2 weeks at the Ikhayalethemba project in Gordon’s Bay passes so quickly! I still remember my first day at the orphanage hearing the children chanting “teacher! Teacher!” as they ran to the gates. I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome reception.
I have taught in Australia but these kids are just remarkable. The best part of arriving at the orphanage has got to be being greeted by these little bright faces, all keen on learning. I am constantly amazed at how bright the children are. Even though I don’t know much about the background of these children, I am in awe at how happy they are in spite of the hardships they have gone through. These children will make you laugh, tyre you out and in spite of their mischief, they will fill your heart with this indescribable sea of endless love.
My most memorable experience was when we took the children to the beach. I don’t think we fully appreciate what we have and the trip to the beach made me realise how we take the smallest things for granted. You would think that the children would have gone crazy and ran to the water. Well some did but there were some who were really scared. “Why?” you may ask “Aren’t there beaches in Cape Town?” Yes there are…and beautiful ones I must say…The ones that make you want you want to sit on the warm sand forever. But these children rarely get access to the beach. So the fear of water is but normal. The children were so happy to be out in the open close to nature. It was simply heart warming to see Lea laughing and smiling so much.
I will miss these children so much. The chants of “Teacher! Teacher!” Their silly antics, their eagerness to learn and singing the “Tooty Ta” song with them.
Shikha Kuckreja – Ikhayalethemba Volunteer