What's going on?
Terrorist threats. Kids being beaten up on their way home. Families separated in different countries. Our learners playing friendly sports games against other schools. Remedial classes beginning. Smiles. Joy. Tears. Pain. Love. Grief. Big steps. Little feet.
It is an emotional rollercoaster at the moment. Every day, sitting down at my desk, is a struggle to stay focused. Feeling overwhelmed is natural here. You think you know hardship? I do not even know hardship. Right now I am hearing about a man who has had his face cut up by squads chasing him, from his own country mind you. Hardship is different for everyone but shit, seriously, hardship means something different to me now. I battle with anxiety and get so focused on what I have done wrong or right, things out of my control. I leave my life in the rear view mirror and I watch from outside the car. I forget to live. The kids here, these 'poor' children are richer in life than anyone I know. No matter the situation, they persevere, they smile, the forgive, they hug and play and get on with it because life is tough. Almost 26, I am learning all of this from 150 kids aged 5-13.
Most weeks I struggle to write anything about the project. It feels wrong to write about something that I cannot put into words. Do you understand what I am saying?
These children are my friends and they are a part of me now. I cannot even imagine life back in Australia anymore, leaving is going to be the most difficult task. I have polaroids of myself and the kids, they write me letters and draw me pictures, they hug me and call me BEN TEN, asking where my watch is all the time. What is it about life back home that is so lacking in richness? People protesting things they have no idea about, complaining daily to papers about menial issues that int he grand scheme, mean nothing. I am not here to save 150 children or come in as a rich man and change them all. I am here to immerse myself in reality. I am richer now that I have come to South Africa to experience this. To me, this is the first time I have lived. A bubble is not a life, it is a prison.
I remember sitting at a coffee shop with my friends and overhearing people talk about their prisons. I realise that I let myself be contained for so long. The reason why people change so drastically sometimes is because the bubble gets thicker and the change that is needed never comes. When that bubble pops, that is living. I am rambling so much right now, I may be talking out of my butter nut but it just shows how confused I am about how I feel being here, still. Confusion because I still cannot understand how resilience can exist when there sometimes is literally no walls erected.