Day 10: Artichokes and Aquariums

Haha, artichokes and aquariums don’t really have anything to do with each other (except their first letter), but I just wanted to let everyone know that I tasted my first artichoke on Tuesday! I think I’ll spare you the details, but there is a slightly bigger picture that I want to get to. It’s that when you do travel half way across the world, there will be times where you need to step out of your comfort zone. You try things you wouldn’t usually try, and from trying and trying you learn so much. I’ve written a little something about how it is to travel half way across the world, alone, which I’ll post a bit later.

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Tuesday was my first day at Fikelela! I was picked up by Ed and Heather from Broadland’s at 1:30pm and off to Fikelela I went. Fikelela is located in the township (slum), which is called Khayelitsha, so I got to drive in a township for the first time in my life – there were a lot of thoughts running through my head. Shacks on shacks and shacks (shacks being the ‘houses’ people live in). It was strange to accept that there were people who live their lives in these conditions. At the same time though, we saw businesses all along the street we were driving on. Hair salons, fruit shops, barber shops, furniture shops, even a surgery shop where they perform surgeries and all the stores are in old colourful shipping containers. The township is a big community where children play in the streets, boys play football with two tires as a goal, and people are busy in their stores trying to make some money. All in all, it’s a very unique place, like no other I had seen before.

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Khayelitsha with all its shacks

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A hair salon in an old shipping container

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These are all just pictures I’ve found on the internet, but I’ll try to give you a better impression of how it looks like when I bring my camera.

Tuesday was a special day for the children at Fikelela because there was a surprise for them. Heather had organized for an aquarium to come. So a bus with some sea creatures came to the orphanage!

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The Oceans in Motion aquarium bus

Although Khayelitsha is only about 15 minutes from the ocean, most of the children have never been to the beach or seen any sea creatures so they were absolutely fascinated by the sea animals. There was a man there who taught them (and me!) a bit about 1) a starfish, 2) a sea anemone, and 3) a sea urchin. The children also got to touch them, but they were a little bit scared to put their fingers in their water haha!

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The children with their plastic boxes with sea animals! 

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The children got a chance to touch a starfish, a sea urchin and a sea anemone

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It was all very interesting for everyone! 

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Look everyone! 

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After the “aquarium” left, I stayed with the children until 7pm, which was when Ed picked me up and took me back to Broadland’s.

When I was alone with the children, I played with them in the playground, we played with hoola-hopps and blew soap bubbles, we practiced our knowledge of colours by saying the colour of different items around the playground, and before we knew it, they had to brush their teeth and then I read them a story, and it was time for bed. I am trying to avoid to be the “person behind the camera” so I’m not walking around with my camera taking pictures yet, but I’m rather letting the moments stick in my head and then I’ll make sure to share some of those great memories with you after the children get to know me a bit better. (Ed has taken all the photos in this post)

It was great to finally get a chance to see what Fikelela looked like, but I was still looking forward to really getting to know the children and their names (they have a lot of complicated names, but I’m working on it 🙂 ) and for them to get to know and trust me.

Until later, Anna

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