You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.
Just 2 weeks later and Africa is already behind me. My time there went by so quickly, but the memories will stick with me forever. I will never forget the way the kids’ faces would light up when given a ball to play with or the first time that I saw Maureen smile. Every little thing like these just further confirmed that I made the right choice in volunteering. By far, my favorite part of every day was seeing the kids sing the “Mzungu bus” song. Mzungu is a term used for white people, and the kids would sing this song whenever they saw the “bus” pulling up and beeping the horn.
These kids all have no choice but to grow up quickly and take on so many adult responsibilities. Holiday Club lets the kids actually be kids for a few hours every day, and having the opportunity to be a part of that is beyond words. The last day of Holiday Club we had the kids write letters to us since we would be leaving. You can see pictures of a few of them below. And really, these letters just sum up why volunteering was such a worthwhile and rewarding experience that everyone should take advantage of at some point in their lives. It really puts things in perspective and showed me even more how to appreciate the little things in life. Having goods like shoes or running water is such a blessing, and back home these things are majorly taken for granted.
And then there are the other volunteers. Although we were only together for a short period of time, I feel like it was much longer. I have been blessed to meet so many lifelong friends from all over the world that I truly hope I will run into again at a later time in my life.
African time will forever make everything in the US seem speedy quick. Waiting in line for half an hour to get money exchanged quickly lets you experience the meaning of TIA (This is Africa). The phrase is used often across Africa, and is meant to help you adjust to new situations and experiences where things do not always work out the way you intended. Every day things and places do not operate the way some foreigners might expect them to, and the concept of time is a whole new experience out there. 15 minutes can mean 1 or 2 hours. Two days in African time may actually mean 4 days realistically.
Working with African Impact has been a fantastic experience that I wouldn’t take back for the world. The staff was amazing to work with- everyone was extremely welcoming, helpful, and passionate about their work. I hope that I have to chance to return to Africa again and I will always remember the community and the wonderful people I met along my journey.
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” -Ghandi
Little Truly Does Matter,