Coming Home

So my 12 months in Boystown have come to an end. It has been an unbelievable year in every sense, although it was definitely tough at times looking back I wouldn’t of changed a thing. I had my sink or swim moment 4 days in. It was supper time and an argument kicked off meters away from where I was eating. An older boy was confronting a younger boy as he had stolen his blanket and then sold it for drug money. He slapped the younger boy, quick as a flash the younger boy pulled a knife from behind his back and stabbed the older boy through the eye. I can remember time slowing as the realisation of what had just happened sunk in. The scream he made didn’t seem human. You tell yourself that you will act but all you do is freeze. The younger boy sprinted out of the canteen before anyone could react. We rushed the older boy to hospital and luckily the angle of the knife avoided the brain but the doctors could not save his eye. He was 17. That night I questioned where I was cut out for this, if I could handle it. The choice I made to stay will be the best decision I will ever make. I never told my mum because that early on I didn’t want her to worry. Yes, these boys were capable of things which I wasn’t prepared for, but these lads need role models crucially. Institutions like boystown benefit so much from volunteers, more than anywhere else. What we did with these boys I will be proud of forever. We may not have been able to change all, but we made a huge positive impact, of that I am sure. The situation we have left boystown in is much better than when we arrived.

Now we are actually going home I have come to realise how much I will miss South Africa also. This country has a lot of issues, but doesn’t everywhere? It is a beautiful country with great people. There is nowhere more politically, culturally, historically, racially, culturally and geographically diverse. Despite the crime, corruption and disparity of wealth I truly believe South Africa will come good eventually with time. We have been lucky enough to make a really good friendship base out here and we will miss them massively. If any of you are reading this thank you for everything you have done for us this year. I would encourage anyone to come to SA, the weather is good, the people are great and the beer is cheap.

ITs an almost indescribable feeling now that im coming home because I am literally torn between ‘the excitement of going back and the sadness of leaving. I cantwait to see my family and mates, to eat my mums cooking, to sleep in my own bed. However I will miss the lifestyle we have, I really do love what we do out here. Mostly I will miss my boys, the connection we have with them is so close. They truly are like brothers to me. One thing I will struggle with is the fact that no matter what trouble they get into I am there to do my best to sort it. Now it’s out of my hands. I guess I just have to trust that I did all that I could to help them in life while I had the chance, that I imparted enough so they will change their ways, to return to the path they deviated from. Even though they learnt from me, it was a two way process, I learnt so much from these boys. I admire them so much to go through what they have, to have had the toughest start to life and still keep morals and conduct themselves respectably is frankly amazing. Nobody will ever be able to comprehend what they have been through but they still keep going. I’ll never forget the boys and I will do my upmost to stay in contact with them.

This chapter of my life has drawn to a close and now I have to move on, I remain confident that what I have taken from this year will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life. I want to thank everyone who helped me get out here and who supported me on the way.

P.S. Hamba Kahle- Go well

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Month 12

My last month was full of sad goodbyes; it was hard to accept the end when it finally came. The first weekend was my birthday weekend, our friends threw a braai and I was awoken in the morning by the boys singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and Auntie Norma (our African mum) with a cake. The boys gave me a South African flag which they had all signed wishing me a happy birthday but also combined with leaving messages one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever received.

Our boystown leaving event was more than emotional. The principal thanked us for all we had done and then invited the boys to stand up and say whatever they wanted. To hear the appreciation they had for what we had done for them made all the bad times worth it. They all thanked us for being tough on them when they needed it too, we stuck with our principles from day 1 and the boys needed that. When I was asked to give a speech I had so much that I planned to say, but after a short amount of time I choked up and I couldn’t continue. Im not a particularly emotional guy but saying goodbye to the boys proved too much for me.

The last couple of days we decided that we would give away all of our clothes to the lads as they needed it much more than we ever would. It was great to see how happy they all were with things from overseas.

