Ubuntu

There is a South African philosophy, Ubuntu, which was widely taught by Nelson Mandela and many other inspirational figures. Ubuntu roughly means, “I am, because of you.” In order to impact the world you must impact a person; when you impact one person you then impact a community. Many people have donated to my trip and have sent many encouraging words. I want to publically say thank you, nothing anyone has done for me has gone in vein. The donations I received have put me in an amazing position to impact many children’s lives.

I love all of my kiddies from the top of my heart to the bottom of my feet. I give these kids all of my love each day. From the moment I walk into the room at 9 am, to the moment I leave the place at 4:30pm. Any one working with children will tell you that it is 12648170_1089227457784790_1676866789_nnot a job for the weak at heart. Volunteering at Christine Revell is an extremely emotionally draining roller coaster that I must endure. For example, today the little boy, Immunati, he is a 2 years old and has been at the orphanage since the beginning of January and hasn’t made any noise other than crying. A 2 year old boy that does not make any joyful noises or say any words is a bit odd. Today his Aunt came to visit, in the beginning they discouraged the family to come visit because it was making the adjustment period worse for Immunati. In the last week, I have seen him smile, and today he actually started to make happy sounds while he was playing. The joy that filled my heart is something I cannot put into words. He has made such an amazing progress in the short three weeks I have been here. While his Aunt was leaving his cries were piercing to the ears and the heart; I can only imagine what his Aunt was feeling. Although Immunati may not truly understand what is going on now; she made an incredible selfless decision to give him a better home.

Nelson Mandela once told a reporter, “Ubuntu does not mean that people should not address themselves. The question therefore is, are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you, and enable it to improve? These are important things in life. And if you can do that, you have done something very important.” There are many days where at the end of the work day I am drained beyond belief, but because I was able to comfort one child it made it worth the while. These kids need me at my best; therefore I use my weekends to recharge and come back stronger than ever. The giant smiles I receive when I walk in on a Monday morning confirms my decision to volunteer here.

 

Happy Dance

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When there are good days, or slightly less emotional days I must write. I have been getting more comfortable with the children in my class, we play puzzle games, have story time and sing songs. Despite some learning delays in several children these kids are very bright, and they love to learn. I am also learning some Afrikaans, one of the 11 official languages of S12648170_1089227457784790_1676866789_nouth Africa, from my class. I still struggle to understand what many of the children; including the older ones are saying to me. These children are absolutely little bundles of joy and brighten up many parts of my day. Today I learned that I cannot adopt several of the kids in my class because they will be returning to their family. *Does happy dance!!!* Many parents who place their children in Christine Revell’s Children home is because hardships have fallen on the family and they want to provide a better means for the child. It is a relief to know that the families are being reunited and whole once again. I cannot contain the joy that fills my heart knowing that there are many happy endings to a sad beginning.

 

I have been feeling slightly food sick, it’s kind of like home sick but with food. I miss all the artificial ingredients, MSG, processed foods and many other unhealthy things that are home to many Americans. It is very difficult going into a store and not recognizing any brands that are on the shelfs. I tried to pick up Ritz Crackers or something very similar and I ended up with this healthy, wheat, cracker. To my dismay I was very disappointed. The inability to knowing exactly what I am buying, leaves an uneasy feeling in my stomach. The food is very healthy in South Africa, it’s not processed as much and there are a lot more options for healthy eating.  Besides missing the unhealthy food I am doing very well in South Africa. The volunteers at my host house rented a car so we are officially driving on the other side of the road.

Something Amazing is working very hard to figuring out ways for individual persons, businesses and churches to donate in order to help the orphanage. Due to the high cost of mailing packages we may be forced to take monetary donations. 100% of the donations will be going to the orphanage. We are still in the process of figuring out the best solution and avenue of helping. More information is to come, I just want to keep everyone update.

Until Next time

Stay awesome,

Jill

Are you happy?

If you have ever wondered what genuine happiness is, follow your dreams.  Since the beginning of high school I’ve wanted to travel.  Since 11th grade year, I’ve wanted to teach abroad and since 12th grade I’ve wanted to start a non profit which would allow me to help others abroad.  Each year the dream became a little more concrete.  I won’t lie to you and say the journey has been easy. I won’t lie and say I haven’t called off the dream and chased the party life or money. But now living and breathing my dream, I know it’s something that I want more than anything.

