This trip was an unforgettable experience. More than the tangibles, I learned so many important lessons about life. These kids in the township went above and beyond time after time to support one another. They were so smart, thoughtful, and selfless. I chose this picture because it represents a lot of lessons learned on this trip.
When looking at the photo, the picture looks like a bunch of boys surrounding a basic plastic container as a platform to draw. In reality, these boys are using all the qualities I mentioned above. I also observed these themes repeated in the values of the township as a whole. The boys are all sharing this table to complete their task. They worked hard on each drawing they did and were so creative and helpful towards one another. Throughout the whole three weeks, we could feel everyone we were working with wanted each other to do well and succeed. It was a special feeling knowing that the person next to you genuinely wanted you to be happy and to be the best version possible of yourself. If someone was not very good at a sport or event, the others would cheer him/her on and try to help explain the rules or give them tips on how to succeed.
“Just like this picture has a bunch of boys sharing a water tank to create their drawings on, they would also give each other food when their friends didn’t have any or snuck water across the fence to their friends outside the camp so they could have access to sanitary water.”
This image also shows how smart and creative the kids were. This drawing activity was during a lesson for the kids. We taught them how to live healthy lifestyles, and they were so smart answering questions. These kids also used anything and everything for what they need. They found some tape to make a ball and two sticks for goal posts and can play a game of soccer. In the background, you can also see their creativity at home. They could find anything to build with and creatively find ways to set up cable and internet for their homes. This township has a growing micro-economy and we saw how individuals have been creative in starting businesses.
This picture also shows the selfless personality of the kids and adults that we worked with. I saw that they were always putting others before themselves and cared for one another like they were family. Just like this picture has a bunch of boys sharing a water tank to create their drawings on, they would also give each other food when their friends didn’t have any or snuck water across the fence to their friends outside the camp so they could have access to sanitary water. It was amazing to see their first thought was graciously sharing the hot meal they received or the small bag of chips they ate for breakfast.
“This township and these people taught me the importance of relationships and friendships. Their selfless mentality is something I find very important and rewarding.”
This township and these people taught me the importance of relationships and friendships. Their selfless mentality is something I find very important and rewarding. This gave me a different perspective on the important things and people in my life. At the root of everything, helping and support are essential, and the Xhosa culture showed me an example of this love and selfless form of sharing.