The People of Malawi

If you remember a few months ago I told you I wanted to know the people in the village by name. Each person has a story, each person has value. Therefore here are some of the people of Malawi. These are the people I learned to love in the village, here are a few of my favorites. Something Amazing had the opportunity to help some of these people out.IMG-20170714-WA0060

1. Chino

Chino is a man of many trades, he owns a bicycle repair shop, a few bicycle taxis, is a priest, and he always has a few bee hives in which he keeps. I met Chino on the first few days I was here in Malawi. IMG-20170714-WA0053The first few days I needed a bicycle fixed, at first, he tried to over charge us, but we promised if he gave us a good price we would only come back to him. This friendship formed and we now stop by his bike shop every day. One day Chino invited me and Tarik (the German I lived with) to go see his bee hives. Not realizing we were going to collect honey, it was probably one of the single handed dangerous things I’ve watched here. Chino and his brother, with no protective gear other than long sleeves, started making a fire under the bees nest to make them sleepy. As the flames got higher and the bees got lower, all I could hear is Chino saying. “Don’t be afraid, but be careful.” After about 30 minutes of battling bees, we got the sweetest honey I have ever tasted. Chino recently got he be stolen, which greatly affects his business. Sometimes in life, you have to reward amazing people when life tries to get them down in life.

2. Vincent Msiska.

Vincent is the Manager of the local organization I partnered up with, Kingfisher. He is dependable, hard working, and wonderful family man. IMG-20170713-WA0014Vincent is my number one person here in Malawi. He makes sure we are safe, that we have a translation when needed and that no one tries to take advantage of us. He makes sure everything is in place when we are going to help local people in the village. Vincent has 2 young daughters, Patience age 6 and Theleza age 3. An example of the type of father Vincent is, one day I gave Vincent 6 Oreos from my care package I got. For my knowledge, he ate all the cookies and we went on about our day. Later in the day, we stopped by each of his daughter schools to pay school fees and he proceeded to give 3 cookies to each daughter. I thought this was extremely sweet due to not always having the ability to buy sweets for his daughters. Sometimes it is the small things in life that can make a child’s day better. Something Amazing has sponsored his daughters in order to go to school. Vincent is also our proud manager back in Malawi over one of our new employees.

3. Mr. Konchera.

Mr. Konchera is the standard 6 teacher at the primary school I teach at. He is one of my favorite teachers at the school. In the beginning of my time here he seemed to never show up, but the last month he has been wonderful. Mr. Konchera said once about the strike, “I will teach my students. It doesn’t matter about the money at this point. The government doesn’t know this child, but I do. My kids will not do good on the end of the year test if things

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continue this way.” He was the first teacher to acknowledge that the teachers are directly related to how the students can progress in society. Not many teachers were able to figure that out. I will forever have respect for the man. We also made a deal that if he came on time and to school every day for two weeks we would take him to the lake with us, for a mini vacation. He is in his later years in life and has never seen Lake Malawi which is only an hour from him.

4. Patience

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Patience is a young girl, Vincent met a few months ago. Her mom has had leg cancer for the last 12 years. This makes it impossible for her to work or make any type of living. Patience mom was confined to crawling on the floor due to a lack of a wheelchair, we took her to the hospital and became aware of a program that provides wheelchairs for free. Patience struggles in school but really wants to learn and become better. I tutored her twice a week in English and math. IMG-20170813-WA0018She seemed to improve with the extra help that she got.  Patience lived in subpar living conditions with the lack of food, a proper house and fully taking care of her mom. Patience and her mom slept on the floor of her brother’s house, not receiving a lot of food and unsure how long they could stay in the house. One of Something Amazing’s volunteers decided to help build Patience and her mom a house. Through trials and tribulations, she finally got a house. (I’ll post a blog about the house later.) One of my favorite memories of Patience was when I took Patience to get her new uniforms and asked if she wanted to pick up a little snack since we were hungry. Many children in Malawi do not get a chance to a be a kid since they are constantly taking care of their parents o the family. Patience is one of those kids, so when I asked her if she wanted a snack her eyes lit up as she grabs bags of chips to take to school. Patience and her mom are part of Something Amazing’s empowering the community program, we have and will continue to help with school supplies, school uniforms, and food.

