Over my time being here I definitely think I have grown massively and pushed myself to places which have never even came into my mind. I find that every morning when I wake up I just feel an energy that I’ve never felt before, just knowing where I am going and what I’m going to do has motivated me to go and give it my all. My emotions have been like a roller coaster ride through this trip with many highs and not lows but times of reflection and realisation of certain situations.
From the first time we arrived in the township I had an instant connection with a child called Lisa, this started a relationship which has had a massive influence on me throughout this trip.
I can’t believe how much a young kid, from a place like this with basically nothing could drive me so much to do things that I have set myself to complete whilst being out here.
The first time I saw Lisa came as a shock as I felt a nip on the back of my leg then felt arms wrap around me,I turned round to see who it was and it was Lisa. Once this happened I started playing with her and just making her smile, I walked over to the rest of the group and they all noticed that when they tried to talk to Lisa she just fired them dirty looks like they were trying to steal away the attention I was giving to her.
“The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life, and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The people that love you, simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people.”
Over the days spending them with her gave me a lot more confidence in myself and also when a barrier confronted me, I attacked it, and try to find the solution instead of shying away and letting someone else deal with it. We just instantly clicked and you could see how comfortable we were around each other as when I was with her I just went into a different place where all I could see was her face and all I could think about was making her happy and keeping her safe.
She has gave me a massive feeling of love and this has gave me the most rewarding feeling I could think possible, meeting this young child and remembering the things I have overcame whilst being with her. A lot of small steps in my eyes have made a impact on me moving forward with the person I want to be, things like her not knowing how to go to the toilet properly and her ending up going whilst in my arms has showed me that its not all about how people are looking at me or thinking of me but, how I see myself and what I think of myself. From conversations with the rest of my group and also in debriefs I have realised how much of an impact I have had on Lisa too, as everyone was saying that when she's not with me she is like a different person and won’t even look at anyone else.
We were in the combi’s on our way to do a memorial type service at Ermin’s mum’s grave, we were travelling up to it and we saw all the kids walking down the street and once we got closer I realised that they were with my sisters group but, we couldn't stop so I only got a glimpse of her. This had me distracted and getting very emotional as we are so close to each other but we couldn’t say hello to each other or even give each other a hug. The only thing was keeping me going was that I knew this was her starting the Journey which I have been on over my time here. This helped me relax as knowing her and the person she is I know that she’s the right type of person to be out in a place like this and knowing were not doing the experience together. We are both having a journey that we will never forget and a journey that we will have some relevant stories that we can talk about and compare once we are both back home.
So we travelled on to Ermin’s mum’s grave, we started off by a speech from Sean about his relationship with Ermin and how highly he has always talked about his mum. This brought me many emotions as knowing what Ermin is going through as I have went through the same situation when I lost my mum. This made me think a lot and once Ermin started talking about his past experiences with his Mum when he was younger and him doing things for him throughout his life brought back many memories, which had me hurting and going through a lot of emotions. Having my group around was a help, knowing that my sister was close to me just made me think about seeing her even more, so once everyone talked and the flowers we had were set onto the grave I literally sprinted through most of the township to get to my sister for a catch up and just to have her by my side again, but once I made it down Henry told me that they just left. This broke me and my mind just went blank, I couldn't process a thought. I was lucky to have Caitlin beside me to help me through it and also Lisa’s mummy Zona was telling me that my sister was crying to me and once this happened she put her arms out for me to lift her. She just wrapped her arms around me then she started wiping the tears off my face this just made me think about the love this little girl must have for me. I just loved the fact that a child I have only known for a short time could feel the need to to this for me, I just can’t describe the love and affection I have for this child. In this special moment, it was like this child fixed a part of my broken heart.
During the rest of the day my emotions were just all over the place and I couldn't have coped without my team being there to pick me up. The debrief was very emotional as everyone was sharing their many experiences about the day and it was very hard for me talking about what I went through that day. Then near the closing of the debrief Grace said she wanted to talk, she asked me to stand up. She went on to say that she wanted to give the necklace that Megan gave her last year, she went on to say that I should be proud of what I have done out here and how well I have coped and that she wants to give me this necklace as a token of the strong and inspirational woman that I am progressing in to. This happening to me and the person who I am, has gave me a lot of motivation to keep being the person I am and to keep pushing myself to be the best I can. This was a moment which meant an awful lot to me and is something that I will cherish forever.
Today we started by going to the safari to experience the Africa cultures that bit more. It was a good insight on what it is to live here, for example the wild life, the scenery. I couldn't get it off my mind that after it i was heading to see my sister, I was excited and anxious at the same time but the buzz i was getting to see her was phenomenal. I was busting to see her it was constantly playing on my mind to get the biggest hug and catch up that i didn't get when it broke my heart seeing her through the window driving past her in the combi through the township as she was doing the same work i am doing out here, which makes me a very proud sister because i know the feeling and the impact it has had on me and the rest of my team.
So finally that moment i have been waiting on came so quick as i have been waiting all day when i heard her calling my name from behind i got the biggest urge to run towards her it was the best feeling ever, just to run and give her the hug I've been waiting on to give her for days. That moment after we hugged we both where very emotional we took a long walk across the beach with a beautiful scenery behind us what a way not only spending easter with your sister in Africa but it being the best place where you could be. This is a memory I will treasure for a long time. After spending that short precious time with my sister leaving her wasn't easy it was like the R-City cafe over again. Knowing its only her beginning and she's so much she has so much ahead of her to experience as for me it has been completely mind blowing and I know it will benefit her just as much.