#B2B2016: Lewis Beattie Blog

Our First Day In Blanco.

WOW is an understatement. It all started off with getting woke up this morning by Vic having the tunes playing, and just as I woke up when the tune I’ve been saying to Ethan, Ciaran and Paddy about was playing and from that moment waking up in our beds for the first time and knowing we were going to the township today just had me ready to go from the get-go. So that was me up went in got showered and ready, then went back in to our room and you could just feel the buzz going about we all just really knew it was our time to do what we've wanted to do for so long.

Once everyone was ready we had Pierre up to take us for a few games, at the start we thought these were just we silly games to pass time but, really Pierre had a method and reason for all these. All the games we played were to open our minds so we are able to look outside the box and move above a problem or situation to solve it, but he made it easier for us to think about this by using fun games which got all of the group involved.

Just watching the group and talking to everyone made me think that everyone is not just excited to go to the township, but now that its real it has given everyone a new sense of motivation to do our best and to let any problem or situation get in our way whilst were there but to just give it our all.

So finally after all the games and all the waiting about, we went out and got into combis and drove to the Blanco township, the drive made me feel a lot of different emotions as i could see the rest of the group were nervous and none of us knowing what to expect, but also i knew everyone was raring to go into the townships after a year of anticipation. We were all just exchanging our views about what we were thinking what it would be like and how the kids and people of the township would react to us. On the drive to the township we were waving out the windows to people and every single person waved back with a massive smile on their face things like that just gave me a sense of inspiration to put the same smiles on the faces of the people in the township.

We now pulled up outside Stella’s where we met Henry and as soon as I got out of the combi I was over-whelmed with the views of the township, we got out and there was just about 6 kids in the street, all the group was looking around and interacting with them. I saw 3 kids in Stella’s front garden so I decided to go over and talk to them. I started talking to a kid called Waldo, he started trying to explain the game to me that they were playing. They were playing marbles with 2 marbles between the 3 of them so they were taking go’s each between them. You could actually hear the fun they were having, all the giggles and screams of them when they were hitting each others marbles but to even see this type of fun they were having whilst these kids are sitting, one with no shoes on and all 3 of them with ripped and dirty clothes was crazy. To see this then think about kids back home running about glued to their iPhones just shows how much of a difference there really is out here. So we stayed about here for a while then more kids started to come round, I was standing talking to Henry then he went in and got his grandson Anno, he was only up and still very tired so I lifted him up into my arms and shortly before we were leaving for the park I asked him about coming with us which defiantly woke him up haha, he just got so excited. So i started walking to the park with him still in my arms and I just looked back and saw the 6 kids who was in the street at the start with us had now turned into about 20 walking to the park. On the way to the park everyone was just having crack with, I still had we Anno in my arms tickling him and lifting my cap on and off his head and he was full of smiles and laughs. I cant even put in to words that something as small as this gave me so many feelings and emotions that i couldn't even say or do anything except for smile, I actually cant even remember anything at that moment of the day except for his face smiling everything else at that point is just a blur.

We got to the park and there was just kids coming from all angles, they were just so happy and so enthusiastic to be lifted and play games with. The whole group was just taken away by this, straight away it just clicked with all of us that its time to do what we've been wanting to do for so long. We all started off by splitting up around the park with different groups of kids, playing games and just doing things that made them smile. For me a simple thing like lifting a kid and giving them a hug and seeing how happy this made them, just made me realise that giving your time to someone is free but so precious as tomorrow is promised to no one. I had Anno over with me at a tree, sitting throwing acorns as he was loving life doing it then I showed him my phone and pictures and he got onto snapchat and wouldn't stop taking photos of himself haha. Another 2 came over, Foley and Rivaldo they were loving the snapchat to. All of our time at the park was just fun filled and was just so positive, everyone was so happy and couldn't wipe the smile of my face. This is what this is all about.

Our drive back Dynsey decided for chilled tunes to be played and everyone to think about our first experience in the township, without even talking to each other I could see in everyones faces so much emotion. It was truly breath taking. I was just so happy that everything went so good and all of the kids were so quick to interact with us, but at the same time I was feeling sad about when we were leaving the kids just didn't want us to as they were having so much fun with us.

Once we were back we went to a local park, Pierre took our group and played a few kids games like British Bulldog and Stick in the mud for us to wind down and to relax after our day at the township, we had great crack and everyone got involved. After this we went home got dinner then went to the mall for about an hour to chill and go for a milkshake and get in touch with our families.

Once we were back to the house we had our debrief just hearing all of the groups different experiences and feelings about our first day in the township was unreal, us as a group being as close as it is you could hear when each person was talking that they were not holding back and just saying what was on their mind. What was even better was that we started talking about the experiences and the kids were mixing in with each others stories and just meant so much to each member of the group.

The World Doesn't Stop For No one But We Can - Lewis Beattie

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