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This weekend I went to Muzinburg, with two Germans and an a fellow American.  I had a amazing time falling even more in love with Cape Town.  We went surfing for two days and it was such an amazing experience.  Surfing truly teaches you perseverance as the waves and wind will knock you down many times, but all you have to do is keep trying.  This weekend I found out my long lost hidden talent isn’t surfing. My goal is to still learn to surf while I am here, and I’ll keep trying until I accomplish that.

Also in Muzinburg I have an uncle who lives there. (Distant family, long story). Visiting him was really fun. I met a lot of people and everyone was very welcoming. We had a big braia (barbecue) for his birthday. There was a lot of singing and everyone is very talented in his family.  It was a little difficult for both of us to understand each other  but we persevered and figured it out.  I enjoyed being welcomed with open arms into his family and definitively will be back again.  Life is what you make it.  If you don’t like where you are in life, then change it.  There is not a single person stuck in a predicament that they can not change. I am glad to say this was the best decision I have made so far in my almost 21 years.

Until next time Jill

Who is my favorite?

Well that’s easy to answer. There is Immunati.  He is a two year old boy who has been here since November.  He hasn’t said a word since being here and the reason may be because he doesn’t speak English or Afrikaans. He requires a lot of attention and love.  I love just holding his hand to comfort him while crying.  But then there is Karan.  She is 1 1/2 years old and is very tiny.  She has been at the orphanage since a birth.  She has a smile that will melt your heart.  Also, there is Bradley.  He has the biggest personality.  A smile that lights up the sky and when he cries it hurts your heart.  He loves playing with my rings on my necklace and making them disappear into my shirt.  Wait, what about the twins, Asher and Aiden?  They love to play rough house and get each other in trouble. Everyone gets them confused even though I can clearly see the difference.  Both of them love it when I read the “dog book”, constantly screaming “DOGGY DOGGY!”  Cecil (Cee) is my little angel from above.  Most will say she is too much of a handful because of her autism.  With a little tender love and care she is incredible. Don’t take your eyes off her, because she’ll be standing on a windowsill.  I can’t forget about Tatium.  She cries a lot, but a big hug and a push on the swing usually brings a smile to her face.  Lastly Pearl. Pearl keeps to herself.  She is very quiet; but, also very sweet.  If you haven’t noticed, I can’t just pick one child.  Each child has a very special place in my heart and adds character to the class.  They teach me how to love and smile no matter what.  They also teach me it’s okay to cry sometimes as long as you get back up.

Until next time Jill

My heart is heavy

The orphanage is not a place for the weak at heart. I have so much love and compassion for each child that lives at Christine Revel Orphanage. The staff takes wonderful care for the kids and there are many volunteers that come from all over the world. The kids that live here are either abandoned, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, neglected or the family could no longer afford to keep the kids. It’s heart breaking seeing and experiencing it first hand. Each kid melts my heart with their smiles and laughs,then when they cry because they need to be comforted. My group is one and two years old, they truly don’t understand what is going on, but simply have fun. Christine Revel does its absolute best to find a host/foster family, adoption, or any place for the child to go before they are five and head to another orphanage. Once they head to another orphanage it is difficult for them to leave the system. The thing is these kids can grow up to be anything they want, the sky is truly the limit. I try my best to instill love, hope, and patience into each child while dealing with him/her. I can not change any system, or way things are done, but I can impact one little heart. That one heart can then impact another and eventual the world starts to change. Now on my second day I am heart broken, but I have to be strong for the kids. I want to donate, or help the orphanage out in some way,. I am not sure how just yet, but a plan is now in the works.

If you, or a company wants to help sponsor a gift towards the orphanage at the end of my four month stay. I.E. Gloves, there are many kids that are HIV positive, there are not enough gloves to go around for the staff or volunteers. Please email me at ExperienceSomethingAmazing@gmail.com

Until next time, Jill

P.s. My cousin TaTiana is amazing for uploading my post for me since I cannot hook up to the Internet here.

But you might die..

Here is my insight on solo female traveling. My number one pet peeve is when someone only has negative things to say about me traveling abroad or alone. I understand there are many risks of being a female traveler, but it doesn’t make it impossible. Safety is a big factor to why people discourage solo female traveling, but i encourage it. I encourage traveling alone whether female or male because it allows you to follow the wind, you can go where ever you like and do not have to debate it with anyone else. You can see the culture of the town and go where the locals go, or go where the tourist, or whatever catches your eye. Today was my first solo outing and here are the stories that go with my time alone.

