So week four passed by pretty uneventfully. It was down to just me and Gwendoline, and we spent our week as previously, helping out in the nursery and chatting and playing with the older kids. We also went and watched them practicing for this pageant contest thing they’re doing in October. Unfortunately I won’t be here to see it, but the kids are so excited about it and they’ve been working really hard on it. We spent some time trying to avoid bandanna guy. Unfortunately he did manage to catch us a few times, and once when he found out we were going to the mall, he asked to buy him some airtime for his cell. Not as in buy it for me and I’ll give you the money for it, but as in, can you buy me some airtime. Super awkward!!! We also went to visit the Apartheid Museum (again, for me), but I didn’t mind, as I skipped some stuff last time I went, as everyone else was already finished, so this time I could see what I had skipped and watched the videos I had missed. I also faxed off my application to vote by mail for the federal election on October 19th. First time I’ve bothered to do that, but this federal election is very important, so I couldn’t not vote. I’m also pretty sure I was bit that week, but nothing new there, in my time at the orphanage I’ve been bit, spat at, hit, kicked, scratched and swore at! And each more than once, lol, the joys of working with children!!!
Friday was Gwen’s last day, so we spent the morning in the nursery so she could say goodbye, before Harry picked us up and brought us to the hostel. We hung out there and eventually the others arrived, and then Sam (one of the guys from my orientation group) and I went with Gwendoline to the airport to say goodbye. Again, so sad ?! Then we got dropped off at the mall where we met up with the others and had dinner. Then Sam and I went bowling in the arcade, which was super fun!!! I then ubered home, but came back the next day and hung out in the mall with Sam and some of the others, then we headed back to the hostel and it was time to say goodbye. So many sad goodbyes!!! But it was the last one for a while, since I will now be alone for two weeks. No new volunteers to come and keep me company, just me and myself alone in the cottage. So I took uber back and spent the evening chilling, doing a puzzle, playing the piano and reading, very exciting!!!
Sunday was back to my normal routine of helping out in the nursery and hanging out with the older kids. Week 5, my first week alone was pretty uneventful. Just helping out in the nursery, hanging with the older kids, working in the library, heading to the mall in the afternoons for free wifi (and avoiding bandanna guy), chilling in the evenings, although I did start hanging out in the nursery later in the evenings (we usually always finished around 5 or 5:30, but now I was sometimes staying there until 8pm), which was interesting, getting to see and help with getting the kids ready for bed.
I did have one day that was different, when someone (I found out later he is one of the owners) from Awesome Travel stopped by to talk to me when I was working in the library, and with him was a woman from Toronto who works for SWAP! And she knew all about me, as she works in the same office as Nicole, the woman with whom I coordinated the volunteer program and who had helped me so much when I ran into some issues. Libby and Glen were both super nice and we chatted for quite a while about the project and various other things, and then they invited me to go with them to visit another project nearby, so I went to check it out. It was really interesting, as it is also run by Jo’burg Child Welfare, and so some things are slightly similar to the orphanage where I am, but it is also completely different. Masibambisane Centre is more of a drop-in center for children in the community where they can get a meal, access to social workers, help with their homework, counselling and training as well as various other services. It’s a great program and I was lucky to be able to get a tour of the facilities and to hear about the great work they are doing. From there they dropped me off at the mall (I had been about to leave for there when they had arrived), which was really nice of them and we said goodbye. I really enjoyed meeting them, especially Libby, as this is the 5th time I’ve traveled with SWAP (which apparently is a record or something), and she knew all about me from Nicole, which was really cool.
I also had a dance party with the children, which was so much fun! They absolutely LOVE music and dancing, and it’s so cute to watch 20 toddlers dance! And Roberta, Gwendo and I had taught them the chicken dance a few weeks before, and they also LOVE it!!! They’re always singing it to me, wanting me to play it for them, lol. I’m sure I looked like a crazy white girl to the ladies who worked there and the family members that were visiting at the time, but I had fun and so did the kids!
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