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You can help by clicking the link to the right.

Every day I miss the people of Malawi. Every day I feel as though  I should be back over there. Many people did get on my nerves during my time in Malawi. Just like how a child gets on a parents nerves, that parent doesn’t stop loving that child. I will always love the community in Malawi, and maybe there is more to this story.

Enjoy this video of us at a birthday party. The little kids can dance!

Until next time,

Stay awesome

Jill

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Continue Moving Foward

 

Many times on you have only heard about the hard times I am having. Things in Malawi for the average person is hard. I do struggle most days with the cultural differences. Many days I am frustrated 75% of the time. I want to flip tables, yell, cry, become confrontational with people and sometimes I don’t even know what to do. I feel like I am on a wild roller coaster, which often comes to a sudden standstill. A stand still that many times I do not think I can overcome, but I keep trying. Yesterday was one of the most difficult days I have had since arriving. I have written previously about my adventures and frustrations at school, and how many teachers do not come to work consistently (read off to school we go). I have had several meetings with the local head chief and brought the issues to his attention. I felt we finally started to move in the right direction, then all the teachers in Malawi went on a strike due to a financial issue that was never addressed last August. This strike has the potential to continue for upwards to a month.

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I felt completely defeated at this moment. I had to walk away from several conversations with the teachers and focus on how we wanted to divide 3 teachers (me, Tarik (the German) and Henry (my participant) between 200 students. Through all the frustrations of this strike and the many other things, here are two things I truly enjoy about teaching at the school.18987759_1640107172696813_1669854422_o

  1. The eagerness to learn.

I have had overly large classes to teach at one time ranging from 7 to 14 years old due to the lack of teachers. Today, while teaching grades 3 and 4 I noticed grades 1 and 2 were standing at the door trying to listen to what I was teaching. My class size was already 70 students and I decided to open my classroom up to the younger grades. This doubled my class to roughly 120 students. At first, it was frustrating and difficult to get a bunch of students whose third language is English to sit down and be quite. After about 10 minutes of settling down, I was able to conduct a lesson about foods that are good to eat. The students try their absolute best in order to understand what I am teaching due to the language barrier. Everyone runs up to me to get their work checked. Sometimes the students will return several times in order to have all the answers correct.  Through the lessons, I have taught roughly 75% of the students.  On average the students are able to complete the work correctly and understand the assignment given. We have to focus on the small wins.19047485_1640103449363852_313840251_o

  1. The willingness to give their last

Many students come to school without having breakfast due to the lack of food available. They may only have a few peanuts, bread, bwabwa (a local fruit/snack), or a small snack in which they are always willing to give me half. The willingness to give me their own pen or food resonates strongly in my heart. These students do not give because they were told, but simply because they want to share. I will always be able to respect anyone willing to give their last, even when their next are not promised.

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I have seen the students brighten up over the last few weeks.The looks on the student’s face when they received the new uniforms was priceless. The looks and attitudes of some of the students have completely changed in the last week of receiving uniforms. One boy in my class, Charles, was a trouble maker and never did his work. I found out that Charles did not have a pen in order to complete his work as well as not having a uniform. Since receiving his uniform and a pen he is one of my most talented students. Even with the challenges faced every day I still enjoy waking up and going to school. They say the darkest moment in the night is when the stars shine their brightest. When your faith is tested you simply have to believe that there will be light ahead and continue moving forward.

 

Thank you to everyone who has supported the people of Malawi. Continue to pray and send good thoughts my way while I am here in Malawi. Each day I hope for the best day possible.

Until next time,

Stay awesome.

Jill

New Things to Come

Everyone says 2016 was their worst year yet. For me, 2016 was one heck of a roller coaster. This year may have had its downfalls, but I enjoyed every curve ball, crying nights, laughing mornings, new adventures, and scary moments. This will not be a blog where I tell you about every amazing or not so amazing things that have happened in the last 364 days. (If you are interested in those adventures, read my previous blogs.)

