As my last week in Cape Town was approaching, I had to prepare myself for all of the goodbyes. It was going to be hard enough saying goodbye to all of the new friends I made and the wonderful people I was lucky enough to live with for 8 weeks, let alone the gorgeous little kids in my class.
But before I knew it, I was waking up to my last ever Friday morning in Fish Hoek and getting ready for the last day at school. All week I had been testing the water with the kids to see what their reaction would be when they found out I was leaving. Most of them didn’t really understand, but one or two could tell that I wouldn’t be with them much longer and it was breaking my heart every time they asked me to stay.
I filled my bags with sweets, marshmallows and some toys and games for the kids, along with some farewell gifts for my teacher and her assistant. I also printed a beautiful photo (featured) of myself with my class so they could keep to remember our time together. What I never expected was the wonderful card they made for me and that they all chipped in R5 each to buy me a present! In a very emotional presentation organised by my teacher, four of the most advanced students handed me the card and present, thanked me and told me they would miss me very much.
The rest of the day pretty much panned out as any normal day at school would. The kids did some work, ate their fruit, went outside to play, and I just enjoyed my last few hours with them. Each and every child in my class had their own individual little personalities and I imagined what they would grow up to do in their lives. Natasha, a very bright little girl had a very sassy personality and a lot of attitude, and I could see her growing up to be a huge sports star or a model. David, probably the cutest of the bunch, would become a doctor and help people with his kindness. Ncubeko would have made a great footballer as he always was the one to score the most goals at break time. In my head I saw all the places that these beautiful children would go in their lives, but sadly the reality is that the majority of them won’t get the chance to go to university and will end up never leaving life in the township.
Had the option been more feasible, I would have chosen to stay with my class for longer and extend my stay in Cape Town, but sadly it was not to be. On the bright side, I now have a reason to return in the not-to-distant future. I’d love to see how the kids have grown and how they are doing at school in a few years to come. Who knows, maybe some of my hopes for them will become realities!
As my last day at school came to an end, I kept my teacher-face on and tried not to get too emotional in front of the kids. I took a couple of selfies with everybody, had a few last minute hugs and said my last goodbye. Walking out of that school for the last time was really hard to do but I also felt happy for being able to help them, even just a little bit.
Thank you to every teacher and every child at Ikhaya Labantwana for giving me such wonderful memories and the most amazing experience. Sala Kakuhle.