#B2B2015: Laura Donnelly Blog


This place is just amazing! Its so hard trying to put it into words but here goes. So today is our last day and well be flying home in the morning, I’m filled with so many mixed emotions between being sad, happy, proud and excited. Im sad that the trip is over and the group has to come to an end but it has been a life changing experience with so much to learn and take from it. Without the hard work and detication from the group we wouldn't of had the chance to be here and I’m proud of the hard work and the impact myself and the team have had on the Blanco community. I’m excited to see what the future holds because as a wise man once said (Pierre) “This is a small piece of a bigger picture” and this is only the start.

So today to end our trip the group got up early and went shopping and then to a community centre which took forever to find. We were mixed with different schools and found out more about their backgrounds. After driving for nearly an hour we finally found the place and got started straight away. Doing this i found out about a school that has over 600 people who are split into 15 shipping containers that are used as classrooms and the only access to resources they have is books everything else they have to get themselves. they have no access to a playground or computers. I found out that the school have protested against the education board and police got involved which resulted in people loosing their lives. Seeing how much they wanted a proper school and how much they are willing to fight for it to happen makes me appreciate what i have because i am very lucky to be given an education. Tonight was our last debrief we sat around the pool with candles lit and had a BBQ it just felt amazing and was the perfect way to end it.

When we first arrived in Blanco we went to the church. Everyone was singing and dancing and the place was just buzzing. The minute you were there you just got that welcoming feeling. The next day was our first day in the township i was anxious and nervous because i didn't know what to expect but i couldn't wait to get started. Listening to stories from last years group i kind of had a picture painted in my head and what i saw was the complete opposite. It was nothing like i ever imagined. When we got there we went to Stellas house to find out what we were doing and then we went to the park. When we got their there were only a few kids and the all came running as soon as they saw us it was that feeling of acceptance and welcoming again. The rest of the days involved fixing the park, building a fence, food drops and just interacting with the kids.

The food drop for me has been one of the eye openers of the trip. Walking trough the township and into the peoples homes really give me an insight to the poverty and the conditions these people are living in. At first i held back and tried to avoid doing the food drop because i didn't know what i would say or how i would react but i pushed myself to do it and I'm glad i did. Seeing how grateful and how much the people appreciate some soup and bread was crazy. I am a very ungrateful person and i think this is something i needed, I'm always comparing what i have to the people that have more and not the people that don't even have the basic needs like food and water.

I got close to a boy called Zegan. He was the only child that didn't care about sweets or toys he just liked the thought of someone spending time with him, which i did. When i first seen him i saw a drained and tired look in his eyes. I kept asking everyone does he look sick or hungry. i was really worried. I just spent time with him and gave him the love and affection that he wasn't getting at home. After spending half and hour with him he fell asleep in my arms for two hours. I couldn't believe that a child i just met just fell asleep on me like that. The rest of the days in the township i noticed that he was isolated from all the kids and was never getting involved. I went and found out more about Zegan. I found out that his mum is an alcoholic and he doesn't get any sleep at night because she is always up drinking. It is obvious that he isn't getting the attention he needs at home so i spent all the time i could with him. On Tuesday our last day in Blanco i got to spend time with Zegan again. He was like a different person he was just so happy and i actually heard him talk which i never thought he could. It makes me feel good about myself because i feel like I've had a huge impact on him and gave him the attention he wanted.

Im so proud of the team and i couldn't of shared this experience with a better bunch of people. They all shown so much potential and achieved everything they had set out to achieve and more. The support from the group was unbelievable. They are my second family. I appreciate everything the staff did for me throughout the whole year. My confidence has grown more than i ever imagined and that is because of the staff pushing me and helping me challenge myself. i am so thankful for the experience and have gained so much from it. B2B15

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

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