Finding a greater sense of gratitude

Hello beautiful world from the other side of the world for a change, I’m writing from South Africa this morning but still wanted to post a second blog for the week. It’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere and sometimes the temperatures here make me want to go back to England, since it’s summer there right now, and I never thought I’d be saying that! To top it off the showers are either freezing cold or boiling hot, and when you’re getting up at 6 in the morning and it’s freezing I can tell you a cold shower is not appealing…

That being said it has been such a memorable experience so far, even though it’s only been three days I have seen so much wildlife, and the culture here is unbelievably different. Yesterday for example we went to the local town near the reserve I’m staying at in order to do some volunteering for the local community. We were painting some of the playground for the children since it looked a bit worse for wear and needed a lick of paint. Arriving in this place that was considered a town was astounding, we all see the advertisements on TV of places with litter everywhere, tin cans for houses and stray dogs wandering around but until you see them it doesn’t really hit you. It makes everything sort of shift into perspective, and makes you see greater gratitude in everything, it made me appreciate what I have even more.

I have such admiration for the children in this town, who as soon as we got off the trucks were immediately giving hugs, they constantly had smiles on their faces when the only entertainment they had was each other and some plastic. It was amazing to see the entertainment they got from playing with used water bottles, and made you think how kids back home always want the latest things the newest technology, how materialistic our society has become. The sad thing is these kids didn’t know any different, they’re confined to this town in the middle of nowhere to be honest it was upsetting. Painting their playground would make their day, and it was such an amazing feeling to know you’re making someone else’s day, week, even month that bit better and more exciting. 

This is the pleasure of giving, with giving comes gratitude, visiting that local town really moved me, and made me realise how insignificant our problems are back home when some of these people may not even know how they’re going to afford their dinner. Just as we were leaving the town this one guy was literally begging for 5 rand to buy bread because he was so hungry, that will stay with me forever. 

I’ll make sure to tell you about future experiences out here, more environmental stuff! This week just happened to be more community based, but next week I’ll be doing more game drives and animal tracking.

Keep spreading love and helping others, and you’ll naturally see gratitude in everything around you.

All my love, 

HG

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