After a lengthy group conversation with Tamarin Simpson, founder of the Tippy Toes Foundation, my eyes were opened even more to many astonishing aspects of the country and the culture that we will be stepping into when we get off the plane in Cape Town.
As I said in my intro post, I am looking forward to experiencing a new culture, and Tamarin certainly made us more informed of what to expect as white people going into this country. Not just because of our color, but also because of the expectations these people have towards white Americans.
It is going to be a challenge to first break the barrier as such and gain a sense of trust and friendship with the children we will be working with. It will also be interesting to see if because I am associated with this group of white Americans and me being from New Zealand, to see if the treatment towards me is different because of their experiences and knowledge of the two different countries. It will add an extra dimension to my experience I feel.
A certain amount of discipline will need to be implemented in these children’s lives, but this will not happen and children won’t obey until they have our trust and respect us as such to listen to what we have to say. Discipline is an important part of life, and as Tamarin was telling us, these children’s homes are not as family friendly as many of us have grown up in. Therefore, many of them have never had a figure of authority around them growing up because their parents were often off trying to find money or food to support the family. Therefore, a big challenge during this one week summer camp with these children is to give them a sense of responsibility for themselves, but also teach some discipline into their lives, which will hopefully make for a better community that they live in.
As we grow closer to the experience we learn more and more about what we are going to be getting ourselves into. However, this is the exciting part. Having ideas and plans of what we are going to do with the children to occupy their time is very exciting, and this includes the ways that we are going to create relationships with them.
Another part of the experience is our group getting the chance to experience another country, and the various activities that we are going to get to do is very exciting also.
It is such a great opportunity to be able to give to less privileged people, but then at the same time, have an experience of a lifetime and I cannot wait for that.
Until next time,