Getting Bitten by two year olds and joining a gym week 3

South Africa Travel Blog

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Hi everyone,

Hope you are well? I have a pretty uneventful week really!! we have a new baby at the centre actually can't spell or say his name as its got 3 M's in it so we'll just call him little new one. He is soooooo cute his mother is only 17 and dropped him off claiming to be a student in JoBurg (which she isn't) and that she'll collect him in a year (which she won't) He cried constantly for a week all day but we weren't allowed to pick him up as he needed to know that every time he cries he won't get picked up. Bloody difficult i can tell you especially as he was doing those gut wrenching scream/cries.

Big eyes played me up all week he bit me hard enough to draw blood the other day and Rebecca the woman i work with made me hit him. It was horrible doing it he cried so hard afterwards it made me cry. Then he spat at me so Rebecca got a rolled up news paper on him!! I found out that at 1 year old his drunk mother dropped him down a flight of stairs and he broke his leg so when he walks or runs now he reminds me so much of the little people in the film Willow!! Makes me smile everytime. He can be a real pain in the arse but i'd adopt him if i could

I have absolutely no control over them once big eyes starts misbehaving and i completely lost my shit with one of them the other day. I had to pin him to the floor and he spat right in my face! I've never been so angry i had to leave the room because if i stayed i was frightened of what i might do. It really shook me up but Sharon reminded me that its 9 of them against 1 of me and when they all start misbehaving its very stressful and the important thing is that i didn't actually hurt him. All those hours watching super nanny never told me about that I can tell you!!!

Most days i feel like i'm winning and others i could cry but thats to be expected really. I still do really stupid stuff like trying to hold a kid back and put my hand out too hard and they fall over wailing or accidently feeding one of them something thats a bit too hot still- its stuff like that which makes me feel like the worlds worst person ever but i remind myself i've only been doing this 2 weeks and I am on a really steep learning curve so should not give myself such a hard time and that when i make a mistake no real damage is done.

Also have a new housemate Ben he's 18 and from Cumbria cute as a button and such a laugh. Its taken the pressure off me and Ellen and were getting along well now (she still says really dumb stuff thats winds me up like how she feels sorry for people who are fat and people who don't smoke weed and begins a story with 'it was soooo funny' and everything shes done is the best week/day/month/hour of her life!!) which is nice because work is hard enough without having to deal with crap at home. He can't cook at all but i am refusing to mother him and he's just going to have to learn- fast or not eat

Also met a load of volunteers last nite at this Braai (BBQ) who were so funny and lovely. They live next to a Elephant sanctuary so could watch the elephants it was amazing i seriously considered moving there!! Ellen turned up in a short minidress and made the worst first impression on all the women by not really speaking to any of them. Then she got with one of the guys who had literally dropped his girlfriend off at the airport that afternoon (who all the volunteers know and like) and when i told her this she drunkenly told me and the whole room how she 'didn't give a fuck' and carried on regardless. Felt a little bit embarrassed for her but they all thought Ben and I were great so thats good.

Oh yes and in a bid to get some time to myself i have joined a gym. I wanted to just swim in the pool but the trainer guy is making me a plan to help me shift the last few pounds ( i cannot stop eating here- is ridiculous) and tone up. Only 20 quid for the month and i'll be doing 2 hours a day 5 days a week so when it comes to that mountain in Malaysia i will be able to climb it no problem!! Can you believe Ellen has driven me to actual exercise!!

Kate and Chris (Mr and Mrs Hart) congratulations again!!!
Kelbell you are officially super teacher- i'm very proud of you

Love to all
Keep in touch i need to know whats happening in the real world
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Hi all,

Well i went horse riding at the weekend- absolutelty hilarious Sandra if you could have seen me you wouldn't ahve been able to stop laughing. My stupied bloody horse decidedto "trot" at every given opportunity which had me coming out of the stiruups and bobbing all over the place like a puppet on a string deperately trying to hold on for dear life. I can't tell you how many times i nearly fell off. At one point i was holding on to its neck and squealing 'No No woooooow pleassssssee wow' Sharon Ellen and all the other professional horse people could not stop laughing. Well neither could I really. I have some spectacular bruises from it (complete with a swollen and bruised foot and a bloody and bashed elbow) and i've been wlaking like John Wayne for 2 days. The professional horse person said it was amazing i didn't actually fall off. So now i know the one thing i can do well is clench (but i think you guys knew that already)

