I am very happy to be here in South Africa. My first four weeks with WhizzKids United (WKU) were very exciting and have made a great impression on me. In the first week, I was given my first project straight away; it was the responsibility of running the Pick ‘n Pay Gardening project. I was very happy to be given this opportunity and I enjoyed the fast pace of the work, which helped me to settle into the WhizzKids environment much more quickly. I organized the collection of the seedlings, brought the Earth boxes to the Health Academy (HA), planted the seedlings with the kids and my colleagues, took pictures and wrote my first report. It wasn’t until now that I experienced situations during the day that have made me sit back and think about everything that has happened thus far, such as how I reacted to a particular situation, what I felt during these situations and how my colleagues behave and react to the things that they are experiencing. We have all come here with different life experiences and cultural backgrounds, but it is really exciting to see the similarities and differences between people despite this. Nonetheless, the change from my life in Germany to the South African society feels like a fluent transition for me. I’m interested and curious about this country, the people and their hopes, ideas and fears.
I have already been lucky enough to make South African friends very quickly who are keen to show me their country and how they live. Last week, I went on my first journey with a friend, Zola, on the taxi buses in Durban. It was really exciting to travel as so many South Africans do here. Moments like this give me goose bumps. Experiences like these give me a great feeling of happiness and appreciation that I’m alive and so lucky. One of these moments of endless happiness also occurred when I was with the kids at the HA. They were so interested in me, this “white stranger” they quickly expressed their eagerness to talk to me. I was overwhelmed and sat with the local children in the waiting area of the HA. They appeared to love touching my skin and used me as a climbing frame. It was a pleasure to see their smiling faces and bright eyes.
Despite the positive there is one challenge that I face every day; the English language. Sometimes it takes me longer to express what I want to say. I find it difficult to find the words I need to describe something and more and more frequently I say to myself, “That was a really good expression.” J In such a short time, it’s already getting better and I’m more and more comfortable and confident with English. I’m patient with myself and have enough time to improve all the skills which offer me further opportunities.
“I love to be a stranger.” This sentence describes me very well, because in foreign places I’m much more sensitive, attentive and careful. I hope to experience many more moments of happiness in that I just enjoy the moment and feel at one with the world.