#B2B2016: Ciaran Rooney Blog

After all of the traveling we had finally landed in cape town the buzz within the group had went from a 4 to in 10 in 0.2 seconds, everything was starting to feel very very real. It was a long six hour journey from cape town to Blanco and was it worth it? Yes, oh yes it was. We had got put into our rooms, the boys had got split up for our own sake as you could imagine. The morning we woke up pierre got us all into the front room to do a few ice breakers to get us prepared and buzzing for the day which really helped us, got everyones confidence through the roof!!!

The impact of Blanco!

The first day in Blanco had completely blown me away there was just so much things all happening at once it was so hard to take it all in, but i just jump straight into it without a care in the world. The whole team where just sensational to watch to just see how much we were ready for this moment, it was like destiny that we were all meant to be there together sharing the experience. I knew exactly what I wanted to do months before which was to try and meet a child which is very similar to me, be able to build a relationship and connect with him or her. At first I was just starting to find my feet so I ran about like a complete head case all day with as much kids as possible and it completely blew me away. it just felt like it was meant to be, lets be honest where would you rather be than standing, than the bottom of the world with a very strong team by your side going buck mad. We all continued to make the kids laugh and smile, I was in my element. Focused to achieve the goal that I had set myself it felt like I had wasted a day, but i just couldn't help it i just felt like there was to much crack happening to slow down and try and interact with one child. As we were leaving the township we all felt like complete kings and queens the whole community were chasing us in the and waving us of as Caitlin Russell says it was “unwordable”.

The difference a smile makes!

Wow I cant even describe how I was feeling in the township during my next experience, I was just standing in Stella’s garden just watching all of the kids playing when this just wee cute quiet fella was just standing there buy himself not talking or playing with any of the other children. I said to myself he could be just what im looking for in order to achieve my personal goal. I took the chance with both hands and just went for it. It was hard for about 5 minutes to break down his barriers but i finally did, and it is possibly the best thing I have ever done in my life. His name is Ganeo and he is possibly one of the most smartest 4 year olds on this planet. After this moment everything was just starting to get better, I don't think we were separated for 1 second we were like two magnets, from there on I just could take the smile of my face. There was just so much emotion that I have never felt before in my life. I just couldn't take the smile of my face, I just couldn't stop it was like every single time I made him laugh it was just motivating me to keep going no matter how tired I was getting. Even when another child was speaking to me it felt like i was cheating on him hahaha. I just couldn't take myself away from him without it breaking my heart, so i decided instead of going and getting lunch with everyone else I just brought it out to Ganeo and let him have some with out anyone seeing. I knew if i had of kept him energised the more he would want to play and the more we were playing, the more i was learning from him. I was completely shocked of the emotions that he had brought out in me, i didn't take him of my shoulders for over 3 hours the pain was just blocked out by happiness. He could not speak a word of english and for being the shyest kid in the township, I had him being the funnest and loudest child there. I was proud as punch, I was just showing him off to everyone. I had him singing and screaming everyone was completely shocked at how much i had turned this little shy child in to a smaller version of me.

Back at Pierre’s I was just completely buzzing to get out and see him it felt like one day was a year but as we arrived at the township. I was just staring out the window looking for him and I couldn't see him anywhere, and then boom! Ganeo just comes bolting up the street and clings on to leg. Wow this was a very special moment for me because I was starting to learn how to build a relationship, and know that I'm able to show some sort of affection towards someone with out shying away from emotions. As each day went, for every time I was overcoming one of his barriers, he was over coming ten of of mine the feeling was completely incredible.

Heading into Golden Valley after Timbalethu and “The Scheme” in Blanco earlier that day was a different feeling. Instead of Stella’s house we were heading to the graveyard in Golden Valley to visit Ermin’s mothers grave which was a great experience. The man is a complete inspiration. So as we pulled up at the grave yard which is about 5 minutes up the road Ganeo had managed to just be there as we were getting out of the combi. He just ran over to me putting this in to words is extremely hard, but the feeling was so real. I knew the time was limited, so I wanted to spend every minute with him as possible without realising the rest of the team had went on. I left him with a group of his friends, he took my hat to ensure I defiantly came back down to him the feeling was completely insane. As soon as we finished paying our respects and listening to people who inspire me so much at Eirman’s mothers the grave I just bolted away from the group to go down and look for him. He was just standing there waiting on me. I was just saying in my head this kid is something special and the impact he has had on me it was just magic. He is bringing out a side of me that I didn't even know existed. I really cant see my self leaving this place, i don't want to get on the flight home. I just want to stay and make Ganeo’s life as easy as possible for him. He has taught me that time is precious and just never let negatives get in the way. Just always stay happy and positive no matter what obstacles I come up against in life. I have learned to rise above it and over come it without running away. If a 4 year old child who lives in complete poverty can do it, I can do it! He has just changed my whole out look of life all together he is a credit to everyone that gets a chance to be around him and thats my Belfast to Blanco experience summed up around one incredible person and I wouldn't change it for the world.

‘’Don’t ever let anybody tell you the sky is the limit when people have stepped on the moon’’

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