#B2B2017: Ryan McGarrigan Blog

Ryan McGarrigan

All I can say about my journey is special… so my journey started for me on Thursday night that’s when it got real for me it was like 10 big digs to head. I didn’t know if I was coming or going we had a busy day from getting packed to doing out last ever B2B session. I was just thinking all day what’s left for me after this amazing programme. So in our group session we did the invisible chair where you talk about yourself in third person I was seriously bricking myself for it as people may know me as being a shy and nervous wee geezer, but there was something about that day where I wanted to be the first to stand up and do the task. It absolutely broke me, I cried my lamps out like a we child, but I was happy. I put myself out there to do it first. The year I made a lot of bad decisions doings things I shouldn’t have been doing, which was starting to impact on me mentally. I have had to make a few lifestyle changes and take the mask off I had on when I was hiding who I really am. I went home to my parents on Thursday night after the group to tell them everything that has being going which was hectic to do but the best thing I have ever done. It was just something about that group session which did me the world of good. So first day in Blanco was nothing but epic, everyone straight up raring to go. The whole group was brilliant, not one person held back the shackles where off!!

So on Monday I woke up myself feeling a bit tired, but straight up full of positivity. Flying down to the township blasting the old school everyone’s head and feet going to the beat. So we went down to the scheme where I got close to a young boy the age of 2 and his uncle who was 8. They were my sticking plasters didn’t leave my arms and shoulder, I was really shocked and hit with mixed emotions seeing these kids have nothing but really have everything. They are the happiest kids on the planet. No shoes on their feet but they are running about kicking ball on glass, muck and whatever else but not even a moan out of them. Back home some people wouldn’t even go out if they did have new clothes. I fell in the township while playing with the kids and the young 2 year old I was with came and cleaned me up. I thought to myself, ‘this place is special’. At this moment I got really emotional, the affection from him was class it was just unreal that he wanted to spend the time with me.

Monday afternoon we went to the Valley, I met a young boy called Ano. Whilst writing our names on the separation wall between the township and the multi-million pound housing complex. Ano was peaking over the wall touched the electric fence which shocked both of us right down the ground where if hadn’t of been wearing shoes who knows what could have happened to both of us. I dropped down with Ano in my arms he was in total shock then got upset, it broke my heart seeing his cry, all he could do is hug me, we were both in tears. It was sicking to see that there is a wall with nice big houses separating something like bonfire sheds which people in the township live in. I was took back by this, my mind was doing overtime the kids or the people don’t deserve anything like that, no one does, to think a child who might not have a clue just having a wee look could be seriously hurt or loose their life to this wall.

So the first emotional debrief after a smashing day, everyone still buzzed out with the Africa feeling, everyone opening up and talking just brining each other closer as team, as a family! To think I was going to drop out of the programme when I was going through a rough patch is wild; that would have been the easy way out I am just glad I stuck it out cause I’ll reap the benefits all right.

For me I have learnt that having everything doesn’t make you happy, a healthy mind-set is a positive mind set and materialistic things mean nothing it’s all about the people around you. You have to figure out what your why is!

When I look back It’s crazy to think we are 2 days into the trip and the things it has done for me already is unreal, it may only be small steps but its steps forward if I am going to change anything its now. These kids do so much for us when we are out trying to do everything for them we actually come out here to find ourselves and be free from the shakkles and everyone’s opinions back home just being able to be a big kid again is special I can’t wait to bring the experience in to learning back home and putting it to use but first starting it in my own house you just start to appreciate everything you have while you out here which I think everyone back home need to experience THAT AFRICA FEELING!!

What I will be looking to take home with me is, all this positivity that build up inside me. It’s a crazy feeling, I feel on top of the world out here and so does everyone else in the group. The place is just unreal, I’m going home appreciating everything a lot more by making time for people and doing a lot more in the community, I’ll be coming home a new Ryan!!!


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