Leaving on the Monday morning was tough to say the least. We woke up the boys at 6, had breakfast and then had to say goodbye to them before they left on the school bus. It was funny how soft these rough boys became, many of them crying. It was really difficult with the younger boys also as they didn’t understand that we had to leave. I felt guilty for leaving them but doing 12 months is a impressive shift, and due to the fact that it was a limited amount of time only then we put all of our energy into it. It was such a odd feeling knowing that we were most likely saying bye to the boys for the last time ever, but we know that we made a huge positive impact on their lives and that makes the situation easier.

We then travelled to Jo’burg for a debriefing session with all the other volunteers. It was great for everyone to meet up again. We all took turns to speak about what we had taken from the year, It was truly amazing to see how people had grown whether it was working with baby orphans, teaching in a deprived rural area or working in a HIV clinic. We came to realize that we as a collection have made a big sacrifice to give 12 months of our lives away and that we can be proud of what we achieved. We then went on to have a bit of a leaving party.

We had a connecting flight through Nairobi to get to London, due to the fire being reported we were all very worried, nobody gave us a clear indication of what to expect. When we arrived at the airport we were taken into a massive marquee, everything was done by hand. An airport was being run out of a tent. It was a truly strange experience which lead to delays for all. Luckily we managed to have a relatively short delay and get home roughly on time. As I walked through the arrival gate I saw my parents with a banner with a blown up picture of my face on it. I was embarrassed to say the least. However it was great to see them after 12 months, my year was up.

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Month 11

This month has gone too quickly, time is flying by now. It started with a weeks holiday for the boys. We were able to locate family or children’s homes for most of the boys, which left us with only a few lads. It is always a difficult time as these boys left in Boystown over the holiday period either have no family, home or have been rejected by their family. Despite this I always enjoy this time with a select few as it provides an opportunity to get as close to a family environment as possible. You all eat round one table, you do everything together and obviously we are given a lot more leeway on what you can do with said boys. Due to this we are allowed to take them outside of Boystown almost daily, our normal destination being the beach. Its great to take them out and let them be normal kids again. During this time we had 2 volunteers visit from the Eastern Cape. It was good to see some familiar faces. Whilst they were with us we took them to Mr Price Pro International surf festival which was on literally just down the road from us. It was madness to think we were in the depths of winter and were going to a surf festival, but it’s still 22 to 25 degrees everyday. We also had 2 boys selected to represent Tongaat Boystown to attend a leadership course for all Boystowns nationally. They basically went to a game park and lived in the bush for a week, learning how to work effectively in a team. It was really nice to see how proud they were of themselves upon completion, they had many stories for us. It was also good to see these two boys from hugely different backgrounds, one being Zulu and the other being South African Indian, overcome the language barrier and become good mates.

As you probably know it was Nelson Mandela’s birthday on the 18th of July. There was a national movement to help others on this given day. Boystown decided to split up the younger and the older boys and to go to two different places. Alex took the younger boys to Tongaat place of rest which is a haven for many people; They offer refuge to Children whose family are too poor or ill to look after them, HIV patients, those who are terminally ill and they also run a soup kitchen for the homeless. It is described as a place of safety for all who are vulnerable. It is a truly amazing place. The boys planted some trees and interacted with everyone there. I took the older boys to Zimpele Crèche, it is an open crèche which means it takes in street children as well as local kids, giving them a place to learn. They did a drama piece for us which was impressive to say the least. We brought food for them, so we then fed them and then afterwards played. There were 90 kids all in one small hut, all of them were amazing children. I enjoyed seeing our boys, wannabe gangsters, turn into complete sops within minutes. Overall a great day were the nation was united by one inspirational man.

We are finding that we are often having more and more reasons to be proud of our boys. Satisfactory reports, good behaviour, no school issues etc. We even had one boys made deputy head prefect, however this occurred ont eh same day as one of our boys was expelled for assaulting a teacher. Generally the boys have come along largely over the past 12 months, I’ve seen them grow up. Now we have such a good connection with them we are trying to do as much as we can before we leave to impact them positively. Everyday the boys seem to open up a little more, we know them inside out now.

