Goodbye’s the saddest word

So Friday was Antoine and Loren’s last day, which was soooo sad!  We had had a great two weeks together. We got up in the morning as usual and headed to the nursery, so they could spend some time with the kids before being picked up.  And then at 10am, Harry arrived to pick them up and brought with him a new volunteer from France, Gwendoline.  We went with Harry and Gwendo to do the tour of the orphanage, and then it was time to say goodbye.  It was so hard!  So hard in fact, that I managed to talk Roberta and the newly arrived Gwendoline to come with me to the hostel so we could spend the rest of the day with Antoine and Loren!!!  I can be quite convincing when I want to be as my family and friends can attest! 😉



At least we had this to remember them by



And this one…


So off we went to the hostel, which was so great, as in addition to spending more time with Antoine and Loren, we also got to visit with some of the other volunteers from our orientation session that were also leaving then.  So we went to the mall for lunch with those that had already arrived (Melissa, Susanna and Sanna), then headed back to the hostel as Loren was flying home that night.  Sadly we were forced to say goodbye after all ? But to make up for it, two other girls arrived from their projects (Rachel and Karin), which was pretty exciting, because they hadn’t been at Kruger National Park with us the previous weekend and we hadn’t heard anything of their project, so we were all really curious.  Back to the mall we headed, this time for dinner!  And while we were there, another girl arrived (Emily) and we were all one big happy family again (well half of the family), and it was awesome to catch up and hang out again.  We eventually headed back to the hostel where we ended up having a dance party and I learned some Afrikaans dance moves.  Then it was getting late and Gwendoline was falling asleep (poor girl, she didn’t know anyone except us, and was completely exhausted, but she was such a trooper.  To be fair, she DID have fun, lol, and danced a lot! And both she and Roberta were really happy that we had gone) and it was time to head home.  Which was extremely difficult, as Antoine was BEGGING me to stay and spend the next day with him, and I felt really bad, and then Roberta and Gwendoline were arguing for me to go home with them, and I was completely torn! I really wanted to stay, but I also really wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed and take a bucket, lol.  In the end I opted to go home with Roberta and Loren, but decided to come back on my own the next day and spend more time with everyone.

So, sure enough, the next day I ubered my way back to the hostel on my own, to hang out with everyone.  We went for brunch at the mall, then ended up playing pool and games in the arcade, it was really fun.  Then it was back to the hostel to get the van and head to the airport, this time for a real goodbye.  Antoine and I were so sad ?  Then it was back to the orphanage for me.



Cool backpack you can win in the arcade


I finally headed to the mall on Monday to order some new glasses to replace the ones I lost/got stolen (?), and they said they would try and expedite it, since I only had my sunglasses, lol.  Everything was looking up, until Tuesday night, when the ceiling in our cottage started leaking!  At first it was just the one leak, so we figured, okay, we’ll go to bed and worry about it in the morning, but when Roberta went to get something from the kitchen an hour later, it had turned into 5 leaks (and there was actually a lot of water)!!!  And I was worried about the ceiling caving in and all the rats coming into the cottage, eeeek!!!  So we got the guard, who came to check it out, then he woke up the driver, who turned off the water, and back to bed we went.



Trying to catch all the leaks


The next morning they came to look at it again and assured us the plumber would come that day, so we headed out to visit Mandela’s house in Soweto.  It was really interesting to go and visit the house he lived in before and after his imprisonment. And then from there we went to visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum.  We actually went inside and visited the museum, which was again, very interesting and so sad, and a lot of information to read and videos to watch.  We headed back to the orphanage, hoping that things were fixed, but surprise, surprise, the plumber hadn’t shown up.  So it was another evening of no water, which is always fun!  He did eventually show up the next day, just in time, as I ended up getting the stomach flu, which is always fun!  Lucky for me it didn’t last very long and I was soon feeling better.



Mandela’s House



Bullet hole above the front window



Mandela quote



Inspirational tiles at Mandela’s House


Saturday was Roberta’s last day which was again really sad ? we’d spent such an amazing three weeks together and I was really going to miss her and her cute Italian accent! ? And then we were two. The only bright spot of the day was that I went to pick up my new glasses, so I could finally see again, yay!!!


If you’re interested in seeing more travel pictures, follow my instagram account at: packursuitcase


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