Week 6 was a lot more interesting than the previous week! First, I got to go to the Johannesburg zoo with the nursery kids and the grannies. It was actually a lot of fun. We all squashed into the vehicles, and then when we arrived the occupational therapy students were there to greet us (I had no idea they would be there to help). We all grabbed a couple of kids and made our way to the center gazebo thing, to set up camp and explore from there. It was such a great day, not too hot, sunny, the kids were surprisingly well behaved the entire day (especially considering they missed their nap), and they really enjoyed being at the zoo, seeing the animals, getting to walk around and experience something new. I also got to know the grannies better, which was really nice. We didn’t really get to actually see most of the zoo, since the kids obviously can’t walk very far, but I enjoyed what we saw. I think almost all the kids fell asleep on the way back, they were so exhausted, poor things. Actually, so was I! We finally got back around 5pm, and I was totally ready for bed, but I couldn’t because I had laundry to do and wanted to do some cleaning (I made it my mission to do a big spring clean of the cottage while I was alone, since it looked like it hadn’t been done for a while). Plus, I wanted the place nice and clean before the new group of girls arrived (yay, new people! Company!!!) on Friday.
Wednesday afternoon I was picked up by the Awesome Travel bus to join the new orientation group . My chat with Glen (one of the owners) the previous week, had led to me talking about how I wished I could visit Lesedi, this cultural village that some of the orientation groups get to visit and which mine had not (we went to Pretoria instead), and Glen suggested I join the orientation and visit it, which I was more than happy to do. First, I got to meet my new roommates a few days earlier than I was supposed to, second, I got to visit Lesedi, and third, I got to stay at the hostel for a few nights, which means: SHOWER!!! I also got to pick up my election ballot, as it had arrived that week, so that was also exciting. It arrived much quicker than I had expected, which was nice.
So first things first, my new roommates are: Francesca (Germany), Kim (Germany), Marian (Belgium) and Heleen (Belgium). They all seemed really nice and had lots of questions about the orphanage, and it was fun to be able to fill them in on what to expect, and to show them pictures of the kids so they had an idea of what it would be like, and have a nicer introduction than what we had had when we first arrived.
We spent Thursday visiting Lesedi Cultural Village, and while it is pretty commercial, it is still interesting to see the different cultures in South Africa, and the differences between them. I got to taste some new foods, such as crocodile (surprisingly good) and Mopane worms (aka masonja; salty, but not that good). There is a good introductory video, and we finished off the day with a dance presentation, where they showcase dances from different tribes, which was cool.
And then Friday it was time to head back to the orphanage and show my new roommates the ropes! It was so nice to have company again, and especially with the children, because being the lone volunteer was pretty exhausting, as all the kids just run to you and want to be on you or held by you and it gets kind of crazy, so being 5 is a huge difference!!! Although I did get to know the ladies who work there much better when I was alone, I think they felt bad for me, lol.
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