We received some great news that Project Trust are sending volunteers to Magaliesburg Boystown, the one situated in Jo’burg. We are very proud of this as when we were at the Munster camp over the december period we met all the staff from all Boystowns across SA. Due to the face that we were the first volunteers to offer our services at this camp no other boystowns knew what we could provide in a role as ‘volunteer’. In essence we were on trial to show what volunteers can do, we must have impressed as more volunteers are being sent to work in other campuses. I really believe that volunteers in a place such as this is invaluable, many of these boys simply do not trust adults due to many reasons, abuse, run ins with the police, abandonment issues etc. They see us as elder so we have their respect but because we are young enough to relate they will be a lot more willing to open up to us. We fit in the big brother role and we can capitalise on this. We can make a huge difference to these boys.

We have reached the stage now were we are seeing friends for the last time. One of our mates wanted to give us a send off and took us to Saint Lucia Wetlands. This is a world heritage site which is truly unique to this area of the world. We had an unreal day, we were lucky enough to come metres away from a Hippo family and also saw many crocs. Another place which is a must do and it is truly individual to SA.

P.S. For any of you who know what it is, I can now cook Pap.

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Month 10

This month has been a great one, starting with a sports day ran by a local recruitment company as a ‘give something back’ scheme. The boys really enjoyed themselves, me and Alex took part and did all day without shoes. The boys were laughing saying that we had African feet now. Its really good when the community gets involved with our boys, anything from a talk to a sponsored meal goes along way in letting these boys know that there are people out there who care. In opposite fashion our boys also did something themselves to help society; They spent a day collecting for the Blind and Deaf. I was proud to say the least that they volunteered to do this as it shows that despite their reputation and background they are good lads. However my pride was soon dampened when it was found that 2 of our boys had tampered with the collection buckets and had actually stolen the money back. Another one of those one step forward two steps back moments. The important thing to remember is that the majority were impeccably behaved and did something very selfless.

Another example of Boystown and the community coming together was the Tongaat fun run, we were invited and decided to take the lads. It was a risk as it is almost impossible to police an event such as that, but the boys acted commendably and we even had  2nd place in the under 18s. This sort of behaviour will result in us being invited to more things of this nature and the boys being able to go on more outings, I think the boys are starting to realise this.

On the 16th of June it is Youth day in SA, a very important day out here. The day being based around the Soweto riots of 1976, where many high school students were killed during a protest. As we have a mix of race, culture and backgrounds it was fascinating to see how the boys responded to the programme. I also admit I found it interesting to see how the staff responded as many forget how fresh the apartheid truly is. We made sure the day was centred around fun though, braai and music were sorted and it was a really good day for all.

As ever in Boystown, we did also have lows this month, one of these for me was a fight between two boys due to what gangs they belong to outside of Boystown. Luckily we were able to intervene before it escalated but you question how much you are getting through to the boys when they are fighting over what turf they are from. Another real disappointment this month was family visitation day, where we only had one family turn up. It was heartbreaking to see the boys get dressed up and excited just to be left feeling unwanted. I really believe for the boys to changed their lives around they need support in doing so. Working with these lads makes you realise how lucky I was to have a family who supported me no matter what I did and even further than that gave me boundaries when I needed them. I appreciate the times they said no just as much as the times they said yes now.

Me and alex have also managed to have some great days out this month too, managing to see the springboks batter Italy, one thing they do have right out here is their sporting events with their braais and 2 litre beer jugs. We also went of a bit of a bender in Durban for 3 days seeing a Afrikaans rapper called Jack Perrow. We have some friends coming down soon and we plan to go to a surf festival so all is well.

We really are coming to the end now, it feels odd saying how long we have left in weeks and not months now. Its odd to see the changes we have made to the boys and the changes they have made on us also. For example, the boys now ask to play rugby just as much as footy and I can strip a sugar cane using just my teeth.  We’re starting to realise how hard it will be to leave.