But I will tell you 3 things I have learned this year:

  1. Travel as much as you can

There is nothing more satisfying in the world than traveling to new destinations. If you have always wanted to travel someplace book your plane ticket. Travelling doesn’t have to be super expensive, nor do you have to wait until you are established in order to travel. In 2017 I am trying to reach as many countries as I can. This year I went 3 (South Africa, France, Bahamas) next year I will aim for 6. I have already booked my ticket for an awesome summer in Southern Africa, but I cannot wait for the other adventures to come.

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  1. You never will have enough money

The biggest thing I learned is money always comes back. Stop working every day and not enjoying life. Take that vacation you always wanted, go to the restaurant you never got a chance to try, buy that shirt you love. In 5 years you’re not going to look back and think I wish I didn’t spend all that money; instead, you will remember the memories you are making. Start saving. Each check after all responsibilities put 50 dollars to the side and after 4 months do something fun with what you saved.

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  1. Meet new people.

Stop being shy and talk to people. 85% of the time if you start a conversation with someone they will answer back. I do not know why people have lost hope in humanity, but not everyone is a serial killer. If you like a person’s shirt, say something,. Want to hang out with someone, invite them over. Stop being shy and staying home alone, meet new people. It is okay to meet new people. Some of my best friends are people I have met overseas, or someone I started a random conversation with.  Start small, all you have to do is say, “Hi.”

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It’s a new year to become a better person than you were last year. Embrace all the downfalls and cheerful times this year has to bring. Something Amazing has some awesome things planned for this year. Including, but not limited to our very first group trip to Malawi. My plane ticket is purchased and I am more than excited.  5 months to go, and a lifetime of memories. 2016 is was amazing and now I am ready for 2017.

 

Happy New Year

Until Next time,

Stay Awesome

Jill

Why Change?

I have officially been home for three months. These three months have been a heap of fun, heartbreak, changtable mountain.jpges and anything else that could have turned my life upside down. Through these three months, I have learned the true meaning of adapting to change. Many of us hate change. As people, we get comfortable in how we live. We tend to stray away from anything different from the usual routine. Coming back home to simple Georgia was one of the hardest things I have done. The transition back to an everyday life of not being in a foreign country has taken a toll on my mind and soul. Some days were extremely difficult and in order to get through the day I reminisced on my adventures and time with my kids.
Other days were great, especially days I ate all the food I missed while aboard. I even went to the extreme lengths and cut my hair off, I am loving my new cut now, but that decision rocked my world for a few weeks.cut hari
Every day for the first month I yearned to be back outside of these country’s borders. Of course, as soon as life started to settle down, and being home didn’t weigh as heavily on my heart, life took another turn. We live in an age where pictures tell a story, every picture is a memory that won’t be lost. I lost majority of my pictures from my South African trip due to my IPhone crashing. It took a few weeks to mentally recover, but I had to realize that the pictures of my kids weren’t the only thing I had left of them. Every day for the second month I did everything I could to find internships in another country. Once presented with an internship in Costa Rica, I was excited to branch my talents and explore a new environment. At this point everything was falling into place, everything I asked for was given to me. Everything does not come at the correct timing’ therefore we must make further adjustments.

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On the third month, everything changed again. I thought Costa Rica was exactly everything I needed at this point in my life. Working alongside a nonprofit as an intern and learning everything needed to properly run a nonprofit. Sadly, I had to turn this opportunity down; in order to study at THE University of Georgia. For those of
my readers that aren’t from the Southern parts of the United States or Georgia, THE University of Georgia is one of the best universities in Georgia and the Southeast. At first, I couldn’t understand why good opportunities kept presenting itself for me to make hard decisions. I was devastated when Costa Rica had to be turned down, but when one door closes God always opens another. Now I am all moved into my new apartment in Athens, Ga and I couldn’t be more excited about the new opportunities awaiting for me at THE Unversity of Georgia.
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I cannot be abroad right now, but everything I do now is to make a better future to travel the world later. Something Amazing has been working hard to secure our trip for next summer. If you or someone you know is interested in going to Malawi please fill out the application.
UPDATE: Freddy has been sent to school with the help of our supporters. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram in order to get weekly updates.
Until next time
Stay Awesome
Jill, Ceo of Something Amazing

