We Skyped with the wonderful Tamarin Simpson and it…was…awesome!! It was so great to finally meet her and the time we had with her brought a lot about our trip into perspective for me.
I knew that I could never be fully prepared for the situation that I had applied for with the Alternative Winter Break Trip, but I believed that I had a pretty good grasp of what I would be introduced to. A few friends of mine studied abroad in Cape Town, and I have heard of the marvels and beauty of the city. However, the experiences of my friend’s study abroad experience in South Africa are not the sources of information that I need to prepare for my trip. Yes, I will have time at the end of the trip to be able to enjoy and experience Cape Town’s brilliance, but that is not why I signed up for this trip. Tamarin clarified exactly what to expect in our journey and informed us of the importance to recognize what lies outside of Cape Town – the townships.
Understanding that we are not working in Cape Town but the township of in the rural informal settlement communities in Melkbosplaas was a very meaningful takeaway from Tamarin’s talk. Professor Gallay has done a fantastic job of explaining the trip, but it was very special to hear Tamarin’s voice describe the trip. Her first-hand perspective of the conditions of the underprivileged townships gave me a better understanding of what troubles the children are facing and how important our camp will be to them.
Tamarin got up at 3 a.m to Skype with us, which shows the dedication and enthusiasm that she has for her Foundation. I am extremely appreciative of her time; I needed this Skype session.
There was much talk about Tamarin and the Tippy Toes Foundation, and now that we have had the chance to meet and talk with her makes me feel that our team is complete. She provided me with the insights that I needed in order to wrap my mind around what our trip is all about – bringing joy and activity to children deprived of the childhood fun and games that I was fortunate enough to experience in my elementary school years. I never thought about the privileges that I had growing up, and I am proud to work with Tamarin and the eleven team members passionate about bringing happiness into the children’s summer vacation.