Hoping everyone is ok at home.

P.S. We took our boys to the beach and they kept shouting ‘Hi’ to each other loudly as if they had just seen each other for the first time that day. We asked them why and they told us that ‘Haai’ (pronounced ‘Hi’) in Afrikaans means Shark.

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Month 9

This month has flown past, we are coming to the end leg of the 12 months now…

Recently we have tried to focus on the issue of drugs. We had another boy administrated into hospital due to a mixture of medication and drugs causing a serious health problem. We have also encountered a bit of a epidemic with the boys smoking glue and paint which is dangerous to say the least. One thing I often think about is that right now our boys are on the level of relatively ‘soft drugs’ but I question whether that is out of choice or simply because access and cost of harder drugs makes this option not viable. I’ve seen what drugs can do to youths out here, and I believe due to their age they are more susceptible to addiction. They will literally do anything, beg, steal from their best friend, sell their last pair of shoes just for that one hit. A fair few even admit that it has effected their lives negatively in a huge way, but still cant leave it. The major difference to our boys when it comes to drugs is that our lads take drugs to forget. To escape what has happened in the past and that makes the addiction so much more gripping. The boy we sent to rehab returned with a new lease of life, freed from the chains holding him. Days later after his return to Boystown he slipped back into his old ways, it was disappointing to see but that strength to say no has to come from within. The boy himself has to make that decision. I’m happy to say that since then he has become clean again and we have a lot of boys doing the same, it feels like we have some momentum against the drugs and the environment therefore makes it easier to quit. Its just hard to weed out the bad influences which will always offer temptation. We do all we can to take the boredom away which pushes the thought of drugs to the forefront of their minds. We don’t have enough hours in the day with all the programmes we run, keeping them fit through exercise and sport is a great way of offering an alternative. We also have a policy of anytime they are craving they come see us and talk it over. I feel like if Boystown manages to overcomes drugs, consequentially other problems such as stealing and violence will also be reduced.

We had a tough day when we returned to Excelsior (the local youth prison) for a rematch. One of the boys we disengaged in December was there on a charge of attempted murder. Out of the 7 boys we disengaged 3 are currently in jail. That’s 43%. You cant help but question if you could of done more, if there was something you should of said, if you could of made that crucial difference. However, we only had a short time with them compared to the boys we would of spend our whole year with. The best you can do is put your all into the lads we do have at the moment. Boystown provides compulsory school and when the boys finish their time here the either look to further their schooling or employment, it is vital they get involved with something as doing nothing all day is what will make them turn to crime. I believe a system needs to be put in place to help them when they do re-enter the real world in order to prevent a statistic like 43% going to jail after leaving Boystown.

One thing we always have trouble with is the reputation that our boystowwn boys have. It is something which hinders them in day to day life. The only solution is for the boys themselves to strive to change that reputation. An example of this is one of the smaller boys asked me to help with the smelling of a love letter, innocent as can be. He gave it to the girl he liked and next day he was called to the principals office because the girl had told her parents he was a BT boy. He was sent back here for the day due to his actions. This, I don’t believe, would of happened if he wasn’t a Boystown boy. If more people trusted our boys and put their faith into them maybe they just might rise to it.

All in all a great month with a super 15 Sharks vs Bulls game too. Not long left till I come back now.

P.S Most of our boys clothes are donations, as a result of this is these clothes are odd to say the least. For instance, one boy has a Wimbledon tennis 92 T-shirt, one has Watford FC shorts and my favourite is a Egyptian team full tracksuit for the synchronised swimming world championships in 1998.

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Month 8

April started off with a holiday week for me and Al. There are many advantages to living on site in Boystown, you are always there in case of emergency, the boys can easily reach us whenever they need us, the lads respect us more due to the fact that we live in the same conditions as they do etc. However there is one major disadvantage being that you are never truly off duty. Because of this when we do go on holiday we let off a lot of steam. This holiday we went to Jeffrey’s bay, a unreal town known for surf and parties. We had a quality week, met some great people and came back with a fair few stories.

