I woke up on Saturday morning feeling a lot of mixed emotions, nervous, excited and overwhelmed on how It’s really time to finally go to the coffee shop and get on a coach with my team and head to South Africa!
What a first few days this has been, we started of our trip with a 36 hour journey to the place we will be spending the next two weeks in, with not a complaint out of anyone and just a massive buzz from the team I enjoyed our time getting here even though it was long it was defiantly worth it! Up first thing Monday morning 6:30am unbelievably excited for what lay ahead! First we went to the school, we attended a assembly with 800 kids that we were about to teach how to speak Belfast slang, with me and Eamon up second to explain what slang we were teaching I was so scared, though the feeling of learning hundreds of African kids English over powered the feeling of fear by a million, I was so happy and proud of how myself and the team on how we pulled this together and gave it our all!
We then stood in front engaging with the children teaching them a song, this turned out so well considering we only practiced once! Leaving the school had everyone buzzing so excited to what we were going to get up to later! With the weather being unreal we took a walk around the scheme and the golden valley two very poor townships with so many amazing things in them, a lot of the kids were still in school so while we could we got a feel of it and what it may be like! Just before all the kids got out of school we went to a field in the scheme to wait on them, as minutes passed a hand full of kids came running up the road no older than 5, my first instinct was to bounce up and run down and so me and Cody did, the first two girls came towards me were Alisa and Dante, I noticed Dante hand no shoes on and instantly lifted her up and brought them on to the field where we sat and listened to some songs, after a while of sitting down we got up and got the girls to dance along to the music, we played games and just run around like we were kids ourselves again! The feeling of giving these kids your time and love that they may not get everyday is overwhelming what a feeling to have, just a few days of being in Blanco and it feels like I’ve lived in this place a life time, I’m so happy to be here! It wasn’t long until the scheme field was packed with kids dancing, playing games and having so much fun, I took a step back with Dante in my arms and took it all in, it was then I looked down at her feet were she had no shoes and then looked up at her again and she looked back with the biggest smile on her face, the Africa feeling had finally hit, after that all we done was dance, we didn’t stop for hours on end.
I spent so much time with her and realised how little she has and all the love and happiness she can still give, it was unbelievable! I didn’t want to leave when it was time to go as the day I had was super unreal, we went back to where we were staying and chilled for an hour before heading to a church where we sung and danced to songs it was completely different to what ours is back home! Even though I’ve only spent a few days in Blanco it’s changed me as a person, the less fortunate all these kids are but have never a sigh on there face makes me realise the person I should be! Meeting my new we best friend today Savandre has been the highlight of my trip I’m so blessed to have spent my time so far with him, such a young child at only 1 years old with so much affection and love to give. I can’t wait to get so much closer to him and build a strong relationship with him and his family during my time here! Im so excited to continue my journey to make myself grow and achieve more than ever expected, what a special place with special people and so many special memories to be made!