Last Blog - Maud's Volunteer Journey pt. 14

The main subject of this blog, also my last blog, is crying crying crying :(

The time arrived to say goodbye to the township, the country and everyone I had met – the housemates I lived with in the volunteering house, people from the township I worked with, the children in the township, and all the other locals. I wanted to give something to the teachers from Ilitha Day Care.

Pictures are one of the best memories, so I made a photo album, with pictures of the children and me, and a note to say thank you for my experience there. Of course I wrote that I was going to miss everybody!

The day I said goodbye at Ilitha was emotional. The teacher was very happy with the photo album, and they gave me a little present with a nice postcard. The teacher and I were both crying. I spent a while giving the children high fives and cuddles, but finally I had to go. I have so many good memories and pictures, and will never forget them. Unfortunately I couldn’t bring my favorite child, Pepe, to the Netherlands in my suitcase!

Together with my housemate Kim, I threw a farewell party the day before I left. Everyone in the house came with me to the airport to say goodbye, which was sweet. It was hard to say goodbye, and I was very sad while waiting at the gate. My housemates are good friends to me, almost family!

The flight to Johannesburg was quick, and everything went well until I heard at Johannesburg airport that my flight to Frankfurt had been cancelled. The airport staff were not very helpful, and the whole situation made me feel a bit panicky. Luckily there was a helpful customer who showed me what to do. I arrived at a hotel, with all my stuff, and went looking for my room. Two older people from Canada, a few rooms down, asked me if I had company for dinner – so that evening and the next morning, I ate with them, and it was nice not to eat alone. After my international flight, I had to spend a night in a hotel in Frankfurt, because the first flight to Amsterdam was the next morning. At least the hotels were luxurious and I had a nice big bed to sleep in!

On the Tuesday, a day later than I had planned, I finally arrived in Amsterdam. My mother and aunt were very happy to see me again at the airport. I had mixed feelings - I was happy to see my friends and family again. But it was also the moment that my adventure to South Africa really came to an end, and that I really started to miss everybody there! My sister and friends had made a banner for me and the house was decorated with balloons. Family and friends came over and we toasted my return.

I want to say THANK YOU to everybody who made this a great experience!! It was an awesome six months and I’m really going to miss everything. I recommend this experience to everyone.


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