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

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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

Everything Teaches Lessons

Lately I have been watching cartoon movies on repeat. The countless lessons I am learning from these movies are amazing. Who would have thought at 21 years old I can learn from a cartoon movie. Many of these movies have underline themes and morals that they try to teach the kids. I am not getting paid to talk about these movies, I just love being a kid. It is amazing how in each movie the character develops and mature in the short 90 minute movie.12992181_1142444625796406_884762753_n.jpg

Here is what I am learning:

  1. Home

This cute movie is about an alien species that comes to earth and takes over. You watch how a little girl tries to find her way back to her mom. The main character Tip is challenged beyond her wits, while dealing with the Oh, an alien that doesn’t quite fit in. I learned that it is okay to stand out. It is okay that even though everyone believes that there is only one way to live they are wrong. While coming to South Africa midway through my studies is abnormal and unheard of I did it anyway. What I have noticed is everyone eventually ends up okay, in the end it doesn’t matter about the end point, but rather the journey.

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  1. Turbo

The racing snail that has a dream bigger than his whole existence. Turbo is a snail that wants to race in the Indy 500, after he receives magical powers. Through all his trials and tribulations he makes it to the Indy 500, at the last 50 meters he loses all of his super powers and has to rely on himself to finish the race. I completely understand Turbo’s mindset he has had nothing, but doubters his whole life telling him to just be a snail. Everyone just says go to school, get a job, have a family and just live. But is that really living? Do not get me wrong this works for most people, but there is so much more out there. The last few weeks everyone has wandered how I am sustaining living while in South Africa, I have confidently said each time “I OWN a NGO that is sponsoring my trip.” Each time without a doubt they said, “Wow it is so nice to WORK for a NGO.” Some people do not understand that just because of my age does not mean I can’t accomplish big dreams just like Turbo.

  1. Megamind

My favorite movie hands down is this cute animation. Megamind is about a super villain that is destined for evil due to the fact of growing up in a jail. Throughout the movie his heart begins to change and he realizes that he has control over his own destiny. The bad guy wins in this situation. I love this movie because my kids are growing up without direct parental figures; which causes a lot of damage to them physically and emotionally. My main goal is to let the kids know just because you are born into a bad situation does not mean they are destined for a bad outcome. Each individual person has control over anything that happens in their life time.

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I could write all day about the many movies I have watched over the last few weeks and the lessons I have learned. These characters all faced a problem, they did not run from the problem, but instead face it head on. Sometimes facing the problems were scary and hard, but they overcame these feelings. I am learning these same life lessons throughout my travels. Sometimes you will meet great people other times people turn out to be jerks. Many times people do not like to face trials or problems but what many fail to realize is problems make you stronger. I encourage trials because without a doubt I will be wiser and stronger after that problem is resolved. Life without a little excitement to stir your soul up is boring.

Until next time

Stay Awesome

Jill

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

Stay awesome12919163_1134154139958788_300617164_n

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

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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A school field trip
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Climbing around
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the covered playground area outside

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