Saturday – September 27th
18.00 o clock
What a start..
Melanie, Bregje, Manouk and myself where flying to Johannesburg from Brussels. My lovely sister and parents were so nice to me to bring me to the airport.
After an enormous traffic jam we arrived in Brussels. We still needed to divide a lot of the books and presents we wanted to bring with us. After a big discussion whit the woman behind te counter my sister Rosie showed off here skills at the desk of ‘Ethiopian Airlines’ and thold the man it the overloaded baggage was for all the children in South-Africa. It worked and in the end we were allowed to take all are stuff we wanted to bring with us.
We were so happy we were allowed to take all the stuff, we didn’t care about how we were able to bring all these bags as hand luggage. One bag was sealed in like a ball, (you can maby try to image me carrying this ball of +/- 8 kilo from Brussels, to Addis Ababa running around the airport for 2 hours and bringing it off to Johannesburg. So we decided to make this ball a member of our group and gave him a name, Mr Ball. At the end it turned out that he only made us laugh!
After our last stop we nearly forgot to take it out of the plain.. But Melanie was ‘on the ball’ and the rememerd so she ran back in the plain to get it 😉
20.00 o clock
The first flight (Brussels-Addis Abbaba) i was sitting next to a man. I knew was going to next to this man for the coming 8 hours. So instead of making it ackward or boring I decided to introduce myself the moment I seated myself. As I have learned throughout life you can learn a lot from other people.
man had travelled the world. He works as a civil engineer and has build stuff in panama, Tokyo and a lot of countries in Africa.
We began our conversation with the question ‘What is being global Aware’. It turned out to be a very long conversation for at least 2,5 hours.
I left this plain with a very important lesson. Voluntary work is a good thing but know what you are going to do and what you willing to reach. Because giving a big bag of presents and leaving them after a few weeks is not going to make these kids happier. It will only give them false hope.
Having that said I discovered how important it is to give knowledge. Giving stuff is nothing without knowledge. If you give a water well, it is nothing worth without telling them where this water is coming from and how this is built.
If we really want to help people in these 3th world countries we have to help them in empowerment. Giving, giving, giving is not the answer because we will keep on staying in this circle. We have to help them by giving knowledge to built stuff to keep their country running on their own.
And besides that, we cannot just summarise our history which we have produced in the west over the last 1000 years and drop it in these counties. That’s not how it works ! They have a very different culture, way of living and ground sources. They have to develope their own history.
So that was quite an very interesting flight, the first adventure of becoming ‘Global Aware’.
Sunday – September 29th
7.00 o clock
We had a transfer in Addis Abbaba, and found out that Team Zambia (5 other students from our class) was at the same Airport at the same time! So we had a drink together and said goodbye again!
14.00 o clock
Finally we arrived in Johannesburg. Hello South-Africa, here we are!!! My aunt and cousin came to collect us at the airport. (I haven’t seen them in years) We hired a car and drove up to Groblersdal. I decided to drive but it was a 2,5 hour drive, on the left side of the road in South-Africa…… But, I knew I was able.. So I put my fears beside me and stepped into this big, white, new, Toyota corolla…. The drive was for at least 2,5 hours. But after a half hour I was used to it! J
Around 18.00 o clock we arrived at my uncle and aunt’s house. WAUW! What a lovely house. We are so privileged we are allowed to stay here. Our first night we had a traditional ‘’brow’. With the best meat in town and salad!