Conquering Fears

I guess you can say I am conquering all fears while I am here in South Africa. I have the biggest fear of falling, not heights just falling. What’s the best way to conquer that fear?  To Jump out of a plane of course.

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We went up in a small aircraft that could hold 6 people, each person jumped with a professional guide. The butterflies started to creep into my stomach as we climbed into the aircraft, but to hear that I was the first one to jump I became nervous. As the airplane crept up into the sky the view became more and more beautiful.

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We could see the entire coastline of Cape Town, everything looked every small and not important. The entire time my friends kept asking if I was okay because my face completely showed the fear through my eyes.

I am scared of falling. I do not know where this fear has come from, but I do not believe in being crippled by a fear. As we sat on the side of the plane to jump out I just prayed I did not pass out from this fear.

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I keep talking to myself saying it wasn’t that bad. Next thing I know we were free falling for about 1 minute. It was that bad. The worker kept telling me to look and smile for the camera, but I couldn’t.

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Falling and being in the air for that period of time I did not like. He pulled the parachute and we were just floating in the air, at this time I was ready to be on the ground. The worker did his very best to make me comfortable and kept asking if I was okay. The view was impeccable and I wouldn’t have wanted to see Cape Town from any other view.

I was pushed out of my comfort zone and I didn’t like that feeling, and that’s okay.SLR Pic 0054.JPG It is okay to step out of your comfort zone and not like it. I feel there is a lot of pressure to like everything that is amazing and loved by most people. I prefer being on the ground, and that’s okay. My friends enjoyed jumping out of the plan, and that’s okay. Right now at this point in my life I am willing to try everything. I do not know what I truly like and do not like; therefore trying new things is a must. I cannot form an opinion on things if I never give it a chance. My opinion on skydiving is I will stay on the ground. My life’s work is does not include me jumping out of anymore planes. I did not get over my fear of falling and that is okay. All I ask of everyone reading is to try new things. Do not let your fear cripple your actions; instead conquer your fears.SLR Pic 0119.JPGSLR Pic 0148.JPG

I’ll be staying on the ground for now

Until Next Time

Stay awesome,

Jill

New Tackies

When I was younger and I needed new shoes we went to the store. I got to pick out the shoes with my favorite colors, or the ones that lit up when you walked. At the orphanage things are different, the majority of the clothes and shoes are donated. If someone out grows a piece of clothing or shoes then it may be handed to another child if it is still in good condition. We are now entering into the fall season, the South Africans are freaking out because it’s a little cold. With the season changing, the beds have thick blankets neatly folded across them. The kids are wearing long sleeves, sweaters, and long pants. Some of the clothes may not fit perfectly, some are a little too short or a little too big, but the kids stay warm.12939322_1134153516625517_1561254263_n

Yesterday “new” shoes were given out to each child, instead of measuring their foot to see what size they were, we had the children try on each pair of shoes until we found one that almost fit just right. The kids on the other hand loved their new pair of tackies (shoes). The kids were so excited to get a new pair of shoes and they only wanted to show off their pair. The reality that many of their toes were touching the top, many of the shoes probably were too small, but because that is what’s available no one can complain. One of my kids put on a shoe that was entirely too small, but because they were his favorite color and he liked the design he made his foot fit. Not until the next day could we give him different shoes that fit a little better.12939345_1134153733292162_978880902_n.jpg

Sometimes I reflect and truly realize how blessed I was
growing up. The last few months I have been walking around barefoot for majority of the day unless we go to the mall. One day, a staff member came up to me and pointed to her feet, they were slightly wider than usually, but nothing too bad. She then proceeded to tell me that when she was younger she never had shoes, because they couldn’t afford them. I never realized what I took for granted. Being in South Africa has made me appreciative of the little things in life. Everyone needs shoes that fit properly; that’s a necessity. Yes, some people take it for granted and have 50 pairs of shoes, but in reality some kids do not have any. Through this journey I am growing and changing. I cannot save everyone, but I can inform others. Maybe, someone with 50 pairs of shoes sees these blogs and donates a pair of shoes to a
kid with no shoes.

Until next time

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Saw a llama in the car being pretty awesome.

Jill Bundy

Easter Joy

This will just be a picture blog.

