There is no place in the world filled with so much love and happiness as the Nceduluntu nursery and Ikhayalethemba orphanage. I was so lucky to have spent 4 weeks at Nceduluntu and 2 weeks at Ikhayalethemba. Adding up to be the best 6 weeks of my life.
On my journey to Africa i was nothing but freaked out. I was questioning exactly what on Earth i was thinking. But as soon as I arrived i felt right at home. The staff were lovely and so were my fellow volunteers. The first day at the nursery was one i was never going to forget. Walking in and hearing about 60 screaming voices "TEACHER TEACHER TEACHER" from the most beautiful children, craving your attention. All they wanted was a high 5, a smile, a cuddle or to grab onto your leg and not let go.
Whilst in lessons they were crazy and the language barrier was quite a struggle, they were so excited to learn and so greatful you were there to help them.
My most treasured memories of the nursery are one little boy Maurena, who every morning would say "Good morning teacha, owa you?" I would respond and ask him how he was and never received a reply. He had no idea what it meant, but knew that it was the polite thing to say when greeting someone. So cute! I also loved when they all came out so sleepy from nap time and just put their head on your lap and curled up into you. aahh.
The ikhaylathemba orphanage was a real place of hope. The children spoke a lot better English and were so beautiful. At times it was sad to remember why they were there and that some of them may be there until they reach their adult lives, but they were so happy that it was easily forgotten.
The best memory i have of Ikhayalethemba was during one of the fun fridays when we were doing a treasure hunt. We all dressed up as pirates and went to find the treasure. They were all so in character and so excited! The smiles on their faces when the got the treasure of a couple of lollies, a piece of orange, a pirate hat and a small silly wrist band was priceless.
I think of these children everyday and cannot wait to go back and see them again sometime. :)