Published: July 22nd 2012July 22nd 2012
I spent the most amazing week in Vilanculos, meeting up with many of my friends there and simply enjoying being back in this beautiful beach town...! It really feels like home to me, and even now being in St. Lucia I miss it!!
The journey from Vilanculos to Johannesburg was smooth and uneventful. I stayed in a lovely hotel in Johannesburg on Monday 16th July, although it felt strange to be surrounded by modern amenities, the busy roads of Johannesburg etc., which reminded me again how easily I settle in to a much simpler African lifestyle...
I arrived at St. Richard's Bay on Tuesday 17th, and was immediately welcomed by the co-ordinator at the airport. The drive from St. Richard's Bay to St. Lucia was very interesting- roads lined with trees for the paper mills, the co-ordinator, Sophie, talking enthusistically about the project and the Zulu culture here. It is certainly much more tribal than I have experinced in Africa before! I also found it very interesting, although also sad, that apartheid was only ended in this community 5 years ago- it is one of the last communities to put a stop to it.
Wednesday was a very
special day for African Impact and the community here, as it was the opening of Inkanyezi Creché, which has been an African Impact project for two years! There were huge celebrations, Zulu dancing, singing and it was wonderful to see white and black people coming together to mark such a great achievement! The fact that it was also held on Nelson Mandella day seemed very appropriate...
On Friday morning, I went to work at Inkanyzi Creché, (there are currently so many volunteers that we are actually working at four crechés in the community, so I felt very lucky to visit the new one!) As you can probably imagine, I was in my element teaching African children again- how I have missed them!!
Friday afternoon was spent painting the outside of a huge metal container that had been shipped over by a British couple, full of donations, earlier this year!! Apparently it took about 2 months to empty the container, and it has now been turned into a library for the community. :o)
On Friday evening we experienced more of the fantastic Zulu culture! We saw Zulu singing, dancing and some of us (me included) joined in! We
also learnt about their tribal views and dressed up as Zulu wives, chiefs and single ladies! It was an amazing experience.
Yesterday was another magical day. I went with some of my fellow volunteers to an elephant santuary and interacted with the elephants! (So I have now been very lucky to be up close and personal with Asian and African elephants!) Then we drove out to Ghost Mountain for a hike, and saw some of the tiny mountain communities.
I hope you enjoy the photos, and that you can share in a small part of my amazing African journey... It is truly amazing, and is definitely where I am meant to be...
There are more photos below