Something Amazing was invited to provide Easter eggs for a kindergarten class in a township. It was a great experience and I enjoyed playing with all the kids. Along with providing chocolate eggs we gave slime to the kids. Many of the kids had never toughed or seen slime before, their facial expressions were priceless. In South Africa they do not teach the kids English until about the 3rd grade, there was a large language barrier, but regardless of language barrier kids know when they are loved.

Regardless of the image perceived from a township, I felt the community and love through out the streets. The kids were adorable and completely lovable. The teacher was extremely thankful and welcomed us to come back any time.

The rest of the pictures I will post to Facebook follow the Something Amazing page, or add me as a friend Jillian Marie Bundy.

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Stay Awesome,

Until Next time

Jill

Trip #2: Malawi

Warning this blog post is not for the small minded.

“ A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” Proverbs 18:16. Traveling has given me the opportunity to meet so many different people 12325241_1122600041114198_2080878537_nfrom all walks of life; chefs, restaurant owners, hostel managers, and others.  While staying at a hostel called Stoked Backpackers in Muzinburg, South Africa I met the manager, Henlry.  He is an amazing man from Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa.
He has been living in the country of South Africa for seven years and provides for his family back in Malawi.  After many years of helping the local communities in the different townships of Cape Town, he has started a volunteer program back in his home village, Lumemo, Malawi.  After a few conversations with Henlry, we realized we had similar dreams and we can work to together to achieve a common goal.

For those that are not familiar with volunteering and mission trips, they can be very expensive.  I always had a strong desire to help people around the world.  After officially being on my first volunteer trip I can say this isn’t fully what I was expecting, but I embraces all challenges and worked through them. Something Amazing is here to illuminate the gap between volunteers and companies. Volunteering should be a family shared experience that accompanies the volunteer along the way. The vision for Something Amazing is to have those on a limited budget to experience the world first hand in a safe environment while giving back. On each trip Something Amazing sets out to donate to the village/ program/organization in areas where help is needed.

I am excited to say Something Amazing is announcing our second trip! This trip will be open to others to join! A three-week trip to the village of Lumemo in Malawi.  downloadThis trip would run from Mid December to early January. Sekanawo Volunteering Program in the Kingfisher campsite is welcoming Something Amazing to join on a three week volunteering program. There are three different programs available, assisting in the HIV health care program, teaching/mentoring in the schools, or working on the farmland. In these exciting three weeks along with volunteering and helping the community you will be able to see and experience the culture and beauty of Malawi.

Here is a mock itinerary, there will be four days volunteering and the weekend will be spent exploring the culture of Malawi. Week 1 of the trip we will visit the Nyija National Park, Week 2 we will visit the Mushroom Farms to see Machewe Falls.  Week 3 we will experience The Kazuni Vwaza Game Reserve. I know you may be thinking that this trip will be very expensive, but as promised it isn’t.  Due to sponsors (personal and companies) and generous donations from the supporters of Something Amazing, the only cost to the participant will be the flight and an administration fee.  All housing, food, and weekend activities will be covered through Something Amazing.

Volunteering is for anyone that has the heart to help. Spending Christmas in a village that needs our help will change your outlook on life. I am working hard to secure all the details to make this Something Amazing’s first group volunteer trip. Something Amazing 2 Green 3If you or anyone else (18 or older) is interested in joining me. Or if you have a company that wants to help sponsor a portion of this trip email me at ExperienceSomethingAmazing@gmail.com. I can answer all questions about the costs, flights, and fees there. Please share this blog with anyone you believe may be interested. The things to come are exciting

Until Next Time,

Stay Awesome

Jill

 

Don’t lose a kid

Today was a good day. After arriving, I heard the screams and cries of my kid’s in the background. I thought to myself today will be a great day.  Christine Revell relies heavily on volunteers in order to help the staff members with the daily activities of the kids.  In the winter months, the numbers of volunteer begin to decrease and ultimately zero out, which requires staff to make adjustments.  This is starting to happen now.  Last Friday three volunteers left to go back to their home country. This leaves me and eleven kids (3 and under) alone for lots of fun. Here is how a relatively good day usually goes.

