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.
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.
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.
Until next time, stay awesome
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- For example- Indicator = turning signal
- Boot(when referring to a car)= trunk
- Robot (WHILE DRIVING)= traffic lights
- Matriculate (referring to school)= senior
And many other small words that aren’t used in America
Until Next Time,
AHHHHHHHH! I hate packing. I wish I could just close my eyes and magically make the clothes I need appear. After being a habitual last minute packer for my enter life I tried to change that pattern and gain better habits. That failed miserably. I am sitting here one day away from leaving to go to South Africa and I don’t know what to pack.
The art of packing while on a volunteer trip is to not bring your entire life with you. I am going over to help others, not make a fashion statement. I have to be mindful of the countries customs and social preferences for women before I choose any thing. I will be packing everything I need for the next 6 months into my Osprey Aura 50 hiking pack. This Osprey pack is lightweight, comfortable and can easily fit exactly what is needed. I have packed, unpacked, and packed again before getting the right combination of clothes to take.
My philosophy while packing is, “If I don’t wear it in America I’m not going to wear it in a foreign country.” Different traveling blogs, such as NomadicMatt, and HerPackingList, gave helpful tips and guidelines for the ultimate packed bag. The main thing is to pack for the weather. In South Africa it is summer time, Thank God I am tired of the cold!
Here are the clothes I will be living with for 6 months:
Clothes and things
- 5 light weight t-shirts for volunteering at the orphanages
- 3 casual t-shirts for working out
- 2 Columbia Omni-shade button down – easy for hiking
- 2 long pants- 1 Columbia hiking pants that is light weight
- 2 long length shorts (fingertip length)
- Columbia rain jacket- light weight and comfortable
- 3 work out shorts
- 2 floor length skirts- for a casual event or church
- 1 Track/ yoga pants – for travel days
- 1 bathing suit
- Chacos– outdoor sandals, great fro all occasions
- Running shoes- Adidas, durable and light weight
- Travel sized: lotion, deodorant, conditioner, and other medicines- I will pick up what I need in Cape Town.
With this packing list I am able to dress for any occasion, whether it is the orphanage, hiking, church or anything else that may happen. This is a very nerve wrecking experience and I am ready to embrace it. As my very first trip abroad I am ready for anything. The day to leave is finally almost here.
P.S. instead of packing I started coloring. here is my picture: