Orientation week

Sawubona everyone. (That’s Zulu for “Hello”.)

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On Monday, after a long and tiresome trip from Heathrow, we arrived safely in South Africa. Despite our exhaustion, spirits were high, and after arriving at the Hippo Hide Hostel, I met two of the SA volunteers on my team, where we had an afternoon of getting to know each other, playing games and chatting. We were given a warm greeting by our South African counterparts and dinner was cooked by our incredibly talented chefs, Linda and Belinda.

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Our first week of orientation included HIV and AIDS awareness. It was interesting to tackle the stigma and myths surrounding these issues and get clear, scientific facts on how HIV is passed on and the effectiveness of ARVs (medication used to tackle the HIV virus). We learnt some traditional South African customs and also about the horrors of apartheid from two first-hand witnesses. We learnt about early childhood development (ECD) and how to communicate with young children. We also did a lot of energisers! It was a lot to process in four days, but all of us learnt a lot and the Zoe-Life trainers were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. Throughout the training, we had fun, interacted with each other, worshipped and had a daily devotions, played with play dough and worked as a team to complete tasks.

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South Africa ICS Tearfund team

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Inner City Team (My team)

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Training

10942476_10204948310620470_481789980_nOne of the funniest moments was when one of the volunteers was teaching us first aid and was using another guy to show what to do if the person wasn’t responding to them. The session I enjoyed the most was learning the basics of the IsiZulu language, speaking useful phrases as well as pronunciation (some word have clicks in them, which was interesting to do). I am determined to learn the language and therefore I will try to learn a word a day.

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