Final week at Makaphutu
29.04.2014 - 04.05.2014
My final week at Makaphutu turned out to be a week off school- both Thursday and Monday were public holidays so most schools just gave in and gave the children the other days off too.
On Tuesday I visited Lily for the last time and finished off the last of the questionnaires with the house mothers. Wednesday was my last day at Don Mckenzie TB Hospital where Hannah and I did Dr Carpenter's ward round as he was on leave.
On Thursday we had a big lunchtime braai with the children to thank a couple who have been working for the orphanage. In the afternoon we took the teens to the Tala Game Reserve which adjoins Lily of the Valley. We saw giraffes, zebras, rhino, ostrich, impalas, hippos and wildebeest and although the spectrum of botheredness varied wildly between the kids, the volunteers were suitably impressed.
Friday was my last full day at Makaphutu and I tied up a few project loose ends. In the evening we had a community meeting where I was sung a beautiful Zulu song (I just about understood 'siyabonga', which means thank you) and was prayed for, a new experience for me but I was touched at the sentiment. My month in the children's village has been exhausting, challenging, interesting but most of all fun. I feel incredibly lucky to have been welcomed in to this loving community and am just sad I can't stay for longer.
At the crack of dawn on Saturday five of us volunteers headed off to the Drakensburgs, a chain of mountains on the Lesotho border. We arrived at the scenic camp by 9am and did a 3 hour hike to a viewpoint and back. After a picnic lunch we swam in one of many bracing rock pools.
We braai'd (not sure if that's really a verb) and made the most of not being in the children's village by having a couple of bottles of wine.
In the morning we set off on a 4 hour hike in the baking sun, stopping to cool off under waterfalls. On the drive out of the camp we stopped off to swim in a gorge before driving back to Makaphutu. After a few quick goodbyes, Sarah (an American volunteer) and I headed to Durban.