It is always a pleasure to share the stories of travelers have been on one of our trips. Bob Weller is a retired business man who lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta. When he accepted our invitation to write about his recent trip to South Africa, we were thrilled. We know you will enjoy his blog as much as we did.
“Now going on 80 years of age, I began to wonder if I would ever achieve the number one goal on my bucket list – travelling to Africa. The cost was much to prohibitive. Then I heard Nigel Bragge speak about a home build being planned in South Africa by an organization called Saving The Hungry. The trip fit nicely within my budget and as a result I was like a fly on molasses.
7 months later, there I was in the slums of Johannesburg building a 550 sq. ft home for a very vulnerable 47 year old single lady. Although we took, many, many pictures you had to be there to observe the overwhelmed 5 foot native lady, who had been living her life in a tiny hovel of tin, wood and cardboard with a floor of packed cow dung.
Two months have gone by, but I bet she is still smiling. It was equally amazing to sense the pride and hope in the people within her community all living in precarious hovels. I would like to believe that the visit by 25 Canadians travelling with Saving The Hungry helped to provide another little spark of hope in the informal settlement (slum)
One of my lasting memories will be of the little children who hung around our work site for the four days we were there. We fed them candies, colored with them and laughed as we all played games. I will never forget their big smiles and loud giggles. May their eyes always smile.
Although our reason for being in South Africa was clear, my eyes and ears could not gather enough information about the beautiful country. One soon realized that there are troubling undercurrents that are going to need to be dealt with over the years to come, but the future lies in the hands of those bright eyed little children who will remember the efforts and kindness of the Canadians.
My prayer is that Saving The Hungry continue to help change one life at a time, one country at a time and in doing so we are all able to contribute to building a better world and keep bright eyes shining.