Written by Taylor Jones
The week leading up to my arrival in Cape Town was filled with anxiety. The normal stresses of travel such as what to pack and last minute plannings were present but most of the anxiety came from the unknown of the work I was about to begin. All the previous times that I had traveled out of the country had been for the cultural immersion and the fun of traveling. While those components were also main parts of my upcoming trip to Cape Town, my primary reason for going was to start interning with The Happy Africa Foundation. I was moving to another country for work not just for play and the idea caused a great deal of anxiety.
Now that my first week in Cape Town is behind me, the stress and anxiety has subsided to excitement for my next three months. My first week was filled gaining the “volunteer experience”. I spent most of the week going with the volunteers to the various projects that we have around Cape Town and learning how each of them functioned. The projects ranged from teaching at a preschool to helping young girls in a dance group gain self confidence by seeing their own self portrait for the first time. The projects filled myself and my fellow volunteers with hope for the future of these kids even though they faced what can seem like insurmountable obstacles.
When not on projects, most of my time was spent getting to know the incredible group of volunteers that are all staying in the Lion House. Bonds have grown so quickly even though we have only known each other for a short period of time. It is easy to grow close when everyone is sharing such an incredible experience with one another and exploring the amazing city which is Cape Town.
Now there is only excitement as I look ahead to the next three months in this amazing city. I feel confident that I will not only enjoy the work I am doing but also the place that I get to live and the people I will be meeting along the way. I am sure there will be challenges but the support from staff, family, and friends will enable me to stay positive and push through the obstacles.