This month, as ever, has had its ups and downs but I am glad to say it was mostly ups. It started with a Kwa-Zulu Natal childrens homes’ athletics day to which Boystown was invited. The boys and us had a great day as there was music, food and even a dog show. We also managed to return with a trophy, so all in all a memorable day. The next weekend we took the boys to see AmaZulu vs Sundowns at the Moses Mabida stadium. It was a goalless shocker, boring as they come, but it was still magic to see the boys faces as many had never been to see a game in a major stadium. Finally we had a interesting day when the local minister for the ANC (African National Congress, the party that has been in power since the end of the Apartheid) came to donate blankets for the winter. Before I move on I just want to point out that winters over here are still warmer than our summers back at home, anyway back to it. The minister was a white woman, for the majority of our boys who align themselves with the ANC this was a shock. The South African political system, I think it is fair to say, is based just as much around race than party policies. This meant the boys were dumbfounded when a white woman with a Afrikaans name was representing the ANC, they were still buzzing off the blankets though.

On the other side there are always bad times, of which we had 2 which stand out. Firstly a boy broke the TV, the police are investigating and we will see what comes of it, but boystown simply doesn’t have enough money to replace it as it is beyond repair. I feel bad for the boys as the actions of one has effected them all. We haven’t had a rainy day sinse so have managed to keep the boys entertained, but when bad weather does inevitably come there will we wide scale boredom. When the boys are bored, that is when they cause trouble. The second event was a case of GBH commited by 2 of our boys. One of the older boy’s phones went missing, he decided to investigate himself with the assistance of his best friend. They rounded up the boys that they suspected and in a attempt to find out who was involved got aggressive. A new admission fought back and this led to them inflicting serious damage to him. They split his skull with a weapon and his face was indescribable. Luckily the boy is question was rushed to hospital and is ok now. As a result of the incident he ran away, but has since returned and is doing well here. The two boys who committed the offence are now going through the court system and are likely to see time inside. No boy should ever feel unsafe in Boystown, and a event like his is truly appauling especially when you are close to those who participated.

I also had a unique experience this month when the Boystown receptionist asked me to take her niece to her Matric dance, the equivalent of prom back at home. It was a strange and truly African experience trying to rent a suit as I had brought nothing with me. Being 6″3 and having size 12 feet made it quite a challenge. One store I walked into but I couldn’t stand up straight and the owner said ‘if you are bigger than the shop we have nothing that will fit you’. Finally we managed to piece something together and I had a good night. I also had a personal high this week when a shop manager gave me 40% off some flip flops because I spoke Zulu. It made me realise we have been here a long time now.

Shout out to my Dad Geoff who had his 49th Birthday this month…

P.S I showed the paper to the boys in the photo below, Sibusiso on the left and Mongezi on the right, they both now believe that they are celebrities in the UK.

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Thank you Diss Express and Judy Foster

IMG_9551

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Month 7

March was a very eventful month, working in Boystown is never boring but this one is definitely up there. It started with Tongaat charity fair, a carnival which comes to town on a annual basis. We took the boys as an outing, it is important that they experience the real world and get a chance to be a normal teenager again. The night started well, lots of fun with the smaller boys on the rides. However it soon turned hectic, many boys were caught with drugs or alcohol. One boy we found paralytic and i literally had to carry him to the bus. It is hard to take the boys out because every time we do they behave in the way which got them in Boystown in the first place. The day after, with a lot of the boys worse for wear we had awards day. This is when the boys are rewarded and acknowledged for academic, sporting and social achievements. It was a great day and incredible to see some of the boys bursting with pride. However the boys who didn’t win awards were bitter and weren’t bothered about showing it. Especially when some of boys who are notorious for bad behavior won awards. On the whole, it was a day for me and Al to be very proud of our boys. It also reminds you that these boys can achieve, they can be anything they want to be. they just need to believe that themselves.

