I have been in South Africa for over a month. This is crazy to me. For one it seems like I just got here, but I also can’t imagine not living here.!
The last week( well week and a day) has probably been my favorite days so far. First off last Tuesday I got the privilege of spending the day with some of the coolest people. We visited a small Zulu preschool and I had the time of my life hanging out with the kids. They were some of the most joyful, fun, and bright children that I have ever got the chance to meet. The kids didn’t speak a lot of English and I can only say hello in Zulu, but that did not stop us all from becoming fast friends.
The women who helps run the preschool’s name is Tracey and is a good friend of my host mom. I loved Tracey and admire her so much for the time and energy she puts into these kids. We also bonded over are love of the T.V. show Scandal( which they call “The Fixer” here).
So after we hung out at the preschool we went with Tracey to pick up some of the older children who go to another school nearby. Now I would like to take a little time to talk about this. In South Africa there is no free education, public schools are cheaper, but not cost-free. This causes a problem for families who do not have the funds to send their children to good schools. Tracey has an organization call Ixoxo that helps sponsor children so they can go to a school that will help give them a brighter future and can give them the opportunities that most people take for granted. Tracey takes these kids to and from school everyday and I had the opportunity to meet them. There are only a handful of kids they sponsor now, but they are trying to sponsor more. I have personally witnessed how smart and clever these children are, and I would like to humbly ask anyone would be willing to donate to this wonderful organization to do so. If you would like to donate or just read more about the organization go to http://www.gofundme.com/Ixoxo.
Last week also included a tour around Pietermaritzburg with an extremely energetic tour guide, the junior school’s Christmas play, a few exams, and a visit to Eunice’s home! We went to Eunice’s house on Friday and it was a great experience. Eunice dressed Skye, Nina(my host sister), and I up in some of the traditional Zulu beads. Here is a picture of us wearing them.
We then put on Eunice’s CD and the all the kids taught us how to dance like the Zulus. The kids were very good and I was very bad, but I think they enjoyed laughing at me. All in all it was a wonderful day and I was glad I got see another one of South Africa’s many cultures.
A week or two ago one of the boys schools asked Skye and I if we wanted to go to a game reserve with some of their exchange students. So on Sunday we woke up and took about a four-hour van ride to a game reserve called Hluhluwe.There were 4 other exchange students, three were from Australia and one was from Belgium. They were all so nice and it was fun getting to meet other exchange students. We stayed there till Tuesday and it was one of the best experiences. The park was beautiful and pretty large. Here in South Africa they have a thing called the big 5 which is elephant,African buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard. At Hluhluwe we got to see all of them but the leopard. We also saw plenty of giraffe, zebra, and Impala (a type of antelope). Here are some of my favorite pictures though none were actually taken by me since my iPod cord is broken and I am without a camera.
We got to get so close to the animals (well as close as you can in a car), and it was amazing being able to see them in their natural habitat.I am so thankful for these experiences and this last month and hope that all of you guys are having a great November full of love and thankfulness.