Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Once in A Lifetime Experience

First, I would like to start with a haiku (inspired by Bruce):

Wow! South Africa
Is a real eye-opener
But has gone by fast.

It's hard to believe that we're already done the first seven schools, with only one left. It still feels like I was just saying goodbye to friends and family yesterday.

The school we went to today already had gutters installed, so we were able to finish early. All we had to do was redirect the down-spout and install the water tanks.

With so much time left in the afternoon, we decided to stop at a local market where we were able to get fresh fruit and plenty of South African soccer jerseys.

Once we got back to the headquarters, we partook in a seminar on HIV/AIDS. Normally this is a mandatory two day course the local Scouts take for awareness and possible prevention. It's unbelievable how common and devastating HIV/AIDS is, compared to the way it's portrayed at home. The life expectancy in South Africa has dropped from 65-70 years old to 44 years old, since the outbreak of HIV/AIDS. It seems like everyone here has directly, or indirectly been affected by such a deadly epidemic.

Even with such overwhelming poverty, and the shanty towns that seem to go on for miles, the difference is truly seen at the schools. With every new tank we install, there seems to be more children, that are even happier, and even more eager to help.

Not only are we changing the lives of the South African students, but also the perspectives of the Canadian volunteers.

By Steven Avery

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