Posted by Sarah Nolan on 14 Nov 11
I have only been here in South Africa for two days and already I know I won’t want to go leave. We arrived Saturday morning sleepy eyed but excited and after getting our rooms in the hotel and a quick change of clothes we went out on site. After a brief talk everyone went to their team house to find out what jobs needed to be done to prep the houses for the rest of the volunteers who would arrive on Sunday. Today was my first real day of work. I thought be a lot harder to get up at six in the morning but it turns out that the excitement keeps everyone full of energy. Once everyone was out onsite we were told what jobs we had been assigned for the week. Originally I had been put down for painting but because not all of our team had arrived yet I was enlisted to help passing roof tiles to the men on the scaffolding.
The Atmosphere both on and off site is electric. Everyone is friendly and wishing me luck on my first trip. The jokes have started already on site, one of the girls I travelled here with was sent looking for a population tool until she realized what it was. Everyone is having a bit of craic as well as working hard. Back at the hotel, Siobhan who is also from Carlow was teaching us sign language and her friend Enda has promised us free drink if we can do the alphabet perfectly by tomorrow night, so I’d say we will be practicing all the way to site and back. I’m getting to revise a bit of French here as well as I am working with a man from the Congo who we have decided to call Michael because it sounds more Irish! It’s shocking to see the shacks. We had our official Walk In today and we got to see some of the area. It’s one thing to look at pictures and think how terrible it must be but when you actually see how people forced to live its heartbreaking. It’s really made me appreciate everything I have back home and it actually encourages everyone to do their best on site.