My placement is sorted thankfully I start at the orphange on Monday I am really excited especially to be away from the German girl who is actually a massive racist. She refuses to spend time with White people and won't go anywhere where white people are!! Can i be clear that this child is as pale as me. People have gotten really offended by her but i just laugh at how ridiculous she is.

I went out with the teenagers last night. I totally forgot how annoying 18 boys are- i was soooooo embarrassed especially when not one of them brought out ID with them (except from me) and got arsey because they were asked- they all look about 12 so its not exactly shocking really. Finally ended up in a bar and bumped into a load of english and white africans on a football tour who were well not 18 so i befriended them- i has such a laugh and realised i'd been ignoring the teenagers a bit (well a lot) wentto check up on them and they weremating like bloody rabbits - except for Ellen who was doing the everso mature thing of ignoring the German she had pulled last night and moodily texting on her phone. After being hit on by one of the germans for an hour ( it was like slapping a horney puppy away couldn't be too harsh i might damage him) i dragged moody Ellen over to the football team where a bit of attention soon had her smiling and putting away her bloody fone.

In the end she demanded we go to another club with the football lot and the Germans (who were staying at ours) got really arsey and didn't want to go. Now SA at night is not a safeplace for a drunk 18 year old so i had to give the germans a key and the code and told Ellen we would have 1 drink and then get a taxi back to the house. 

No sooner had we got to the club than half the football team got arrested for drunkenly singing in the street and we had to get another taxi to the jail to try and bail them out why may i ask did we not just get a taxi home?  I can answer that fucking Ellen!!! She was intent on hanging around these guys like some kind of groupie and as we only had one set of keys I actually couldn't leave without her. In the end we had to go back to the hotel with the remaining few non arrested football team members where me and this lovely manchester lad tried deperately to book a taxi for us while bloody Ellen got stoned!!!!  In the end we had to wait untill it was daylight before we could walk home-  Needless to say the Germans were massively fucked off.  Ellen didn't even get up to say goodbye to them this morning the cheeky cow so i was lefttrying to explain our rudeness.  I decided to leave the house and come e-mail you guys instead as and leave her to do the cleaning up (not that she will) as if i stayed i might just throttle her!!  talk about high fucking maintenance

Much love and hugs
A very bruised Jan xxxx

vicki1629 says:
Hi Glad you've finally got this sorted. Sue is happy she can reead first hand what your up to!

Vic x x
Posted on: Oct 14, 2009

Oh for fucks sake!! After discovering that my project isn't actually the one i am meant to be on and having to explain this to the stroppy admin worker at the street kids project they just dumped me at,  i have then had less than a day to decide what i am going to do. 

I decided that as the street kids project already has 3 volunteers (the germans- two really nice guys and one harpie of a girl who dislikes me greatly) i would go to the orphanage as orignially planned but then go to the centre in the afternoon twice a week and help my house mate Ellen( the stunning 18 year old) with a drama project she wants to start there. 

The staff at the centre played a really awful joke on me pretending to be furious and causing me to stutter explanations of why i was leaving before all hysterically laughing.  It appears that now i am going they are all really nice to me- total sods law but i've made my decision and i'm sticking with it.  The other thing was that the street kid project is basically youth work and if i wanted to do that i would have volunteered at home to do it (which i am thinking of doing when i get back as i have actually really enjoyed myself?!!)

Useless Sharon has been really good and i have decided that the horrors of her leaving me in a house on my own the first two days i was here, one day of which had no power AT ALL is still pretty shitty but that in actual fact she is still nice and is taking me horse riding tomorrow afternoon, then to a horseback safari and to this really cool ethnic market, she maybe crap at her job but she knows how to have fun!!! I may start calling her not totally useless Sharon instead. 

