Tuesday, October 30, 2007

AFRICA

The saying goes, "once you travel to Africa, it never leaves your heart." It's absolutely more than true! I'm madly in love with this part of the world!





This summer I took a journey to South Africa for the third time to visit my friends. I cant stay away really, it's impossible. There is something about being there that makes me a better Holly. I dont know if it has something to do with it being dangerous, adventurous, rugged so different from the world I know here in Connecticut but getting lost amongst the children, the people of South Africa is where I come to find the truth, who I really am. The people of South Africa are the most charming, most charastmatic, and simply the most delicious people that I know. I am better just for having spent moments in their presence.

I believe true inspiration comes from taking a journey outside of the norm of who you are from day to day. Nelson Mandela (former President of South Africa) says,

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadaquate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure"

I love that quote! I often think of how much more succesful I could be if I'd overcome my own fears and live every part of my dreams, all the time. How much more powerful could I be if I let go of those fears and just let myself reach my potential. That's the hard part, when inadaquacy sets in. However, there is also another phrase used often in South Africa that says, "Nothing comes for Mahala", meaning, nothing comes for free. We must work for it!

Africa is majestic, and powerful, and enchanting! Africa takes my breath away!


I am so inspired by the children that I was privlaged to spend time with everyday. They cheat death from week to week, fighting AIDS/HIV but bring life to everyone who was blessed enough to interact with them. My African name is Mahlogonolo, it means "blessings". That name doesn't suit me, it suits them. Each day I spend with them I enter with the intention to visit, teach and nurture, but instead turn they shower me with thier gifts which are my greatest treasures: courage, optomism, hope, spirit. My heart aches to be with them again. I long to sing the ABC's with them over and over and Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika (South Africa's National Anthem)-I finally just learned the Afrikaans part so now I can sing the whole thing! To rock them to sleep. To drink Rooibos tea with them, to hear their sweet voices again. The Children of South Africa taught me how to smile, to sing and to love more deeply than I thought capable. How can I ever repay them for that? How can I ever forget them?





My favorite story amongst many: One afternoon I was sitting out under the sun on a platform with the orphans playing games. Innocent, a six year old boy carried an old tin can in his hand and as we were singing (I think I was teaching them some American rock songs-"Shake it up Baby Now" comes to mind-don't ask!), and he started beating on it with a stick, mimicking a drum. I thought it was a stellar idea! Several other children followed, digging rusty cans out of an old garbage pile. They started playing, syncopating with one another and I found myself encircled amongst one of the most sensational sounds I've ever heard. Children-laughing and singing in their language, and beating on rusty tin cans with sticks. That, is power. That is what inspires me. Simple, rugged, blessed. AFRICA!



To find out more about my South Africa addiction and what it is I do there, visit

www.banaproject.org

I can't wait to go back and continue my journey!

4 comments:

Emmatrix said...

hey Hols. That was beautiful. BUT then you go and say spazmatic? maybe thatr has a different meaning in the US but next time you come here wear your running shoes, hire a bodygaurd and tell someone they are spazmatic, :) If you get away with it, let me know. And just for future reference it's Rooibos. For all those who don't know what that is, it's a tea we have in SA. It's a afrikaans word meaning Red(rooi) bush(bos) The english people call it bushy tea :) I must Say Holz, I can't wait to hear you sign the SA anthem, ESPECIALLY the Afrikaans part. It will be a life changing experience. usually americans jusat don't bother to try.

Keven, Cary, and Hannah said...

I loved the pictures!! It makes me want to go too!

jorgstyle said...

Ek is lief vir Rooibos!

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