#B2B2017: Tamera Farrell Blog

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world, nor will be the same again.” Wow, just Wow is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of my journey here in South Africa. Every night before I went to bed I was questioning, “could this get any better? What else could possibility make this trip any better?” and every day when I woke up, my questions were answered. Each day was individually special and challenging but in a good way, these challenges made me think and eventually learn. I took a lot from every ounce of learning I could to better myself as an individual. This has been the experience of a life time and I will cherish the memories and friendships that I have built. To start, my expectations of the trip in general and Africa itself was blew right out of the water from the minute I arrived. My first major standout moment was my teams first day in the golden valley. This was a very big moment for me because I did not realise that in the first 10 minutes of arriving I would meet a very special little boy and his big sister who hold a very big and special place in my heart. The boys name was Vayney who was 3 and his big sister aged 10, Mikaylen. What an amazing two kids. My first encounter of them was not particularly how I would have liked to start my connection but, things happen and happen for a reason. Vayney was carrying a dirty, ripped and blood stained pyjama top which was far too small for him also. I took Vanyey from her back and carried him close to my chest. He was very shy at first and didn’t like to interact with anyone else apart from me. We got up to the field and was messing around. Slowly but surely his amazing heart-warming smile came to life. This put the biggest smile ever on my face and nothing could take away that special feeling away from me. Special is the only word to describe it. Out of the many days we spent in George we went to the local church around 3 times. There was a paster called Dion who lead the service. On the last day we visited the church he sat us down and spoke of us, challenging us and asking us questions about life and about our journey. The things the man said was unbelievable. He spoke every word with true passion and meant what he said he was directing things at people. The last day we went to church I got very emotional as I felt that he was speaking directly to me and it engaged me to listen very carefully into his wise words. Things changed when I walked out of that service, things change within my way of thinking and also my way of stepping of the situation and seeing it from a different point of view. One thing that stood out for me was the community feel in and around the townships in Blanco. This came across to me as every child and teenager was together. There was no separation like back home. Everyone was one and it felt amazing to be a part of their community and for their community to welcome us into it for the duration of the time we spent there. So, overall I have learnt a large variety of things. These would include things about myself and other aspects including the group and Africa itself. In myself, I have learnt that I need to believe in myself and to trust myself because I know that I am doing well. I am making others happy, I am in Africa as a Year 1 in R-City because I showed my full potential and I am overall proud of myself. I just need to believe in myself and stop comparing myself to others. I now know that I need to be more selfish, not in a way that will hurt others, but in a way that if I don’t please myself before I help others, I will not be able to please them. During our group we have talked about wearing masks’ and hiding behind someone else that you’re not. I know that over here I have completely taken my mask off and thrown it away so that it’s not coming back. In my group I haven’t learnt that they are not just a “group” anymore but, an amazing bunch of 16 people and who are all now my very close friends, not just the label of “a group.” What I have learnt about Africa is that it is a very special that will always hold a place in my heart as it has made such an impact and I feel I have impacted on it as well Throughout this unbelievable experience the impact it has had on me, has been incredible. The journey has made me realise that I need to appreciate everything and everyone I have in my life for example; when I was in the townships I took a while to reflect and this made things hit home. The things that really impacted on me was the appreciation of time. Time is something we can never get back and it is so precious. Another would be self-belief because this will help me move forward and make a bigger positive impact on people like I have done out in Blanco. Self-belief also comes along with inner happiness and this is key to anyone. From this experience I will most certainly will be bringing home a lot of memories, learning and new friendships. I will be showing more appreciation back home to my family. I will be even more involved in my Youth Club and give back much more than I receive. “Travel changes you. As you move you change things slightly. You leave marks behind, however small. And in-return, life and travel leaves marks on you.” 

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