Dani Conquers the World

For those who are unaware, Something Amazing is featuring people who are volunteering in many different places around the world and their experiences and feelings. Here is post #2 from Dani on her recent volunteering/mission trip in Ghana. She explains exactly how many feels after coming home from a volunteer trip. She is a 21 year old Medical Student at Valdosta State:

  1. Volunteering is something that I have been doing for a hot minute now, and there are so many emotions that I go through every time. If that’s a trip abroad or a trip within the States… it still the same. Just this summer, I went to Ghana with a company called Cross-Cultural Solutions for two weeks. And yet again — same feeling.13466002_10209485850048824_1022366100914028091_ndani 4

1) The feeling of it being just a long dream.

Coming back home is as much of a culture shock then getting there. To be honest I feel more of a culture shock coming home then when going over there. It’s a strange feeling because it makes you realize how much we have. The amount that we take for granted is insane, and the luxurious that we have are incomparable.
It seems like another world, when it’s just in fact — ours. It’s not another world, it’s our world as a whole.
Everything is so different and it’s insane to say the absolute least. You can picture your memories in your head, you have photo evidence, and it really happened.

Coming back seems like you just woke up from a really long dream — It’s back to reality.

Which doesn’t make sense right?  — This is reality as much as that was reality. It wasn’t a dream…. but it damn sure feels like one though.dani 3

2) The feeling of disappointment

It will always change your life in a “positive” way — they say
I have done many volunteer works in many places, abroad and around the country. The feeling of awestruck and wanderlust kinda just stick with you. You keep these memories close to your heart. These are the ones that you tell the rest of the world about.
For the most part, volunteer trips make a positive impact in your life regardless if that’s due to the cultural immersion, the projects you work on, or the people you interact with.
But this time, it was a little different.

I feel disappointed.
No, not cause of the trip, or my time abroad. It’s cause it opened up my eyes to how much we suck.
I’m disappointed in us.
Us — as in “Americans” — and I put quotes around it because I don’t just mean the people in this area. I’m talking about people in general, no matter what country they are from…
The one’s who decide to turn their head when they see poverty. The one’s that choose to be in their own little world, and refuse to open up to the rest of this amazing place we call Earth. The one’s that are so consumed with their life, that they can’t open it to others. The one’s that close their mind, and don’t see what’s really out there.

The sad reality is, coming back home made me realize HOW MANY people are like that.

and it’s disappointing.dani 2

3) The feeling of confusion

The fact is, we are better off in one area of the world and we have so many resources and means to things. I was one of 16 others out of this side of the world to go to Ghana through this company. Compared to the pure population in the United States alone, the amount that volunteer in a place abroad is so minuscule it genuinely breaks my heart.

Why does it have to be like that? — I’m just so confused.

Our land is as much theirs, as theirs is ours. Well, in the grand scheme of things. We’re all human. Human. 
It’s the need. The need just to get everyone on the same page.
No — not on and socialistic standard, or any politically affiliated idealism. I’m talking about the human standard… The achievement of happiness, of unity, and the respect of all life no matter where or who you come from.
It really opened up my eyes to how much we need to change, how much we need to grow, and how much we need to learn.
We’re all the same species you know? — we have the same biological systems, the same make up, the same basic human needs and wants.

So why doesn’t everyone just help out their fellow human? — I’m just so confused.dani 8

4) The feeling of being useless

It felt as if you didn’t even change anything.  Yeah, I might have dug some trenches in my day, I might have helped a student read, I might have helped someone walk again, but it feels like I haven’t done anything. The needs are so great, and I can only do so much. One person can only do so many things.

I feel so useless. — like what I’m doing isn’t changing anything, and there is too much suffering and pain in this world for us to overcome. There is so much to do and I feel so overwhelmed with emotions. I feel so small and I feel so…useless.

