#B2B2016: Ethan Hollyoak Blog

“Your not doing nothing special but theres something special about what your doing”

Our third day in Blanco completely blew me away. Things like this will stay with me forever and never leave my side day in and day out. It is just a special place without a doubt. I am so glad I have been giving this opportunity and to be honest, everyday I have been grabbing it with both hands, putting everything in and getting everything I want out of it. The experiences I have heard does not near compare to mine and i’m sure every person in the team will agree. I just can’t put the place into words as it is just special in every single way possible. Every person in this township is so happy and I just cant figure out why. Theres always people greeting you and trying to make conversation with you to see why you are here helping these townships and no one else’s. They are trying to find out some things about Blanco from our perspective and what wee think of the place they live in. Getting up every morning when you no you are going into the township makes you feel buzzing as you cant wait to get in and help the young children and also the older children around 15-19. These people are making a massive impact on our whole groups lives and they think we are only making an impact on theirs.

We arrived in Pierre’s on Thursday night quite late around 11pm. Everyone was completely busted after near enough 2 days of travelling. We done a short de-breif on how we were felling about going into the township on Friday morning. Dynsey, Joe and Vic set us a challenge on goals we want to achieve which were, short term goal, personal goal and also an achievement we have made in our lives. After we did this everyone kind of got tired and shot to bed. It was me, Beattie, Ciaran and The Big Bad Ham (Hammy) in a room and as you would know that boyo hammy had us up to all sorts of hours doing his usual antics he normally does.

The next morning finally came and we went into the township a bit late around 10:30am. The whole team was up from just shortly after 8:30 discussing our feelings and thoughts about how this was going to be some of these were nervous, excited, scared and buzzing. I kind of had a bit of confidence about me the whole morning on what i was going to do when i got of the combi. We seen the poverty kind to chance while 2 minutes away from Blanco. We all seen the sign welcome to Blanco and words were coming out of peoples mouth like ‘what are we going to do here’. We then arrived at Stella’s and Henry’s house were they live of course. i seen three kids sitting on the curb outside and the whole group got out of the combi and kind of went there own ways to take it all in. Me being me i went over to the children who were around 4-5. i kind of tried to start a conversation with them and only one was really speaking and he was called Cobi. The three names were Darran, Cobi and Ghano. Darren couldn't speak english, Ghano was very very shy but Darran but Cobi were straight forward and telling us things they were saying about us while sniggering to each other. I just tipped Cobi and kind of said your on and then he tipped one of his friends and i started a game of chases between us four. The group was kind of watching me and i felt really proud of as i set myself the goal to get stuck in as soon as we hit the township and theres no doubt i done this. The 3 lads soon came out of there shell and they had me running about after them for half an hour trying to get my hat.

The little man Darran was stuck to my hip the whole day and kept hugging me and wouldn't leave my side. So i kind of let it happen and ran with it. He was trying to speak to me and he couldn't speak English and it was annoying me so much the whole day i couldn't get him out of my head the whole day wondering what he was saying and stuff. I spoke about it in my first de brief that night and it was really annoying what he was saying and he cant really understand much english also so it was kind of hard the whole day. I stuck by him and carried him the whole time on the first day and he didn't leave my side the whole day. More things were also going through my head such as will i see this kid again? ii was hoping yes as i definitely bonded with this wee man.

Talking to my group about their first day and how they all loved it was a inspiratiuon. i loved that my team noticed how good i was on the first day. I felt really privileged to have seen my team in action as they were an inspiration. They were just so positive the whole day, true leaders.

Monday 21st was also a great day in Blanco were we had to do somethings different instead of being with the kids 24/7 we had to help clean and cut henrys garden and also paint inside his container (house). This day was another day full of good vibes with the group putting 100% effort in as per usual. Half of the group was digging the garden and i was involved in that I met a young man called wesley. He was helping us rip up the garden and he was amazing on what he was doing, he was showing us the ins and outs of how to rip up a garden and it was just amazing. Me and Dee were talking to him for a brave while and his friend came called Denzo and we were giving each other a bit of stick, me and dee against them two and it was just unreal and you cant describe how funny this was no joke haha. After the stick was handed out they said they would beat us in a fight so me and Dee just looked at each other and just said lets go basically at the same time. We took a victory no doubt haha

our Third day..

I was up from just after 7 ready to go again. I was so buzzing to get back out to the township as i love being there and it is just going to end very soon and we might not ever get the chance to go there again. The township means so much to me and has been answering the questions in my head that i could never answer myself back home. My third day i had a lot of learning still to do i wanted to find out more about little Darran’s background. I was trying to get round all the kids also and build new relationships with them while having Darran on my shoulders or in my arms. Hes so jealous of me being round other kids and kind of stands on his own like he normal does to i give him my attention again.

We had to do two runs to Blanco as pierre had one of our combi’s and we focus only had one. I was straight out the door and right into the first Combi because i hate waiting on things i want to do. I couldn't wait to go and get started with the children and young adults. The thing that i have noticed is you must take everyday as it comes because these days are coming to quick and it feels like they are just running past you day in and day out.

