|Boys from the camp holding the banner they created|
School was on a holiday break this past week which gave me the opportunity to branch out from the work at the monastery and help with another project. I was able to spend the time as a chaperone/counselor for a camp put on by an organization called the Isibindi Project. The Isibindi Project works with some of South Africa’s most vulnerable and at-risk children, including those living in poverty and those affected by HIV/AIDS where children are orphaned. During school breaks, Isibindi runs camps for the at-risk youth in order to keep them busy while school is out and to give them the opportunity to travel outside of their current living situations.
This particular camp was for teenage boys who live in the townships in the cities of Alice and Grahamstown. The camp was held at an outdoor education center called Hobbiton at Hogsback located in the Amatola Mountains. During the camp, we went on a variety of hikes, did a few different ropes courses, went on the zip wire, played games, and had a big BBQ (they are called Braais in South Africa).
It was a wonderful experience, and the youth and the Isibindi staff were a joy to be around. Despite the many obstacles these boys face in their daily lives, their sense of hope, humor, and determination was amazing. I found it hard to be around them without smiling.
|Playing soccer at the Hobbiton at Hogsback field|
|Hanging out at the destination of one our hikes|
|Hogsback Mountains in background|