But the thing is… those relationships that you build with people, the laughs that you share, the stories that you tell, the tears you shed and the comfort you find in others… that’s what matters. That’s what is useful. We might not be able to end world hunger in a snap of our finger. But we can feed those around us. It doesn’t have to be with food either, we can enrich those around us spiritually, emotionally, and much more. We have to be there for each other and we have to make the ones around us the best that they can be, so that they can in turn do the same to those around them. So really in fact, we are all useful.dani 7

5) The feeling of not having a home

The home is where the heart is.

My heart reaches out to the Nicaraguans in La Chuscada getting their school built. My heart reaches out the the Afghan students learning how to read and write. My heart reaches out to the Ghanan physiotherapy patients learning how to walk again. My heart reaches out to every American that is on the street begging for their only dollar. My heart reaches out to the kids at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta battling whatever they got as hard as they can. My heart reaches out to all the other hearts that feel pain, and feel empty.
So if the home is where the heart is….

I don’t have a specific home. — None of us should have a home, and by that I don’t mean a place to lay your head down. Everyone needs that, but not all actually have it. None of us should have a set place for our heart, our hearts should flow into others and show that only love can save this world. The world that we can all call home.

Jill here again: share, comment, and like Dani’s love and passion as she travels. Make sure you are following our

Facebook page  Something Amazing and my personal Instagram: Maybeits_Jill

Stay Awesome!

Jill

Father’s Day Let’s Celebrate!

Fathers do not get the warm welcome of being thanked on this holiday.
Many families have been broken by absent dad5fathers. Children have grown up without a father figure making these people bitter on this holiday. I sympathize with these people, but today is for the fathers. I will be celebrating my father along with all the other fathers who are trying their best in their child’s life.dad6

Let me tell you about the wonderful person I call dad. He came into a family that was already made. The first day we met my older brother, Corey, shot him with a water gun and I threw a plastic knife at him. If on the first day he could handle anything thrown at him we knew he needed to be a part of this family.My dad is a man of few words. He loves differently than any other person I know. He is a person who shows his love. Through the many years of happy and crazy times he has always been there for me. .From the time I came home crying because some boy in the neighborhood said he was going to punch me in the face. To the time I left for my first trip abroad. I love my dad for always standing by me in difficult situations. For always be the person I turn to when a giant bug is torturing me. Or when I have a difficult life decision and he just stares at me while I am rambling.dad3

Step Fathers do not get enough credit. These are men who have many different roles. Apart from being the man of the house, taking care of the family, and all other responsibilities, He steps in when a space is vacant. He did not have to step into our lives when he did, but I couldn’t imagine our lives any different. I thank you for everything you have done. As I said in my Mother’s day blog, I am not the easiest person to be a parent to. Therefore for someone to have stuck around this long and continued to love me even when I say weird things.dad2

I love you dad,

I hope you enjoy your day.

Stay Awesome

Jill

So Longs and See you Laters

The last month has been a world wind13405540_1184170384957163_1980882133_o of traveling and excitement, which has limited the amount of time I have had to work.  For the last 6 months I have conquered navigating South African streets, Paris subways, different hiking trails, and many other exciting activities. Now I am back home.  This is a bittersweet statement due to the fact my heart is not home with me. I found a place that I love more than Kanye loves Kanye. I miss all of my kids from the orphanage.  The impact that these kids have had on my life is beyond anything I could have expected. The smiles, hugs, laughs and cries warmed my heart for so long that I am starting to feel empty.  Every conversation held, I start to wrap any subject back to an experience back in South Africa.
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Through the anger, disappointments, happy, sad, and exciting moments I would not have changed the last 6 months of my life. The first two weeks I cried for these kids.  I cried because I did not know how to help. The pain in my heart did not go away, the pain simply just got smaller. The more time I spent with the kids the more attached I became. The attachment began to mirror the relationship of an older sister looking after her siblings.  No one ever wants to say goodbye, not even a “see you later”. After a while, “the so longs” become “see you never” and the memories are all that are left of the amazing interaction.13410808_1184172254956976_339562634_o