We arrived and all the children were running behind the combi to Stellas as they seen us come. It makes you feel like you are famous to these kids. They love you with every single thing possible. We got of the combi and i was kind of looking about for my wee mate and i couldn't really see him anywhere. But at some point i knew he would show up anyway during some point of the day.

The group got split into two and one group had to go to the Clinic and feed the people who need to be taking their medication. These people are taking their medication and just throwing it back up later that day or night again because they have an empty stomach. My group went to the park and done some cleaning up with the rubbish and all the glass everywhere. we tried our best. Me Decky, Dee and Ham went over to the graveyard with some kids and just walked around as it is something we all wanted to see. We all went in our own kind of ways and there was a kid with me who said i have family in the graveyard, I said do you want to show me her or him and he brought me over to the grave and to be honest the grave was wrecked with no headstone just a pile of stone with a ripped bit of paper telling us her name. He kind of said it is his auntie and she only died last year in May 2015. I was just like how can a kid so small remember the month their aunt died in he told me her age but he didn't really want to tell me how she died. After we were finished talking about it he sat on the pile of stones trying to fix the ripped bit of paper and put it back up were it was meant to be. To be honest i was just blew away how such a young kid can remember these things, just looking at him sitting on the stones was amazing in every way possible as you could tell he missed his aunt loads and loads.

After that i seen Dynsey with their speaker so i thought ill go for a wee dance and show these people my bad moves once again. I went over and another person called buffalo got up and started showing his moves and i think he was 19. When i say he was bad he was very very bad and had everyone in stitches. Everyone just kind of kept coming and coming and joining on the disco we had going. I just love putting myself out there and making others happy along with me.

We were walking back from he park i had Darran on my shoulders and another little boy and girl by one hand walking down. She wanted my phone to put music on while walking back down, so i got music on and give her it and she just sung the whole way back town and kind of danced but every time she did this she was looking past me then laughing as she was very shy.

Before lunch Henry pulled me to the side and i had Darran with me and he said i need to show you something but leave him here so i left Darran there and went with Henry to see what it was. He also went and got Beattie and said the same so me and Beattie are walking up behind Henry looking at each other to say like what it is. He brought us into some mans house which was his best friend he said and showed us around his house. WOW this place was amazing for a house in Blanco. Outside his house was full of plants and flowers and it looked as if he had the house well presented and looked after it well. We went out the back and every door in his back garden we walked through was made of leaves it was just amazing on how some person from Blanco could actually do this with his own imagination it was so unique. He got his case kind of thing out and showed us photos of the things he used to make his house out of. He couldn't really speak english but henry was translation on what he was saying and he said all this was build with one plant and it took it 16 years to grow. After it was grew it took him another 4 years to do all the things to make it stand up the way it did. It actually blew me away and every single thing just kept doing the same. He was in the paper in South Africa with all pictures of his house last year and writing things about how he done it and stuff.

What i got from the little man darran was amazing because i was kind of getting a understanding why he kept hugging me and being with me 24/7. i was kind of thinking who is this kids mother because he always said my mum, my mum and i couldn't understand the rest of what he was saying. So during that day i kind of set myself a challenge and go meet little darrans mother and try find a bit more about him and his background.

We started the next bit of the day which was the food drop and we all got different numbers in groups of two. Me and Beattie had to go in and give it to a women who looked very sick and she couldn't really speak much so we just said to her God Bless and the smile on her face was just out of this world like you wont understand.

Everyone was fascinated with my tattoo and Darran got a marker out of my bag and point to his arm and wanted me to draw a tattoo on his arm so he could be like me it was amazing how someone actually wants to be like you who has had a massive impact on you and your life.

So the challenge i set myself was to met his mummy like i said and find out sone things about her and him together. I was kind of saying how much he meant to me and she was very happy and stuff. But i couldn't really get much out if her so i went over to Carla and asked some questions about her and i found out he doesn't live with his real daddy and he loves with his mum and step dad. This bit actually broke my heart in two pieces and i couldn't get my head round how this kid was just to amazing. His mummy and step dad were two drug addicts and they were very very bad on them. The drug was called tick which is crystals were you smoke it. Like my head was just so stuck on how this child was so amazing and happy with a mummy and step dad like that, he must of just found it normal. Maybe thats why he was so much around me and kept hugging me maybe because he didn't get that in his own house. It just played in my head all day and i couldn't understand why the parents of a beautiful child would do this to him.

Then we had to leave the township and get ready to go again. I was burnt to the crisp and was in proper agony but i’m not going to let something so small hold me back on what i want to get out of this trip. Im lit like a lobster and there no other word for it to be honest haha.

But this was how my third day went in Blanco and it just hit me like a tone of bricks. Im getting ready for the fourth day coming and grabbing it with both hands as i have been doing. Bring on day 4

“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself”

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