Thursday 29th of July 2010, 00.15h
“Daniel Stone arrived in South Africa on the 6th of May 2010 , with one sole objective in mind, aiming to make a difference. After three amazing months it is time to go home with some great memories, having met some wonderful people and having been through an eye-opening experience…the 31st of July 2010 will mark the end of the beginning.”
This is not a narration to a dream I had, just like my first post on this blog, this actually happened. Three memorable months are over and it is now time to say goodbye to South Africa. I came here with one objective in mind, to try to make a difference. I am not sure if I did or not. Three months is very little time to make a big impact out here, although it was sufficient time to make a big impact on me. I don’t think I have ever been through so many emotions in such a short period of time, good and bad.
I am very sad to have to say bye to so many great people I have met throughout my experience here. Over the past few weeks I have already been saying bye to some of the volunteers that have left to go back home before me. There are some big thank yous that I owe to people over here in South Africa that have made my experience here truly memorable. Tandy & Toby from You2Africa for making this experience possible; Jeremy Wyngaard, Jeremy Smith and Gaby, the coaches I have been working with at LifeZone for making me feel at home; and Kennedy, Nassy, Loveness, Gee and all the volunteers that have been my family for these last three months. It brings a tear to my eye thinking of all the things I have been through with all of them…
Starting with my first night in Cape town, going to Tiger Tiger (not how I thought I would spend my first night in Africa); my first impressions of Cape Town, wondering the streets with Tandy and Andrea on my orientation day; my first time in a Township with Kennedy; my first day coaching the kids at Garden Village school; climbing Table Mountain; going Shark Diving; coaching at Gaby’s club team, Norway Parks; being in South Africa when the World Cup was about to commence; helping out at the schools for their mini World Cups; going to my first ever World Cup game with Patricia, Spain vs. Switzerland; taking the LifeZone children to the fan park and getting our van broken into; going to the World Cup Final; visiting Robben Island; climbing Lions Head; having to say bye to all the children and handing out books to the schools that Maria so kindly donated…and most importantly, living the African experience.
During my time out here I restricted communication with my loved ones back home. I only spoke with my parents three times in the three months I have been here, and each time it was one of our birthdays. I wanted to ensure that I could concentrate fully on the work I had to do out here. I feel like I have been living a completely different life here in Africa to the one I was used to back home. My three months are up and I really do need my loved ones back into my life. My alarm will wake me up on the 3rd of August for work back at the Elisa office and these past three months will seem like a dream I have just woken up to.
Finally, I want to thank all of you that have been following my blog throughout my time here and contributing through your comments. I am sure that had it not been for the huge following I have had, I wouldn’t have dedicated so much time to writing about my experience here. As this is my last post on the blog, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the energy to confront each day here, which by no means has been an easy task some days, and hope my experience has made a difference on you in some way shape or form.