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“AHHH!!!” screamed by six happy toddlers running towards me with open arms for hugs. I make a point to hug and kiss every child so that they fill just a hint of love and affection in the morning.   On a wonderful day, there is no fighting, biting or crying, but because we do not live in a magical world after five minutes of being in the room, I have broken up five fights and comforted three kids.  Now its time to play, whether it is blocks, puzzles, cars, or buttons there is always something for the kids.  Four kids truly enjoy the activity, three are crying for only God knows what, two that are fighting and two are just staring into space.  Already two kids have pooped in their diaper and three are running back and forth to the bathroom trying to play with the water. The trick is always trying to figure out which kid is the culprit.12516119_1119484481425754_484888323_n

The typical toy time though each kid; Sinclair (the Girl with Autism) sometimes is crying constantly.  There are days that nothing can calm her down. She will try to escape or climb all over the room and I always have to keep a close eye on her for her safety.  I must make sure she does not hurt any of the other kids because she is older and does not communicate so she is unable to articulate her feelings.  I must also watch out for Tyrese.  If there is a crying kid near him, he bites their arm to get the toy they are playing with.  Aiden and Asher are my troublesome two. The twins are constantly fighting and rough housing with each other causing one to cry.  Caleb and Bradley are screaming from excitement while playing.  Tatum and Pearle are usually having temper tantrums because they did not get their way. Kyle and Immunati are my quiet ones, but if they are crying, it is because one of the older ones was picking on them.  Lastly Karen (the youngest one), although she is the smallest she causes the biggest problems with swearing and hitting.

Lunchtime can be a struggle with only two people assisting. We always begin with folded hands and a prayer, “God is great and God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. AMEN”.  In about 5 minutes, food has been thrown all over the room.  Food is covering some of the kids from head to toe and some are crying because they do not want to eat.  I never realized how big of a difference fifteen minutes could be until I came here. 12834867_1119486858092183_604151860_n.jpg In fifteen minutes about eleven kids are fed, I have chased three around in order to get them to sit down and two have thrown food on the ground.  I also have placed five kids in their cots to sleep and chased the other five around in order to use the toilet.  Most days my prayer is just to not lose a kid, because the transition from eating to sleeping is extremely hard.  Luckily, I have not lost any kids, so my prayers are working.

After everyone is in their cot sleeping it is finally my break time.  It is only 12 pm and I had one eventful morning.  Even after all the running, screaming, crying, bathroom accidents, and different personalities I love all my kids.  My kids bring joy into my heart each day. I wouldn’t change my morning even if I could. I will say that after being at the orphanage for a few months I do not want to have my own kids for a very long long time.

Until next time.

Stay awesome

Jill

This is How Faith Works

Two months ago I came to Cape Town with big dreams and aspirations. I had no idea on how to accomplish them, but I was ready for anything. I wanted to impact a group of people through my words and actions. During these 2 months, I have had many opportunities to give the children all the love and emotional support that I was able to give.  I comforted them when they were sad, gave them big hugs and kissed them on their foreheads to feel better.  No matter what, I realize that no love is greater than the love of God. I pray every day for strength to give these children exactly what they need.12842545_1110284799012389_1256227138_o

Although love can help to patch many years of emotional damage, hugs alone are not enough.  The orphanage cannot survive off of just love; it needs donations to help with the expense of caring for 49 children.  After being at the orphanage for a few weeks, I observed that it needed many many things; even more than I could count. I spoke with the Director of the center about the greatest needs.  She gave me a list of items that was so great it blew my mind.  The list never seemed to end.  I knew Something Amazing or I could afford to provide all of the items on the list.

Here is the list:

·                     52 water proofs

·                     (Goes over diapers for baby to stay dry)

·                     6 laundry baskets
·                     50 packet nappy liners

·                     (liner for cloth diapers)

·                     52 plastic dinner plates
·                     10 serving spoons ·                     6 dust pans,
·                     Spatula ·                     2 feather dusters
·                     2 pots ·                     6 brooms
·                     Copy paper ·                     Material to make aprons for the kids
·                     2 Large Juice jugs ·                     3 Mini Juice Jugs
·                     4 bowls with utensils ·                     2 bowls with lids

 

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My faith was lacking. I had no idea that half way around the world a pastor, whom I’ve never met, was being inspired by what I am doing and was collecting donations to give to Something Amazing.  As I was counting my pennies to see what I could pull together, the donation was presented to me in order address the need. Excited beyond measure, I proudly told the Director that we could go shopping for everything on her list. It was shopping time! Four stores and two and half hours later, everything on the list was purchased along with a couple extra things.  The smiles on the faces of the staff made everything worthwhile.