Our biggest issue recently has been boys getting suspended, African schools are very tough, and there has been a national crack down in bunking. There is now a police division established to catch kids skipping class, as a result of this our boys have had a few run-ins. The lads get suspended for various reasons, some of the more colourful ones this month were: sexual activity in lesson, inciting a race riot and threatening a school security guard with a knife. We are trying to educate the boys that they need to stay in school to succeed, but the are the ‘G’ boys in school and always want to live up to that reputation. Outside of school behavior has improved, obviously we still have incidents but on a much less frequent basis to last year. We had one minor stabbing, this is something we are really trying to put our efforts into as we have come to the realization that boys will be boys and fights are always going to happen, but using weapons increases the risk of serious injury hugely. We try to tell the boys that a fist fight is fair but when they get mad they lose all control. As much as our lads are bad, we saw they level above this month when we visited Excelcior juvenile. The difference being that they base their system on punishment where as ours has a reformatory core. We went to play football there, as we walked through the building the boys saw the iron bars and panic buttons and realized that this was the next step on the criminal youth ladder. When we arrived to the pitch it was surrounded by a 20ft wall I think it hit home. Boystown won 4-2 in Birmingham city style.

Human rights is a public holiday in SA and the 21st of march 2013 will be a day i never forget. It started in a great fashion with a swimming gala which was a cracking event the boys really enjoyed. Especially when they had to find coins in the pool which they could keep, consequently it started World war 3. It was also moving to see the boys swim which we have taught to do so, this is one of the differences we have made which is actually tangible. After lunch a good day took a dark turn. Boystown is situated next to the beach but the boys are forbidden to go there due to the sea being dangerous (rocks, sharks and strong current) and because homeless people live there. Despite this they often meet their girlfriends on the beach. 2 of our boys arranged to meet their girlfriends on this particular day. As they crossed the bridge they heard screaming and one of the girls running towards them, they went and got the security guard and returned to the beach. They found of the homeless guys earlier mentioned raping one of the girls. She was 13. They managed to arrest him but the security guard was stabbed by a broken bottle in the process. They brought him back to Boystown. It was surreal to see him sitting there, just an average man. It summed up some of the major problems that SA really does need to tackle. Homelessness, unemployment, crime, rape child abuse and respect for women. I know it was hard for a lot of our boys who had come across rape, directly or indirectly, in their lives. I was very prous of our boys for the way they handled themselves and that fella wiill be locked up for a long time.We finished this day with a Braai which always makes things a little better.

One of our boys has been sent to a 2 month rehab, he is the first since i have been here. I will be interested to see if it is a success. Will update you all when he returns.

We heard it is still snowing back home, we are getting consistent 25-30 degrees. Not a bad place to live.

P.S. The boys have given us Zulu names, they have taken our names and translated so they took Gosling and made Idada- Duck and Rivers translates to ImiFula. So i am now Jordan Cadman-ImiFula.

