Hello again everyone! So we have been taking steps closer to our upcoming trip; making preparations, getting excited, and learning what we can about South Africa so that we are ready for whatever comes our way!
Two weeks ago we met the woman behind everything we are working for, Tamarin Simpson. She told us about the work she has done, still wants to do, and the inspiration behind her starting the Tippy Toes Foundation. Even over a fuzzy connection Skype call, all of us were able to tell the passion and commitment she has for what she was doing.
When I first found out that I was going on this trip, I have to admit I wouldn’t be able to tell you much about South Africa. Now I have a slightly better understanding of the environment I will be surrounded by. At first I was expecting to see the images Google provided: Table Mountain, the elaborate soccer stadiums from the World Cup, the beautiful wildlife, Nelson Mandela, and penguins on the beach. But after talking to Tamarin, I now know that it might not be as picturesque as I was expecting. We’ve been told about the crowds of people begging at McDonald’s drive thru, or people coming up to cars asking for anything that could help them get by, and the conditions of what some of the young children we have the privilege of meeting live under. It was a shock to me at first to realize just how sheltered I could be. I was aware of the issues, but never really classified Cape Town and other parts of South Africa as suffering from any of these problems because my knowledge was based off of images and video clips that were shown during the 2010 World Cup.
Having these details brought to light almost makes me look forward to this journey even more. You can never underestimate the learning experience from traveling. Being exposed to a completely different surrounding will help me open up my eyes to the bigger pictures, to be more aware of the looming problems around the globe that I might not be aware of yet. And after hearing a little more about the lives of the kids, I look forward to reaching out and getting to know each of them. Even if the time that we have with them isn’t as long as we would like to stay, all of it will make a difference – big or small.
What I want to do with my future has always been up in the air, but after hearing the dedication and love for what she does, Tamarin has given me something else to think about. Maybe reaching out to communities that have never had the chance to ask for help is something that I want to look into and pursue. I have a feeling that this trip isn’t only going to be an experience I will never forget, but also something that will shape my future.
Until next time…
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela