Farewell Party, with the soccer kids, at the Wonderkop community
On 7th November 2010, I left South Africa. It was a very sad occasion but something I knew I had to do. Being in South Africa on my own & volunteering for 3.5 years had taken it’s toll. I was emotionally exhausted & it was time to do something different.
On 30th October 2010, Vincent my soccer coach & the soccer kids arranged a farewell party for me, that they funded. Each person had to pay R25 for their food & drink. R25 would buy 3 loaves of bread so this was a lot of money for the kids. I was very touched by the great number who attended. People usually only attend events like this when they are free.
All the inhabitants of the square also wanted to take part in the festivities so they also paid R25. Vincent said that one man gave R50 & he wasn’t even going to attend the party. I felt very honoured by this.
The older boys had asked if they could have alcohol at the party. It was to be the first time that they’d had an alcoholic drink. Two buckets of punches were mixed, one for the over 17s & parents & the other for the youngsters. Initially the older ones didn’t believe that there was alcohol in their punch until it hit them later There was no trouble at all, everyone just had a great time.
The R25 bought each person a piece of belly pork, a beef chop plus a cool drink. There were no vegetables. Needless to say I didn’t partake of the meat as I’d brought my salad & water with me – some things never change
When I left SA, the older girls were planning on organising a raffle to raise funds for the P4 Academy. I had to explain to them how a raffle worked.
The boys were very proud of their medals.
The party was very special for me. The older kids all had a few words with me & I know that I’ve had a positive impact on their lives. I hope that I’ll see them all again one day.
Volunteering in South Africa was an amazing character building experience for me & I know that I made a difference.