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Month 6- Half Way

After last month being testing to say the least, this month has been a dreamer. 2012 for Tongaat Boystown was not a good year at all, our boys were showing no signs of improvement and we had some serious issues and events which took place. This is shown by how many boys were jailed last year. In summary we had some criminal youths in a system they weren’t responding too. So this year it was back to the drawing board. January was when ideas were brought to the table and this month a new regime was implemented. This includes a Leadership system where some of our best boys are accountable for roughly 5 other boys. They are heads of the table and should be role models. The only weakness of this is that despite the fact that they are some of our best boys, they are still Boystown boys and are by no means perfect. This means when they tell the boys to not do something the boys turn around and say ‘Well you do it too’. The other major system put in place is the privilege system, whereby the boys carry around cards and on these cards they are given positive points for good behaviour and negative for bad. If they reach the required level in one day they qualify for a privilege that night, which is like a treat. Although some boys are thriving in this card system there are once again some boys who are simply not interested and throw the cards away. The more dramatic boys flush them down the loo. Generally Tongaat Boystown is going in the right direction. The 5 new boys have all settled well into the structure because of this. However, we still have space for improvement which we will strive for. It is in no way easy to change things in an institution such as this one, this makes things very difficult. For instance one night when we tried to make room changes things just kicked off. With boys like this anger is infectious, we had about 8 fights, and boystown fights are very dangerous. Also we are finding it hard to combat the drug problem. We found a 60cm weed plant  in one of the boys rooms suggesting that the boys are growing. This is enormous issue, as we are talking long prison sentences especially if they start selling. But we did have a significant breakthrough on the drug front, when 3 of our most influential drug addicts stood up in community time and pleaded the boys to help them stop. This is when the boys need to pull together and help each other. We also had a speaker come in who had spent 22 years in prison for armed robbery. It was good for the boys to hear the reality, he begged the boys to leave the path they were currently on and hopefully they heard his message.

We are now officially half way. Its mad how quickly the first 6 months have flown. We are now fully settled and are know in the area fairly well as the 2 white guys. We are now on a level with the boys where we look at the them like brothers. This makes our job alot harder as it hurts when one of your brothers steals or fights with one of your other brothers. The boys now trust us completely and this results in them telling you their life stories. Everyday you understand more and more why the deviated from standard life to crime. We are now close to all the boys and they ask us things which may seem insignificant but to us feel like the exact reason as to why we are out here. FOr example one boy asked me what to do when the priest had come to school and performed an exorcism on his girlfriend, he didn’t know whether he had to dump her on not. Another example is teaching one of out older boys how to shave. I always had my Dad for these times (not exorcism advice but the other one) and for most of these boys that isn’t an option. We also had a very busy week leading up to valentines day as the boys all want to write love letters to their girls. This meant alot of love letters had to written as in Zulu culture men have many wives, Jacob Zuma the president has 7, so the boys follow suit. They all have multiple Girlfriends, the record being 1 boy with 12, i wouldn’t even be able to remember all their names.

We have also had some incredible experiences this month. We went to Huhlewe-Imfolozi game part, 2nd only to Kruger. We were lucky beyond belief. We saw 17 and a half White rhinos (the half being a baby), 2 elephants, 2 lions, a giraffe, multiple Buffaloes, wilder beasts, impalas, baboons, warthogs, bishpigs and even ate lunch with zebra. THe pinnacle of the day was seeing a Black rhino which most probably will be extinct for my Grandchildren. It was an unreal experience, everyone needs to do it. Its like lion king where you are David Attenborough, Ray Mears too because you are in the bush and mix in Dora the explorer due to the fact you have to find the animals yourself. We did have one hairy moment when a Rhino started to charge at the car and we had to leave very sharpish. We also went to the Moses Mabida stadium to see the African Cup of Nations semi final, Nigeria beat Mali 4-1, it was a great experience but nothing comes close to the fortress which is St Andrews. Our bosses from Project trust came to visit for a weekend, it was great to hear that we are doing a good job. But even better was the food, you can ask any volunteer, for one weekend and one weekend only you can eat your own bodywieght. Overall though, i cant wait to eat my mums cooking again when i return.

One question i have been asked alot is how Boystown runs financially. The answer is we get a grant for each boy, but we also have a fund raising team which find donors and sponsors. We were sponsored by a cracker company last week. Subsequently we will be eating crackers for a very very very long time.

Would like to say happy birthday to my mum and my sister for this month.

Till next month.

P.S Essential Zulu:

  1. La bafana thanda imikhiquizo yobisi- These boys love Dairy products.
  2. Iwashi mi mkozi por ncane isikhathi jabulisa- Can you watch my goats for a minute
  3. Ingakuphi shebeen?- Wheres the closest pub?
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Thank You Diss RFC

Thank You Diss RFC

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