I am human. I do not know how things will play out. I cannot read the future, but through faith great things get accomplished.  I am in awe realizing this cause; this company is bigger than just me.  The fact that I am inspiring people in different parts of the world to go explore, travel, and help others is astonishing.  Although my faith is becoming stronger as the days go on; I am forever thankful for everyone that prays for me daily.  Please continue to pray as there is so much to be done and so many to help.

Until Next time Stay Awesome Jill

Let’s Go Out

On my first day at the orphanage I was given a crash course of exactly what could happen if  anything goes wrong. I was also told that many children have HIV and that I must always take major precautions while dealing with each child because everyone should be treated the same. At the same time I was told the volunteers are allowed to take the children out on day outings to have some fun. Due to the importance of everything else told to me I completely did not pay attention to the day outing information.  About two weeks ago, I become aware that at any moment the volunteers can take a child out as long as its cleared by management.

Here are the pictures from my two outings, one to the beach and the other to a big play house. The children I chose to go on these trips were not the  “ideal” choice. Because of their disabilities they can be considered “hard to handle” quiet at times, unresponsive, and somewhat whinny. To my surprise, both of these trips were absolutely amazing. The reason I chose these two children was to give them an opportunity to see the world outside of the orphanage. Even with their perceived difficulties, they needed a chance to go out.

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Beach Time

Outing #2 Bugz Big Play Park

 

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The attachment that has grown in my heart for these kids is unbelievable. Every time someone stares while we are out in public causes me to protect their little hearts. Due to their age, they do not understand some of the looks they receive because of the tantrums and behaviors they show in public. I know cannot protect them from everything, but I will definitely try my best.

Until Next Time

Stay Awesome,

Jill

I’m Uncomfortable

 

hospitalTwo crying babies, 2 high fevers, 5 babies just got admitted in the middle of the night, 6 roaches keep coming up to me saying “hi” and I’m uncomfortable. This may be my “first world problems” kicking in, but I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because an eight year old girl across the way, who is a regular here by herself for days at a time. Her teeth are incredibly skinny and missing because she lacks calcium in her diet. I’m uncomfortable because it’s 30 C (80ish degrees) and the nurses say they aren’t turning on the air conditioner even though that’s their job. I’m uncomfortable because I don’t want to wake up with a roach on my face, nor my child crying because something is wrong and I’m too asleep to realize it.
It’s feeding time now for the babies so now everyone is awake. Luckily my baby girl isn’t bottle feeding and can continue to stay asleep. It took 45 minutes to put her back to sleep last time after she was awaken for her temperature to be taken. It’s time tohospitla 2 feed the babies milk, no worries, bottle or breastfeeding isn’t allowed here. A cup is provided with warm milk and the babies must drink up. It’s 3:30 a.m. now “mommy wash the babies.” As every one scrambles to wake up, and find soap as I walk to get the silver bin to start washing my baby girl. At 3:30 in the morning no one is too happy to be up, I still haven’t been to sleep, going on 18 hours of being awake. Luckily baby girl woke up in a cheerful mood regardless of the time; smiling and brightening up my day. Now it’s back to sleep the babies go, at 4:30 my eyes become heavy and I can no longer stay awake, I sleep for 45 minutes. The doctors wake me to take her temperature one more time it’s 36 degrees C, due to my lack of knowledge of celcisus I ask is she running a temperature what are we going to do. The doctor looked at me like, “calm down she is normal.”
6 o clock came around fast, now it’s feeding time for the older ones.hospital 3 The nurse came around handing porridge and yelling Afrikaans to me to take the sugar. I was alarmed and confused until she realized I didn’t speak Afrikaans. It is difficult at times looking like a native because everyone just assumes I speak the language.
Many doctors asked “Are you her mommy?
Me: “No I’m the guardian”
Doctor: “Where is her mommy call her here.”
Me: “Um I can’t she lives in a orphanage.”
Everyone assumed baby girl was really my baby, that conversation became more and more awkward every time for me. The last few hours crept up on me slowly. The mothers began conversing with each other and the nursing staff stayed. Although, I was only there for 18 hours; there were many mothers that had been there for as long as five days straight.
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In no way am I saying the hospital doing a great job taking care are of these babies. I am simply outlining the differences between an American hospital and this particular hospital in Cape Town. The nurses were pleasant and once they found out I was American enjoyed talking to me and helping me out. Yes, I was uncomfortable the entire day, but knowing I was there to comfort baby girl it was all worth it. After being up for 30 hours semi-straight I could lay my head with out worrying about roaches.
(None of these pictures are of my baby girl, I can not say her name)
 Until next Time,
Stay Awesome
Jill

