#B2B2018: Rhiannon McLaughlin Blog

I am completely mind blown, my amazing South Africa journey has been above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined. The emotions that come to you so unexpectedly are absolutely unreal, you feel so many emotions all at the same time which is an amazing feeling to experience. This place is the most surreal place that I have ever laid eyes on and it has been such an eye opener to me, if I could stay here forever I would. Knowing that every morning we as a team have woken up to go out and make a difference to many of the people within Blanco is the most overwhelming feeling in the world. Now that we’re half way through our amazing journey in Africa it is starting to get scary that it is nearly time to go home! Yesterday it really began to hit me that it was time to say goodbye to all the young people we had gotten close with. We spent our day in Red Berry Farm as a team to spend our last day with the kids from the crèche and the townships. The buzz around the place was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, it was truly amazing. Throughout my journey I have had many highlights and also been faced with a lot of challenges. The main highlight of my trip so far was the Aperture Funday that we hosted in the Scheme, it was completely different from what I had ever done before and was brilliant to be a part off. The reason this is the highlight of my trip so far is mainly because the atmosphere was unbelievable. Watching two separate communities come together and enjoy themselves was a complete eye opener. At the Funday getting to see the children from both of the townships was an amazing feeling and knowing that we were making their day by simply entertaining them is an indescribable feeling. A huge challenge that I have faced while being in Blanco was on the night of our Blanco’s Got Talent. Close to the end of the night I seen one of the kids who I had gotten close to the previous days sitting crying, I immediately ran over to see if she was ok and she continued to cry and wouldn’t speak. After a full hour she finally became comfortable with me and told me that she was scared to walk home on her own incase she got hurt. At this point I was completely heart broke to think that firstly she felt comfortable to tell me and also that she was scared in her own community to walk home at night. Her name was Mikaylan and she was only 10 years old, I asked why she came if she was scared to go home and she said it was to see me before I went home. This made me filled with emotions and all I could do was hug her. I got her home safely and on the way home she sat on my knee, I was holding her while she continued to thank me and wipe away my tears which was the most heart warming feeling in the world. These kids are unbelievable and they deserve so much more than the conditions they live in! It truly is heart breaking. We are onto the last part of our journey and the whole team are filled with emotions after just leaving such a special place. Reflecting back on my journey so far leaves me with mixed emotions, especially with the fact that I will not get to see young people of the townships that I made close connections with and got to know so well. Now on to the next part of my journey I am going to go into it open minded and give it my all, to make sure I make a good ending to my amazing journey in South Africa. I can’t wait to see what else South Africa has to offer! “The things you take for granted someone else is praying for, so be thankful” 

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