Ironically, if our trip so far could be summed up in one word, it would be ineffable. We have only been here in South Africa for four days now and to the Nanzamo township for two, but it is an experience that has met and surpassed my expectations. One instance that has stood out and stayed in the forefront of my mind took place at the ACJ elementary school in the township. It was not from the classroom when we were teaching the children about goals and overcoming obstacles, it happened during the children’s lunch break. As a group of friends and I were eating, we realized that there was a handful of kids outside playing soccer, or as they would call it, football. We decided that we only had a small amount of time with the kids, so why spend it alone eating lunch in lieu of being with them. To be around their infectious positivity and energy trumps sitting in a small classroom and eating the sandwich I packed myself earlier that morning. Five of us decided to go outside to the pavement recess area and challenge the kids: us five verses everyone.
The most amazing part of playing soccer with the kids was that the clear divide between teachers and students was no longer. All it took was a small semi-deflated basketball (used as a soccer ball) and two bricks used as the goal posts. Nothing more and nothing less. To realize that this is all it took to expose the similarities and forget the differences of people from half way across the globe, it is puzzling to think there is so much divide in the population of both in South Africa and in the world. Maybe in the next two weeks I’ll be able to figure this out. Guess I’ll have to wait and see. Stay tuned.