Waking up this morning was just like waking up on previous mornings in Pierres house as it started with Joe and Dynsey shouting at us to get up out of bed while the tunes were playing in the background. this morning was different on the other hand because we had a guest staying with us who was Ermin. it was great having Ermin staying with us down to the fact that his easygoing personality and his sense of humour brightened up my morning and made me think of what was to come later that day. We all gathered as a group outside of Pierres house waiting on our transport for the day. waiting on the bus i knew that today would be difficult for everyone in the group as we were having to say goodbye to a place that we have become so fond of and goodbye to both old and young people in the township that we have come to love throughout the time spent in the there.
When the bus arrived everyone sharply put their bags on the bus as we were all eager to get into Blanco for one last time. when we got on the bus you could realise that this journey to Blanco would be different. it would be different because no one was their cheerful selfs because it dawned that this would be the last time that we would be heading to Blanco. On the bus drive to Blanco you could cut the atmosphere with a knife and you could here a pin drop on the bus. on the bus drive in i was thinking about a wee girl called Aleshemere who i spent time with. i was hoping that she was in the township because i didn't get to see her the two previous times and i had a small gift to give her.
When we arrived and got off the bus there was a lot of kids outside of Stellas house. this quickly changed the mood of everyone on the bus it just seemed like a normal day at Blanco. getting off the bus i was scanning around looking for my friend. i couldn't see here and i felt a sense of emptiness start to kick in. I walked up to speak to Carla when i was off the bus to see if she had seen her and was handed a baby. i was amazed at this because out of everyone in the group i dont know who would trust me holding a baby. i eventually got up to speak to Carla and got the worst news that i could have gotten and that was that Aleshemere want around and she was staying at the farm. Carla said to me that her mother was about and said that i should give the gift to here. i decided not to jump in with both feet as i didn't know her mother and i didn't want the gift being sold on for drink or drugs which would usually happen in the township. when i walked back outside of Carla’s garden i stepped back and took a look around me. i seen that i was in the most amazing place in the world and i was there with the greatest bunch of people. looking a round me i could feel good vibes i don't know if its something in the air or not but standing in Golden Valley you just smile and all your worries disappear. i was tapped in the shoulder by a women who was carrying a small kid she stunk of alcohol and was slurring her speech saying that she was Aleshemere’s mum. i Quickly steeped back and said that i didn't have the gift for her child because she was calling her a different name each time she was trying to get the gift. when i eventually got her away from me i started questioning whether to give the clothes to the little girl or not as i didn't want them getting sold on. i was stuck between a rock and a hard place so i decided to speak to Sean about my decision and i asked him to give the clothes to my friend when he sees her again this filled me with a sense of pride and a big smile went from ear to ear as i knew my friend would be getting the gift.
There was another reason why we were in Blanco not only to say goodbye to our new friends but to celebrate the life of my mummy. We all gathered outside of stellas house and we walked up with all the kids. When we got into the park we made a circle and i was in the middle with a balloon with a message on it and beside me stood my best friend with another message that was written by the team. This in its self was a touching moment and memory that i will cherish forever. David said a few words on behalf of the team and then let the balloon off. After this i felt nervous because it was my turn to say a few words. once i got started the words just flowed and i felt as if my mum would be proud of me. I felt warmth inside of me when we i let my balloon of as it flew right up over golden valley and towards the spectacular mountain. After this i felt the support of the group as each person came running into the middle of the group some with tears in their eyes. this leadto a full on group hug. I then heard supportive words from the group such as your doing her proud to which i replied don't be crying this is a happy moment and i just want everyone to be happy. i feel as if this was a happy moment for everyone and one that everyone in the group will cherish.
After this we had twenty minutes left in the township which seemed to affect everyone, i felt myself that i wanted the time to fly in because i knew that there was a lot of emotional goodbyes yet to come but also i wanted it to drag in due to the fun and happiness that my group and myself had. The time quickly run out and we made that one last walk from the park down to Stellas house. Walking down here i was reflecting on the trip so far and the learning that i will and have took from the trip. When we got down to the Stellas house we had the tunes pumping and everyone was dancing we played one last song before we left and it is one that is the our group anthem in away and it brought a thousand emotions to each team member including myself. The song is Bonfire heart which on this occasion just brought a smile to my face as it was fitting to the scene. i had a little girl holding my hand who was with me on the previous day who had taken a liking to me it felt emotions leaving her even though i didn't really know here and she didn't speak much english, but when i was leaving her she said one word bubbles and just smiled i dont know what it was about her saying this but it made me smile and laugh i hugged her and said that i had to go. I was going home and was just about to get onto the bus when she came running back and leaped straight back into my arms for one last big hug i felt a strange chill run through my body and the emotions kicked in we were leaving a place of such happiness. I then turned to receive another big hug from my big mate Ermin this was emotional as he told me my mum would be proud of me and he was proud of me he then said i was like a brother which was so warming as i have only gotten to know him over a short period of time. He said that he was also honoured to share my mothers anniversary with me and he was proud of how strong i was. In a way we related so well and took so much learning from each other because he recently lost his mother. As a gesture for Ermin we decided that we would all donate some money towards Ermin for his mothers head stone which was fitting because of the person that he is. Ii was on the bus and watching my team mates cry saddened me but down to our groups supportive nature we were able to support each other and everyone started coming back round to their normal selves. As we were leaving a young kid give me a strange looking stone to which i showed the group and Dynsey told me that there was a story behind the rock to which It was a lucky stone that the boys dad had found. It was touching that out of everyone the little kid give this stone to me and i know that i will keep the stone with me and cherish is because it was a special way to leave Blanco so much that i was left speechless. We then set of on our journey to Capetown which seemed to be never ending. Later that night we had a short debrief and i had bought ten candles for my mum passing away 10 years that day. i lit the first candle and let the rest of the group light the last nine of them. i felt that this was the best way to bring her anniversary to a close. The day as a whole was just perfect and was a touching memory for a special women in a special place.
“ All I am and all i hope to be i owe to my guardian angel, my mother”