Ellen my housemate is lovely but really young and is a bit of a typcial teenager (never makes her bed, never washes the pots and takes moaning to an olympic level) and i am not sure she is going to stick out the next two months.  I have to admit she does have a bit of a harder time than me in the School but the total lack of surprise that she is having to teach kids on her own smacks of ineptitude because well she choose teaching!!! I would love her to stay because she is really great but i'm not so sure she will.  I am trying to befriend the two german guys (i'm taking them out drinking at the weekend) as the 3 germans are living in the township- the harpie girl thing lords that over me every chance she gets- as if it makes her more of a volunteer because she's living with the 'people'.  What really makes me laugh is that they can't go out at night because no taxi from town will take them to the township after 6. Nose- cut off and face springs to mind.

Ok i'm going to go i need to sort out some literacy stuff for tomorrow and get some after sun on my burnt nose, cheeks, chest,  shoulders.......

Love you and miss you all xxxx


Hi everyone,

I have done so many wonderful things in a week i haven't been able to get to a computer!! I have petted tigers, leopards and cheetah cubs, i have rode an elephant, zip-lined over waterfalls and almost did the words highest bunji before common sense took over. I have seen wild African elephants, buffalo and water hogs and visited a township which was eye-opening.  They have there own bars, markets, businesses in the townships its not just  a bunch of poor people being miserable- some parts are quite affluent. Thats not to say there isn't unbelievable poverty and squalor because there is. 

I have met some really lovely people as well.  My tour consisted of me, the tour guide Maudicai (a Zulu with the best laugh ever) 2 French girls Moele (Mel was the nearest i came to saying her name) and Murial (trying to explain the film Muriel's wedding to her was a bad idea) and Scott (from Essex...but don't hold that against him).   We all got on brilliantly especially Scott, Maudicai and myself as well we aren't French; i honestly haven't laughed that much in ages.  (Now before the MmmmHmmmm's  and  eyebrow raising begins  i said we got on well so calm down and take your minds out the gutter please- and yes yes  i have realised that this is yet another guy that I have spent time with and that has now left the country but i don't think this one should count as i am in another country and people i meet are bound to leave the country)

I did actually get all upset when i left the group and all the things like "nice to meet you", "stay in touch",  "have a great rest of your holiday", "thanks" got completely lost in this surprise show of emotion from yours truly after only knowing them a week.  Its all a bit embarrassing when i come to think of it now- i must have looked like a right emotional basket case.  

I had my first day at my placement today- god!!! was it a culture shock. They don't have many babies and its more of a homeless street kid project than a creche with guys up to 21 years old there.  It took me a while to figure out what the hell i was doing but i think that i'm going to start a literacy project with them if i can as its not really looked at much there but is greatly needed if they ever want a job.  There is an orphanage a street away which i am going to try and get a foothold in too.  These kids parents are alcoholics, drug-users and some of the kids live on the street.  At 21 the guys act about 13.  One girl is 10 but acts about 6 years old because they are so underdeveloped physically and emotionally.  Violence, alcohol and drug abuse is a real problem with the teenagers - some as young as 12 but they are happy to make Christmas Cards!!!! As its not a school you have to make it entertaining so i'm trying to think of interesting ways to get education into the centre as it doesn't seem to be happening at the moment and when it does its only for the 2-6 year olds.   

I am working with another bunch of volunteers from Germany who are all 18 (some younger than the kids we are helping) and they seem content to play and mess around and don't see education as a big priority.  I am going to have my work cut out to come up with a programme thats going to suit the kids so they keep coming back and to get the staff on side too.  As i am not an actual youth worker i feel a little out of my depth but if i can start something the germans are at the centre for a whole year so a programme could have real longevity.  Please if any of you have any ideas that can help please let me know- these kids really don't stand a chance.  I couldn't believe it when lucky a 21 year old sport fanatic could only get half way down his alphabet.  

My house mate is a 18 year old stunner...yep yep am off to buy some fashionale bras and see if i can't have a face lift as i am such an old lady 

Much love- i miss you all so much
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