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Volunteering in South Africa – Absolutely Surreal

My journey to South Africa at the Cape Town Orphan Care project at the end of October was the one of the best trips in my life. I learned so much from the experiences, the things I’ve seen, the people I’ve met along the way, the locals and the culture. South Africa is such a beautiful place with so much to offer you as long as you fully open yourself up to what it has to offer, which I fully embraced while I could.

I flew over to Cape Town after a month with wildlife. In Cape Town I really got to experience the culture,the food of the area and really got to see the many things that Capetown has to offer whether it was teaching you a life lesson or helping you experience something amazing for the first time. The second month was more centered around children.

I volunteered at two difference places: in the mornings the teaching group went and taught at the Luntu Preschool and in the afternoons we went into Khayelitsha and helped the Mama’s at Gapa keep the many children there occupied. This organization was more of a after school program for children to come to keep themselves busy and out of trouble. We did several different tasks with the children each day it varied from different sports games,pepsi and coke, arts and crafts, reading and many other fun activities.

I feel that I gained as much as the children did from my experience that month. I really learned a lot of life lessons from the children and people of the town. One thing that I really enjoyed was getting to teach them new things and see their faces light up with their new found knowledge. I even got to learn a little of the Xhosa language throughout my stay from the children who were not afraid to share. I really enjoyed watching the children progress with the new things that I had taught them throughout my stay. All in all it was a surreal experience that I hope to soon experience again. The children were just three quarters of the fun the other quarter was at the end of the day. This is when I got to go back to the house in the city with the other volunteers in my group that were also with the same group.

There we got to unwind from our busy but wonderful day. Since we ate, slept and worked together we really got to know each other and basically slowly molded into a family throughout the time we were together. I found this helped keep my mind off family and friends at home and more at the experience was that was unfolding in front of me.

Overall I can’t even fully describe to you how much amazing stuff I gained, learned or saw throughout my stay volunteering in South Africa, but what I can tell you is that I have fallen in love with South Africa and will be wondering to that side of the hemisphere again sooner rather than later.