My methods of traveling are not conventional and actually pretty crazy, but they work for me. I came initially to downtown Cape Town with no plan, and didn’t plan on taking local transportation. I decided throughout the day where I wanted to be and what I wanted to eat. I walked all through the street markets, it was interesting talking to the different vendors, all of them were from different places in Africa. They love to argue the price and forth, I love the different art, jewelry, clothing and cooking utensils, it intrigues me. Because I look like I’m a colored girl from Cape Town until I speak I tried not to talk in the less tourist areas. One moment I didn’t realize that I was in the market for locals and it got extremely unsafe very fast. I ended up getting lost majority of the time, but I eventually found my way.

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For lunch I went to a locals favorite eastern food Bazaar, it a similar to street food vendors in a long sketchy hall way. The first booth I went to I saw a giant rat crawling near the food so I politely went to the other side of the ally way. I have no idea the name of what I ordered, but essentially it was chicken in a semi spicy red sauced stew with long grained rice and this yellow pea curry stew on the side. It was amazing, I got all that food for about 3 dollars. I continued my journey back to the local street market where three men were playing instruments and a homeless guy was dancing, that was entertaining til I got kick out where I was sitting because I wasn’t eating.

Later I stumbled upon a street with different color houses, I’m not sure why they were different colors but they were so pretty. In route to meeting up with my friend My phone died so now I was walking around lost trying to find a Internet cafe. I graciously stumbled into R cafe, it’s a little hole in the wall with a very unique vibe, the staff was amazing and extremely friendly. I definitely recommend to stop by just to speak to the staff. The day consisted of me walking around and finding whatever pleased me. I probably walked 30 blocks in total, I’m exhausted. That’s all solo traveling is about, other than the one time of walking down the wrong street I didn’t fear for my safety. I definitely was carrying a knife in case anything broke out but luckily I didn’t have to use it.

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Until next time, stay awesome

Jill Bundy

If you are feeling lost go to church

I was feeling a bit out of place once arriving to Cape Town. The person responsible for picking me up was 30 minutes late, that was a bit nerve racking. Once arriving to the volunteer house I met majority of the volunteers, who were all from different parts of Europe and speak German. I felt a bit isolated because no one would speak English, the spoke the most common language between everyone, it seemed rude, but I kept it moving. It did not help that everyone went out to Long Street to party that night. To each his own on why they came here and what they are doing here, but that is not my mission. All I knew is I had to get out of Collegeville.

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I was invited to church by Danny accompanying the owners of the hostile a local church. After a slightly rough day, church was a good change of scenery. Church was similar to non denominational churches back home, with a wide range of nationalities. The lesson of the Day was: God works through anointed skills, sometimes when we need something done prayer is where we need to turn. At the end of sermon, there was an alter call for anyone who felt like they were battling the enemy in their life. I went down to because I had been feeling like Something Amazing was too big of a task for me to accomplish. I am only 20 and at times I get very discourage because I do not know which way I want to lead this company. At the end of prayer the lady comforting me told me, “God showed me a blind man walking around, bumping into things while in a room very lost. But when he trusted and believed in God he was no longer lost.” I became emotional and explained to her why and what I was going to be doing in Cape Town. This was a great reassurance that even when things look impossible God Is still there. God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.

Until next time Stay awesome Jill

If you aren’t following me on Facebook: Jillian Marie Bundy.

 

The time I fell in love

Today was my first day volunteering. Driving up I realized this is real these are kids have nothing consistent in their life and I am someone that can impact their life. After a little oreitantion and rules being put in place i got a tour of the orphanage. Once I saw the first room with the 0 to 12 months I fell in love. The smiles on the kids faces while I played catch with them it melted my heart. At that moment, my manager told me not to get comfortable because those weren’t the kids I’ll be working with. My group of kids are 1 to 3, they are the cutest group of kids I’ve ever met. They all are fascinated with my hair, and my watch they loved the colors. Many of them have non English type names which can be a bit hard to pronounce. There is one girl, a name I can not pronounce nor spell so I’ll call her Cee, has autism. As a special education major I am immediately drawn to her. I am not a doctor but I would say she is mild to moderate in the level of ability she has. She does understand when I speak to her and does respond just not verbally. The way she eats, communicates, or anything she does I just love to watch her. It is only the first day,but some of the teachers do not possess the patience to deal with Cee. Cee will not eat at the same speed, she won’t communicate the same, nor will she do other activities the same, but if you give her time, patience and attention she will complete the task. I already have grown so much love for the kids and it’s only been a few hours. These four months will be difficult, but I’m sure they will be so rewarding. Just as a warning I am not allowed to post any pictures with any of the kids on social media, blogs, nothing, I will be able to take pictures probably after the first week.

