This morning was very special as today we would embark on our first day excursion.â€¨We met at the school to drive to the Maitland Dunes with the eight and nine graders of Fontein Combined School. The kids were shy and quiet, smiling at us but no talking that much. â€¨But as soon as we arrived and they saw the beach and the sea they started running towards the water, sand everywhere, some falling and getting up again straight away to run further down.
â€¨Some of the kids have never been to a beach before and especially for them it was an incredible experience. But even for us Young Explorers it was something special.â€¨When we saw them laughing, running around and playing in the water our hearts smiled. It's so satisfying to watch kids being content and happy.
A smile is the same in every language. :)â€¨â€¨ Before our group of 50 people took a walk along the beach the kids were introduced to the environment and nature around them by three guides who had prepared workshops. The kids were digging for snails and mussels in the sand and learned about their names and habits.
After the workshops the kids started playing again, went into their water fully dressed and got wet all over. But they didn't care about it, probably didn't even recognize it. â€¨These kids are full of energy when they get the chance to become active and do what they like.â€¨â€¨This morning has shown us that it doesn't need much to make a child happy. Just take them out into nature which is the biggest playground you can find in this world. â€¨Nature is powerful – it can bring a smile on every face!
The day started bright and early for us, we still need to do lots at the school and the time is running out. As today was Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday the whole school gathered and sang for the former president. It was also a sad day for the team as Quinton and Kevin departed to go back home. We enjoyed their stay very much and hope that they learned a lot about the different languages and cultures in our diverse country.
After the assembly Livio and Stefan cleaned the steps up to the food garden, making it easier for the workers to get up to the garden and then with the help of some students we moved the cement blocks to the bottom of the steps for use later in the garden, after we have received some topsoil. Lani and Becci had loads of fun with some of the school kids as they started to paint the murals on to the walls and gave the other walls a second coat of white paint. Robin, meanwhile started painting the games on to the cement floors, the kids excitedly starting to play the games even before the paint was dry.
With the help of some of the workers Stefan and Livio moved the 15 dustbins weighing 250kg each to their specific resting places. There will be some sore backs all over Port Elizabeth tonight. Hopefully the kids will take pride in their school and use these bins to keep the playground clean.
On the way back to the backpacker the Young Explorers decided to take a drive through the schools neighborhood. It was interesting to see how all the people were outside talking in little groups and the kids playing with balls in the roads. With some sunlight left in the day, we spontaneously decided to take a swim before dark. The water temperature was actually not too bad for this time of the year in South Africa. With the sun setting and the water quite murky some of us decided not to tempt fate and removed ourselves from the water.