Plans Change

4 months in South Africa is not enough time in this beautiful country. Although I’m in Cape Town for such a long period of time it is also very short time to see the country. As usual my fellow house sisters and I planned every second of our upcoming weekend. Happy and excited for the weekend to come, those plans had to change. One of the younger kids in group A, Nadine (one and a half years old), is in the hospital and has been in for about a week now. She was scheduled to stay in the hospital alone to receive treatment for 10 days. The orphanage did not have the funds nor ability to have a staff member on duty the entire time while she was there. Once the volunteers from that group found out they immediately took action and developed a schedule so Nadine would not be alone at the hospital. This schedule included 17 to 24 hour shifts, day and night in order to accompany her. Due to sickness or weekend plans there are not enough people to split the shifts any other way.

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Immediately my thoughts started racing. First, no one no matter what age likes to be in the hospital alone. Once I was in the hospital for two hours by myself and I felt like crying. I  can only imagination what a baby who doesn’t fully understand feels. She only wants to be comforted and loved through the entire experience. Secondly, I commend the volunteers for taking it upon themselves to do something about the issue. On the other hand, they shouldn’t over extend themselves and need a helping hand; therefore no matter what I had planned this weekend could be cancelled. My heart yearns to be there for Nadine just as I like to be there for my kids at the medical clinics. It doesn’t matter if I am sitting there for hours to see the doctor, but for the child to know someone is there for them is more important.

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I am learning the art of sacrifice, dedication, and consistency that some of these kids need in their life. Their entire life has been made of disappointments and being alone. Now is the time that disappointment to end and help them gain the trust back. When the definition of being spoiled equals 10 minutes of one on one attention, my heart is saddened.  I have so much love for these kids and I want each and every one of them to feel that love.  Today a staff member said to me, “I do not want to be at this place the day you leave, because you have touched so many kids in different ways that it’s going to be heart breaking.” It’s going to tough, but luckily we don’t have to think about that right now.

(Pictures were from my second trip to the clinic.)

Until Next Time

Stay Awesome,

Jill

 

One More Day to be Awesome

Warning this should of posted yesterday.

Happy Leap Year Day everyone! On this year that you have one extra day to be awesome. Enjoy it and make the most out of this day. Today was a mixed emotion type of day. Christine Revell Orphanage allows the volunteers to take a few kids of their choice out on a “day outing”. The volunteers can take the child anywhere they want as long as they are back by 4 pm. The kids absolutely love when there is a “surprise” or something out of the normal routine. Today three Danish girls took Caleb, Karen, and Tyress out to the botanical gardens. As they grabbed their shoes and put on nice clothes they were excited for the surprise ahead. The smiles on their faces lit up entire room when they found out they were leaving for the day.   If you looked across the room at the other children you could see the disappointment in their faces. Several became extremely upset once Caleb, Karen and Tyress left the center.  many of the children are too young to understand why the others got to go out and they didn’t.

As you scanned the room, you could tell which of the children regularly got to go out due to host parents, these were the most upset. These children know that good exciting things can happen outside of these walls. For example Bradley has a host family and went out for the weekend a few weeks ago; once he saw the others grabbing their shoes he immediately knew what was happening. He then continued have an emotional break down for the next two hours.  This situation is very tricky because it’s nice for the children to leave and have fun for the day, but on the other hand it upset so many. Now that I understand the policy of “day outings”, I will make it a point to take several kids on a regular basis.  A day outing can be as simple as going to the mall and walking around, or going to the park.  The different scenery and change in routine brightens up the child’s day. My first outing will be Thursday. Another volunteer and I will be taking two kids, Tatum and Kyle, to the beach to have a fun day in the sun day. I am extremely excited and already brought them cotton candy. Whether or not they have ever had cotton candy or gone to the beach it brings me joy to see the smiles on their faces. I hope Kyle and Tatum are ready for an awesome Thursday.

Please follow our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ExperienceSomethingAmazing/?ref=hl

Until next time

Stay Extra Awesome,

Jill