Remember How Blessed You Are

Hey everyone!

I can’t believe our group is less than two months away from traveling to South Africa. This trip is definitely going to sneak up on me but I am beyond excited for it. I don’t think it will really hit me that I am even experiencing it until maybe I’m halfway through it – or at least that’s how it was when I went to the Dominican Republic for service last year!


It always felt like I was dreaming because I don’t think I had ever been happier than when I was with the kids in Batey 50. It was a completely different lifestyle and they were able to teach me A LOT about myself.

For example, they’re one of the reasons I don’t really get stressed out anymore. Life’s life. I used to stress about all my homework assignments or stay up until 4 am studying for exams, all to make sure I had it done on time. I find myself now doing what I can. I know it will all get done so there is no reason to stress myself out over it. Some people don’t have the opportunities I have in life and I should be thanking myself that I have all these to-do lists instead of dreading them.

Just a little reminder :)

Just a little reminder 🙂

Now, I’ll stop and talk to a friend if I see they are having a rough day instead of sprinting to the library to do work. These children showed me it’s really the personal connections we have in life that matter and I’d rather be a few seconds late if I was able to cheer someone up along the way.

I’m excited to meet Tamarin and the kids who are going to attend our Vaatjie Holiday Camp because although I’ve never been a camp counselor or attended a camp myself, I love the atmosphere of them and want to bring a smile to even just one child’s face.

In our group meetings, we have been brainstorming more ideas for what we could do as activities for the kids and I have to say, it was a little difficult coming up with ideas. We sometimes take things for granted that these children do not have easy access too. For example, we thought we could have a painting station but realized we would need water to wash off the paintbrushes. It’s not exactly something we would take a second glance at but for these children who don’t have access to water as easily as we do, seeing us use clean water as something to just wash off a brush instead of actually drinking it, would be odd. Some of the other ideas we had were to do a puppet show, have a friendship bracelet station, and have a DIY popsicle stick picture frame station!

We have a few fundraisers for this upcoming week such as a benefit dinner at T.G.I. Friday’s on Tuesday Nov 12, having Armed and Readi come to sell jewelry Thursday Nov 14, and we’re holding another bake sale at the hockey game on Friday! Thank you to everyone who has showed his or her support. We really appreciate it!

Until next time,

Jess 🙂

One Comment on “Remember How Blessed You Are

  1. After attending the fundraiser at TGIFridays and seeing all the work you guys as a group have accomplished thus far and your plans for your trip, I am glad I chose to attend this fundraiser. Jess you have seemed to be profoundly impacted by the work you have done thus far (in both the Dominican Republic and for South Africa) for the better far beyond the boarders of a classroom. This course has truly enhanced your life and it is encouraging to others to see the impact that this has made for you and the enthusiasm you express. When talking to you last night about the work you guys are planning to do in South Africa you could see the passion in your eyes, which adds to my interest in what you all are doing.

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