Day 12 – Seraphina & Alyssa

Today was our last day at the work site. Last night was a cold one, but thank god we had our quilts! Once at the work site we soon realized that the day was in a sharp contrast to the cold of the night. We split into four groups, two went to plant the Swiss Chard seeds, one went to fill in certain trenches and the other finished up the painting the containers. There was a little puppy there to distract us from our work. We were all sad to leave the work site that we worked so hard but won’t be able to see finished.

After we finished work, we had a choice of going to the centre straight away or going to a high school to give a small presentation, that turned into a presentation in front of 1135 students, then to a primary school to give some books. The ones who chose the schools got to see where some of kids from the centre go to school and what environment they learned in. In every classroom there would be over 50 kids packed in and there were usually 3 classes of every grade.  The principal asked us to inspire his students to value education so Denise, Blake, and Chelan all gave speeches about what we are doing in South Africa but kept a focus on the importance of education (including post secondary), as well as community involvement and volunteerism.   After the presentation we walked down the street to the primary school. We gave them our books and went on a tour of the school. Even though school was over at this time many of the children stayed following us around just to wave and say hello to us, we felt like celebrities.  When done with the tour we made our way to the centre, all the primary students (those who go to the centre and those who don’t) in tow.

Meanwhile at the centre, there weren’t very many kids yet because most were in school still. Some Interactors helped sort clothes that we brought for them.  However, once the Interactors visiting the schools came back with all of the kids we were surrounded by kids in the matter of seconds. Kids were so excited they were screaming strawberrily, running and pulling on the Interactors; it was all overwhelming and unfortunately only the beginning. Later on there were even fights we had to break up! After around 30 minutes of that the caregivers of the center ushered the kids who didn’t usually go there out so they could serve the meal which settled everyone down. While the meal was being served we gave each child a baggie of Canadian stickers, pencils and toys which had been made up which increased the children’s excitement once again. They were pulling and tugging at each other wanting each other’s gifts. Some of the Interactors also took aside their buddies and gave them special gifts. Soon we made our way to the taxi, giving hugs and saying our final goodbyes. There were definitely some tears on the ride back to the campsite.

After getting our stuff packed and hoping in the shower we made our way up to the lounge to wait for dinner. The electricity is down here so we had to eat our lasagna by candle light. It was by far our best dinner at Clouds End.  A great way to say goodbye to our time in Louis Trichardt. 

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