The last day was extremely hard for me, as I hugged my last kid with tears running down my face I could not even muster up the courage to say, “You Later.” Although they saw me cry that day it was tears of sadness mixed with a dash of joy. One of the other volunteers on her last day wrote: “Today was a sad day. The day I had been dreading since I was accepted this assignment as a volunteer at this orphanage. The day we had to say goodbye again. I knew they would have a place in my heart, but my heart is now in 1000 pieces, I didn’t expect. I’m a mess right now and I feel like I have been dumped. I have a huge lump in my throat, a big hole in my stomach and my tears will never end. I love these kids. Each and every one. These kids, you changed me forever!” –Cecilie

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South Africa treated me well during these last six months.  I plan to return to the orphanage one day, but I pray that none of the kids I know is still at the home.  I pray each of the kids at the orphanage find wonderful homes to grow up in. My biggest prayer is that all the kids eventually receive all of the love and attention that they deserve. I know these kids will do great things in life and I cannot wait until our paths cross again. For many of my kids I left a photo on their locker with words of encouragement on the back. I hope that photo travels with each and every one of them wherever they go in life.

Until next time South Africa,

Stay Awesome

Jill

 

Umhle Kakhulu, You are Beautiful.

Our ultimate goal on this road trip was to reach Coffee bay. The only thing we kept hearing is Coffee Bay is amazing, unsure of what we were to expect we drove open minded to one of the best surfing spot in the world.13187846_1164315830275952_1739072613_n
The further we drove to the east coast of South Africa the worse the roads became. Pot holes, sheep, cows and people were casually everywhere on the streets. There were times that a cow would just decide to walk across the street with no warning and each car would have to stop immediately. As we made our way closer to Coffee Bay we were leaving the normal way of life, just by watching how many people walked for hours to a small 3 store town. The houses along the road started to form villages painted with bright florescent colors.

I had an opportunity to hang out in one of the villages with a local drummer. The name of the town translated to “Look Out” because tourists visit because of the colorful houses.
I do not have any pictures of this portion of my trip because  these are just average people living their lives. Many companies take people on tours and watch the locals in their village like a human zoo. This is not fair to the people because they are merely living life. While walking to the village, I ask Zuko how he felt when people would take pictures of him or his family. His simple response was, “Why don’t people just ask to take my picture instead of being a paparazzi?”13235758_1164316190275916_1946271984_n

As we continued the journey one hill away which was a SHORT walk of thirty minutes. We came to the top of the hill where everyone in the community was, ranging from the oldest to the youngest running around dancing to music and enjoying each other’s presence. We came to a circle of about 10 guys who were sitting on a plastic cartons, surrounding about three large beers, just enjoying a chat about life. We walked around the village and saw where his whole family lived: aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters. His entire family stayed in the same area together. My misconception when I first saw the clay houses was a vision of uneven floors, simple furniture and humble surroundings. To my surprise his grandfather’s house had marble counter tops, beautiful floors, a gorgeous dining room set and a flat screen TV, with many rooms inside. There was electricity and running water inside each hut that was hand made by the owner.13235711_1164316246942577_379499897_n

Many people from the city depict people that live in the village as the most dangerous, and scary people you will ever meet. Every single person we walked said, “Molo, Unjani?” (Hello, how are you?) Then would follow with “Umhle Kakhulu,” (You are beautiful.) The respect level for the elders was high and their words were treated as valuable. I was greeted with cool drinks and a Xhosa lunch, Samp n beans, that everyone in the village eats, which was extremely good. The family bond is extremely strong.  Although the sense of community was powerful, there were the inherent issues. It was 2 o clock in the afternoon and almost every adult was not working, they sat around, drank, and talked all day. No one ever wanted to leave the village. This village was their home and no one could take that away from them. There were things that needed to be fixed and not being addressed.GOPR2259.JPG

The one thing I have taken out of being in Coffee Bay is happiness comes from within, money can solve problems, but in the end its internal happiness. This village in Coffee Bay has stolen my heart and I will return. I do not know when, but I will accomplish this task. Zuko and Akhona have promised me a spot of land to build my colorful hut.

