Ohana means family

Lately I haven’t had much to write about. I think I have hit the point in my trip where we are no longer going to all these adventure activities, things are no longer super exciting and I am just enjoying life in South Africa.
South Africa has become like a second home to me. Living here in South Africa has become a way of life.  Driving past the guys panhandling on the street has become normal. One thing that has caught my attention the last few days is Family.13046217_1147368318637370_1775496721_n13059721_1147369348637267_2039473949_n

Family is everywhere. I have family in America that has been cheering from the sidelines. The support I am receiving is sometimes overwhelming. I have family here in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have been blessed to have aunts and uncles that are distant family to open their doors up to me many times. This family is amazing be13059314_1147368075304061_411346154_ncause we were strangers before I came, but turned into close family. I flew to Johannesburg for the weekend and they throw a surprise belated 21st birthday Braia for me. I truly feel as though I am sitting back in America with my natural born family when I am around them.  My life here in Cape Town I am also surrounded by family.
The Three Germans I met while living in the house have become sisters. We argue, laugh, play, and go out together just like sisters would. I am so glad to be around wonderful people who encourage each other to be better. I never would have thought half way around t12992914_1142448529129349_415738570_nhe world I would have found such amazing friends. I cannot forget about my lovely host parents who open their doors to many different international students. The support they are giving each of us through the different transitions and issues we have had.

13023293_1147367708637431_1810552598_nMy last circle of family is my kids. Today we watched the movie Home together. In my heart I was so disturbed and saddened because there is a big theme of family and how much family means to the main characters. My kids do not have a proper family, but still within their hearts they know the importance of family. A lot of these kids have been growing up together since they can remember. The staff members have been their aunts and uncles, the other kids are their brothers and sisters, and occasionally when they make a special bond to a volunteer another piece of family is found. Family can never be defined, it can never have a specific structure or look.  Each of these kids have become a part of my family inside of my heart. A simple smile warms my entire heart. My days at the orphanage are slowly c13023640_1148873075153561_1549415742_noming to an end.  These kids have been my entire life these last three and a half months and I cannot de
scribe the feeling I receive everyday by being around them. Two weeks ago I walked pass this gem (picture to the right),
I had never seen her before and didn’t quite know where she came from, but I loved her. I had only met her for 3 seconds and I already hugged, kissed, and spread as much love as I could towards her. It doesn’t matter what your family consist of whether its mom, dad, dog, sister, or brother, as long as love resides in the middle everything else can be over looked.

Until next time

Jill

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