We arrived at Perth airport on 27 June at 9pm. First, we checked our luggage in and got our boarding passes, then said goodbye to our friends and family. At 10pm, we waited at our gate to board. Not even an hour after I said goodbye to my family mum texted me saying “miss you already”. We hopped on to the plane and after a few restless hours of sleep, some plane food and 10 hours later we were in Johannesburg. We sat in Johannesburg airport for 6 hours until our next flight. I still couldn’t believe I was in South Africa, this might be stereotypical but I looked out of the window at the airport expecting to see giraffe and zebras but there wasn’t. We got on our next flight to Ndola, it was only 2 hours which felt like nothing compared to the first flight. As we were landing I was looking out the window to see a shed, the shed was Ndola airport. I didn’t expect to see a shed as an airport. Surely this place would have giraffes and zebras but no I’m just going to have to wait. After landing we got on a bus to our accommodation which was at Simba international boarding school. We settled into our rooms and then we had a few hours to chill and get used to everything. Because of the time difference I had an extra 6 hours of my birthday, it was definitely a long birthday. We had dinner which was made by a chef, it was really nice. After dinner, I was talking to my friends at the table and Mr Hockley walked into the dining room with a birthday cake for me. This made me cry as I wasn’t expecting to have a cake and to add to that the teachers got me a present and then came the waterfalls. I feel so thankful as I didn’t deserve anything but now I will always remember my 17th birthday. After dinner we had a debrief and went to bed which had never felt so good.
By Chelsea P
We got up at 6am and got ready for the day. After, we had breakfast and took the bus to the Light Up Ahead School. When we arrived at the school all the kids were cheering and clapping for us, now I know how it feels to be famous. The principal welcomed us to Zambia and the children welcomed us with singing and dancing. After the assembly, the kids went to class and not long after we followed and watched and listened to the teacher help the kids. Who knew a Year 12 would learn how to divide by a Year 4? At recess time we played netball, soccer, handclapping games and kids played with our hair. I made so many friends; it was amazing how in such a small time I could meet so many kids. After the break, we went back into the classrooms and as soon as I sat down, out of nowhere, seven kids were next to me / on top of me. At 12 we left the school to go get lunch at Nando’s; most of us got burgers. We asked for mild but they were hot! I don’t know how the guys that ordered the hot sauce survived. We went back to the school and talked to the Year 5s and 6s for a little, then we walked as a big group to the village. This was the most eye-opening experience of my life walking down the dirt paths with bricks, dirt, rocks, mud, chickens, pigs and kids. I couldn’t help but cry as it was all real, right in front of me. Walking through the village you would have 4 or 5 kids hang of each arm and there would have been over 100 kids walking with us. It was so amazing to feel so loved even though I have never met any of them before. To think they have so little but just us being there with them and them getting to hold our hands means the world to them. Just seeing how others live and seeing it for myself is heartbreaking. You always hear about the poverty issue but it really hit me how real it is and what we have seen today is how they live every day. After walking for 40-50 minutes we walked back to the school with the 100 kids following us all the way back. It was then time to leave them and go back to our accommodation to have another good meal, a debriefing of our day and getting ready for bed.
By Morgan S