.
Earlier that morning I was told that I would be in the group that was going to the clinic but we had to stay at Stella’s for a while to wait for the food to bring to the clinic with us. While we were waiting I hopped out of the combi and went an played a game of chasey’s with the kids because who doesn't love to play chase’s at 9 in the morning. The previous days in the township I got attached to a boy called Zaywinn who is the coolest kid ever (along with my two younger brothers of course) and when I was playing outside Stella’s house waiting for the food I was looking everywhere for him but he was no where to be seen. After playing chasie’s for a half an hour I was well an truly wrecked and the day was only beginning. When we left to go to the clinic there was still no sign of Zaywinn and thousands of different thoughts were running through my mind like where was he?, was he okay? was he sick? the list just goes on and on! I was also wondering why was i so concerned about the young boy who i had only knew for 3 days, it was as if i went into overdrive and couldn't stop thinking. Although I was so worried about not being able to see Zaywinn i tried to put it to the back of my mind and carry on with the task that my group was set.
When we arrived at the clinic we had to set up a table were we would stand to hand out the soup which Stella had prepared for us, we did this because if people have food in their system it will help keep the medicine down which will make sure that the medicine works. When we first arrived there were not many people there however, we did not let that stop us. We dished out some cartons of soup and began making our way around the clinic handing them out and also making conversation with the people who were waiting to see the doctor. As the day went on more and more people began to arrive at the clinic. I found it hard having to watch as people had to cue up all day to wait on one doctor and some people don't even get to see the doctor after waiting all day.
Once we had finished at the clinic we went back to Stella’s house were we played with the kids… but still no sign of Zaywinn. A couple of hours went by and Zaywinn’s friends had came up to Stella’s house to play, i kept asking them were was he and was he okay but none of them would answer me they just put their heads down or turned away. Later on in the day I was playing with some other kids from the township when all of a sudden someone jumped on my back and sent me flying to the ground. When I managed to get the 13 kids that had piled on top of me off, I was so shocked to see Zaywinn standing there. He ran and jumped into my arms like he had knew me his whole life and I couldn't have been happier. After spending several hours playing with him, making an edjit out of myself by trying to learn Afrikaans I took him to the side and gave him the present that I got for him. The present was a friends forever necklace, he has one half and i have the other and when they are joined together they form a heart shape, I also gave him a top and shoes which were a bit big on him but he did not have a care in the world he was just so happy to have been getting presents. Seeing him happy put a smile from ear to ear on my face as I knew that i had did something so little but it would changed that little boys life forever.
When it was time for us to go home Zaywinn did not want me to leave, he threw his arms around me and begged me not to go. Once I explained to him that I had to go home to my family but I would be back again one day to see him, he gave me the biggest hug I've ever had in my life he squeezed me so hard i actually think I stopped breathing for a second or two. He then told me that he would miss me so much and would never ever forget me. Seeing him walk away from the combi with the biggest smile ever made me happy knowing that I put that smile there but i couldn't cope with the fact that I may never see him again and began to cry. I cried the whole way home but the support from my group was amazing, they told me not to worry that I would be back again to see him and that I’ve changed his life for the better. Although they are all melters I honestly don't know what I would do without them they are my second family.
Later that night we had a barbecue and Ermin joined us in our debrief to tell us his story about his life and him growing up in Blanco. I could not believe what he had told us, it was just crazy to think that anyone could live a life like he did but still manage to get back on track and do well for himself and his family. He also talked about how grateful he was for us being here and helping out the people of Blanco. He said “you are like angels sent here from God to help the people of Blanco”. I was completely mind blown when i heard those words come from his mouth, to think that people see us as angels just for simply helping with their basic needs and interacting with children is just wow!!
For the second night in a row tears were shed by almost everyone in the group during the debrief session but like I said the groups support for each other was second to none. Just seeing and hearing how much this trip has benefited this group as individuals and also as a whole is outstanding and I know I am so lucky to be a part of it. I honestly cannot put it into words how amazing this place actually is……
All I can say is it’s paradise.