I will be posting more blogs and stories shortly. I was limited on my wifi due to the areas we were in.

Until Next time Coffee Bay,

Stay Awesome

Jill

 

Momma, I love you

Traveli10649592_1021759551171826_7770516869546408654_nng is something no one can express, you see the happy pictures, the many destinations that are reached, the smiling faces, but there are things that aren’t shown. When travelling I miss out on a lot of things. While preparing to embark on this journey I never took into consideration what I will be missing while away. I miss food, gr
aduations, holidays, birthdays, weddings, and many other things. This year I have missed graduations from many of my close friends and now I am missing a second holiday. I miss the food that we have during these celebrations and the faces of those I love while they are accomplishing a remarkable transition in their life. I wouldn’t trade anything in this world but to be where I am now, but when holidays or special occasions roll around I do start to miss home.

Today is mother’s day and I am half way across the world and I know that saddens her. Having a child that travels and lives life day by day to the fullest can make ones heart cringe. I give my mom a heart attack at least 50 times a day.GOPR1839[1].JPG I remember sometime last June I woke up one morning and declared I wasn’t going back to school in January. This was not an easy conversation for either of us and she completely disagreed and let me know her opinion. I do not need a mom that allows me to run in the street like a wild child; instead someone that challenges my thoughts and pushes me to be better. One of the things I will never forget in the mist of one our heated conversations when she told me, “Go take a slow boat to China for all she cared.” I know she cared whether or not I took a boat, but it’s what I needed to hear. The tough love and affection my mom has shown me through every stage of this journey and life has helped me become something incredible.jill.jpg

Today on this day, hold your mom a little tighter because she has dealt with all the crazy things you have thrown her way. Make her dinner, buy her flowers, and show her that you care about her. I am not the easiest child to be a parent to and I am so thankful that she is my parent. She continuously prays and encourages me through any situation. I have seen her do selfless acts like take the smaller portion of food. Although we do not really enjoy the same things; I loved the times we spent together. As I grow older our mother daughter relationship improves and continues to get stronger. There isn’t much I can do for my mom on this day, but I hope this makes me you smile.

By the way the road trip Is going great Ill update you shortly on my adventures.

Until Next Time,

Stay Awesome

Jill

We are Lost.

 

Day 1.

Three Germans and an American have set off onto our crazy road trip along the coast of South Africa. It is scary to think we rely on my English to help get us through our trip. The different mix of personalities should make this trip very interesting.  I have never been on a road trip with friends before so this is all very new to me. We plan and plan, but it is very obvious our calling in life is not to be travel advisors. In the first 15 minutes we missed our exit and got turned around. The next 45minutes we were going in the wrong direction.  Eventually we found our way . The way consisted of driving for an hour on dirt roads and missing the exit, but we were finally on our way.

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I tend to meet more people who have no idea where they are going in life then those who have everything planned. Obviously ,there is no right or wrong way to go about life. Along our travels we stopped in Betty Bay, Hermanus, the Southernmost point in Africa and Mussel Bay. Each of these small towns held foreigners and locals all just seeking a life filled with in seeing something different. I find family where ever I go whether in the big city or small villages.

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The extreme difference between the less fortunate and the wealthy is the hardest thing for me to understand while being here. The most interesting thing I have seen is the beautiful multi-million rand (South Africa dollar) houses sitting on the coast, only 500 meters away from people living in tin shack houses. The small tin houses have limited water and electricity. While travelling into the rural parts of South Africa we have passed many people walking on a road that is many kilometers away from any towns. Nobody knows how far or how long these people have been walking, it could be hours or even a few days. I guess the important part is they always find their way. Regardless of how the journey begins or ends things tend to fall into place.

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At the end of my trip I will post a rough itinerary that we followed/Got lost on. I’ll include the many different hostels and activities that we have completed on this crazy trip.

until next time

Stay Awesome,

Jill