#B2B2017: Reece Carlin Blog

My journey has been nothing short of special. From day 1 jumping off that combi you could hear every member of the team shackles hitting the ground and every ones masks were off. I have loved every single second of this journey and I wouldn’t change one thing about it. Being a part of this amazing team has made this journey what it is, the support, the love, the care each member of the team shows for each other is overwhelming it has made us a family. Africa is hard to put into words but our first day in the scheme set the tone for the trip, the positivity in this place Is infectious, the smiles on the kids faces are priceless. On paper they should not be this happy they have nothing, they live in shacks, they run about glass with no shoes on yet still have a smile on their faces it is amazing. If every person in the world were like the kids in this township the world would be a good place. I didn’t make one single strong connection with any kid in the township but I have made the strongest of connections with people in this team. It has been a privilege to be able to experience this amazing place with this group of special people in this special place. While in the scheme and the valley the positive buzz in this place took over me. I am in a bubble of pure happiness.

Most of the learning ive took from my trip has happned in the debriefs at the end of each day. Wow they are special, only the people in that room on them nights are able to relate to this. In the sessions I’ve learned so much about myself that I never ever imagined to find in myself, it is a time to reflect on the impact we have made in Blanco. In partnership with this I have had time to reflect on what impact Blanco has had on me and my team. Africa is a special place filled with special people but the B2B 2017 team is the most special out of everything. Today we said our final goodbyes to Blanco and headed to Capetown. We started the morning with Henrietta taking us a walk around the valley just to reflect on the trip and all I could think about was what Skete said yesterday “don’t be sad its over, be happy because it happened”. Today has been the happiest I’ve ever been, walking around the township I was thinking of how far the group has progressed. Blanco is just one chapter of my book, I’ve made an impact on this community and I’ve got what I wanted out of this journey I am so proud of myself. I was not sad leaving today I was happy and proud. Capetown is what was next for this group so we just have to look forward to the next chapter. After we sat up in the park in the valley and each member done affirmations on each member of the team, it was amazing hearing what the people in this team think about you because we aren’t used to hearing what people think from just watching you. I have learnt a lot from this experience. Personally its been a life changing experience because for a couple of months I was confused about who I really was. I was pretending to be something I wasn’t and I wore a mask. Blanco has made me find my true self, I have realised that I do have a purpose, I have goals in my life I want to achieve stuff in my life. I now have something to work towards and build on I’m proud of myself because that was one of my goals I set out to do. In my Afrcia song there is a line that says “id rather be a comma than a full stop” and I think I can relate to this a lot I’m in a rebuilding process and I’m looking forward to seeing how this process goes. This place has made me realise that time is precious, time doesn’t stop for anyone so we have to make the most of it while we’ve got it. The journey also made me realise that time is priceless the kids in this township value our time so much just showing them that little bit of love and affection means the word to them and I think that’s something we take for granted. I am going to be going home a different person like I said this experience is life changing. I have found myself out here and I’ve realised what I want to do. I’ve found a new motivation out here and I’m going to bring every bit of motivation back to Belfast to do what is best for me. 

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