What no one tells you

Those small details that are important when traveling abroad that no one tells you. They do not tell you that coming to a foreign country is difficult. I am extremely grateful to have family here to help adjust and to steer me in the right direction, here on my first couple days. Before coming I wanted to do things my way and on my own, but after being here for a few days it is better to have a friendly face around.

Here are some of the things I am having trouble adjusting to:

  1. Time Difference. There is a 6 to 7 hour time difference between Joburg, SA and Georgia, USA. The difficult part Is not being able to sleep when everyone else is sleeping. Jet lag is a real thing and is very difficult the first few days. I haven’t adjusted yet. Trying to contact family and friends becomes difficult because when I’m waking up (8:30 am ) they ae going to sleep (1:30 am) and when I am going to sleep they are coming home from work.
  2. Adjusting to cultural changes. When I say this I mean being able to go run, like I did back home. It is absolutely beautiful in the mornings and I just want to go run. But because I am still new to the country I want to adjust to my surroundings before I truly start exploring, at least for the first few days.
  3. Not knowing if when people cook if you will like it. I love to try new things, but there is one problem, I do not like curry. Do you know which country is the curry capital of the world? (not literally) South Africa. I bite into everything with extreme caution. Luckily my family has cooked some delicious alternates and I have not run into that problem yet. I am keeping a list of dishes I like.
  4. Getting use to house help. One night everyone was sitting at the dinner table and I heard a noise in the kitchen. Now if I was back home, and noise in the kitchen happened while everyone is in the same room that is a reason to go get a gun. Instead here no one was freaking out, I simply had forgotten the house help was cleaning the kitchen. It is very common for house help to stay with the family and become part of the family.
  5. Lastly, not understanding what anyone is saying and lots of staring. The accents are thick and because I look like a coloured girl (a mixed girl in South Africa) everyone speaks fast, not til I open my mouth do they realize I’m American. Many school age girls stared while I talked and wanted me to say more things. It is quite entertaining. Everyone speaks extremely fast when thy are in a large group and they use different English words which makes it difficult to understand.
    1. For example- Indicator = turning signal
      1. Boot(when referring to a car)= trunk
      2. Robot (WHILE DRIVING)= traffic lights
  • Matriculate (referring to school)= senior
  1. Napkin=diaper

And many other small words that aren’t used in America

Until Next Time,

Jill Bundy

The Time I Lost a Day

Warning there are a lot of random small events I will talk about in this post that contributed to the time I lost a whole day.

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The Flight

First it started with a 20 hour flight, which to my surprise wasn’t too bad to endure. I sat next to a Nigerian Pilot, he was extremely nice and ended up helping me with Wi-Fi when I landed in South Africa. So shout out to you, Nigerian Pilot, whose name I Don’t know! Before flying I was scared that I would not survive the flight because I could not sit still longer than 20 minutes. To my dismay I was able to sit, watch movies and color majority of the flight. The food tasted like a fast food restaurant that wanted to be higher class but failed miserably, my taste buds did not enjoy.

On the second leg of my flight we landed in Ghana. I found it interesting that while landing, all the giant houses and buildings were sitting on dirt roads. The main roads were paved with asphalt, but 75% of the roads off of the main road was not. The infrastructure of that country intrigues me. Ghana has definitely made it on to my long list of countries to go to.

Landing in South Africa.

The airport signs were extremely confusing; therefore I just followed my Nigerian Pilot to where I needed to go. Everyone had to go through immigration. In this line I met a couple from the United States, Andy and Ann, they were world travelers and was staying for 2 weeks. We talked for a long time and I realized they are definitely my traveling goals, Mr. Andy had travelled to 57 countries. Hopefully our paths will cross each other once again.

Meeting the Family.

I was gracious enough to have family that lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Fun Fact: In South Africa they drive on the wrong side of the road, meaning the steering wheel is on RIGHT side. The kind of living in South Africa is different. My family lives in a gated community, that is still not safe for a single female to walk around in, along with gated fences around each individual houses. The windows are boarded up, but used as a design on the window. Along with after locking up all the doors there is a separate gate leading to the bedroom that also gets locked. My Aunt Tracy prepared a delicious African version of chicken and dumplings, it was prepared differently from the American version and I enjoyed it. The rest of the night, which felt like the day that never ended, I sat around and talked with my new family.

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Although in South Africa they speak English, Afrikan along with 9 other languages, I have to pay close attention to everything that is said because the dialect is very different. They use words in different contexts and it completely throws the sentence off. Side note, everyone has an awesome accent, although to them I’m the one with the accent.

That concludes the time I lost a day.