It’s been 6 months now since I left home and I’m presently visiting my 6th country on my itinerary, South Africa. So far my journey has been way above my expectations. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, the cultures I’ve come across, have all changed my perspective on life. This experience has open my mind and my heart on a whole new level. I’ve learned to fully embrace every day, to appreciate the little things life gives us and to simply be happy! 😊
Ok enough with the cheesiness! 😝
I arrived in South Africa at the end of February to attend the Ultra electronic music festival, which I’ve been impatiently waiting for since last year! After having spent six months in developing countries arriving in Johannesburg (the largest city in the country) was a bit of a reverse culture choc, but at the same time, it felt good to be in a familiar environment. Flashing my Canadian flag throughout the festival was an easy way to make new friends, but also a great way to get the attention from the DJ’s. I must say I was pretty stunned when Skrillex yelled “Canada is in the house!!” during his set!! 🇨🇦
After the festival, it was now time to start my second volunteering project. I am currently based in Soweto for the next few months. Soweto is a large township outside Johannesburg with a population of two million (Soweto stands for SOuth WEstern TOwnship). It was originally developed in the early 1900 for the black population who were working in the gold mines. Soweto is also famous for being the hometown of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu; both Nobel Peace Prize winners. Despite being strongly affected by the apartheid, Soweto is now a modern and touristy place. I’ve been living here for three weeks now and I’m already feeling at home.
I am presently working at the Othandweni orphanage, which means ‘Place of Love’ in Zulu (one of the eleven South Africa official languages). There are 90 children living in this lovely government-funded children home. I’m mainly in charge of taking care of the babies in the nursery (bathing, feeding, changing, playing) but I also spend time with the older kids helping them with homework, house chores or simply being a shoulder to lean on. My goal for this project is to give as much love, attention and care to those beautiful little souls. These children all have different past and individual stories but they are all looking for the same things: affection, friendship and love.
“Give your hands to serve and your heart to love.” -Mother Theresa