It has been two weeks in South Africa and I already feel like I belong here, welcomed. Despite driving on the other side of the road, as well as walking, I feel the pursuit of communion and joy of life, no matter the living conditions. The flavors of this land are rich, the weather is wild, and so is the landscape, flora, and fauna. The most beautiful sounds come from the people, their rich languages, music, and words of wisdom: “in this community (Langa) we don’t look down on anyone, because there (was) will be a time that help is needed, and help doesn’t need money, it needs people”.
The children and teachers we are working with are the best, there is a sense of community and accountability to the rest of the class. There could be 20-30 children per classroom which are the size of a small shed. I have been able to sense the violence children witness and share. Regardless, the children and teachers are welcoming and very affectionate, there is something about my grey and black hair that fascinate them. I get hugs for the majority of the children as I walk into the classroom and continues for the rest of the day as some of them cuddle with me for comfort and love. I have a special place in my heart for those who stay behind and are shy. I make the time to give them the same amount of attention as those children who are more expressive. I just have to remind myself that I will only be here for two months, until I come back next year 🙂
Personally, I have been testing my limits when it comes to relating with others. I feel lucky for having such a mature group of ladies surrounding me. We all had a mature conversation about limits and space, sharing food, and supplies. I have enjoyed their understanding about me being the only male on this trip, my saz, wild side, and moments of silence. We have gone of dancing, exploring, and tasting the fruits of the land. I have been able to enjoy every moment and savor those growing opportunities.
I really miss my children, my two sons. I miss waking them up, their skin, their stories and filters on how they see the world. I really miss their laugh and rough playing before the fall asleep. I don’t miss San Francisco. I have all I need here, in this moment. I am where I need to be, content.