Monday was a busy day of adventures around Antelope Park. We spent the late afternoon helping around the camp. We helped to fix the walking bridge (a Tetris game of new and old planks!), helped in the kitchen (where we chopped onions until we cried), did laundry (with a vintage iron press), and worked on grounds (where we learned about the behind the scenes of A.P.). Most of the people that we worked with this afternoon were the parents of the kids we had met in the school earlier this week. We hoped that by helping this afternoon, the staff would have more energy for their kids at night. These people work amazingly hard, and we were humbled by their willingness to chat and share stories while we tried to help in a small way. This afternoon we went and visited a community project that feeds the homeless street kids of Gweru. With our fundraising efforts we managed to provide them a cooked meal. That gave them a break from street life and a chance to just be kids. We then played them in a game of soccer on the community fields where we lost narrowly 4-3. The best Shawnigan team they said they have seen.
To be honest this last 3 days were the most amazing time of my life where I had my perspective changed many times through all the different experiences that I’ve been through. To start this place is completely beyond my expectations. During breakfast, lunch, and dinner they have been bombarding us with the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten. Also, it amazed me how happy they are with so little that they have. Zimbabwe people the probably the most welcoming and happy people that I’ve ever seen. One of the things that stand out during this trip was during one of our activities where we were teaching kids of grade 6 about Canada. After we went with the kids to their school and one of the kids pulled out his only 50 cents and brought me out and bought a snack for me and him just because he wanted me to try it out. Overall, it’s being an amazing time with this awesome crew in the best place in the world.
There are no words to describe how incredible our experience at Antelope park for the last three days. We have done so much in such little time and have gathered so many memories and grown so much as a team. Working with the children has been so inspiring to me. Seeing how joyful and giving they are and seeing how happy they are contagiously brighten all of our faces. We have also had the privilege to interact and walk with lion cubs as well as feeding full grown lions. I am looking forward to the rest of this amazing trip.
Zimbabwe has treated us well! The food, the people, places, adventures and animals. We have seen a lot of wildlife including elephants, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, lemurs and a full day of hanging with lions. The other night we sat out on our patio and a few of us were writing our journals and the monkey were in trees behind us and a lemur was in clear view and it was sucking on the tree. The children and community is very welcoming, we have worked with three different groups of school kids and they have taught me about their life, culture, language and games. Since it is winter in Africa, as soon as the sun goes down we have about 5 minutes until we are in are big winter jackets. We have been staying at antelope park for the past few days and the park is incredible, amazing food and the staff is so kind.
The past few days have exceed all my expectations. We have done so much it feels like we have been here for a month. The experiences are unbelievable and unforgettable. We first helped kids read, and helped them learn about wild life conservation. The excitement and joyfulness these young kids had was amazing and inspiring. The lion walking was an unreal experience as well. Being here for only 3 days has already had a significant impact on me, I cannot wait for the rest of the work we do.
Since I came here I’ve been impressed by how grateful and giving people can be in any situation. Whenever we drive in the town, little children and even the adults are so welcoming and cheerful which makes my heart melt. Also, the beautiful environment and the animals we are surrounded by is just amazing. Every experience is nothing I have ever had before, and I will never forget. I am so glad that I came to this trip, because this trip has been the best learning experience for me.
So far on this trip we have been fortunate enough to stay at Antelope Park. We’ve got to work with inspiring kids who have the biggest smiles on there faces and can’t help but put a smile on ours! I have made so many memories from these kids and they are truly astonishing. Today I got to work with lions, feeding them and going on a walk with the cubs! It has been an amazing three days so far and I look forward to the rest of the trip! Then after lunch I got to help put in the kitchen and see all the hard work and effort they put into our meals. It was very fun talking to the different chefs and hearing there stories! The fact that I’ve only been here for three days amazes me as I feel I’ve been here forever! I love the work we’ve been doing and can’t wait for more.
I feel very very lucky. I can’t really explain it any other way. And there’s a few reasons why. I feel lucky, simply because of what I have and what some of these kids that we have seen and worked with do not. I also feel lucky because of the things I have witnessed and been apart of here at Antelope Park so far, the opportunities I have had the chance to take and the relationships with my teammates that have been manifested and strengthened. My favourite moments so far have been meeting all of the incredible children at two or three different primary schools. At all of which I met kids who’ve said they’ll miss me after knowing me for about two hours, wrapping their arms around me like I was their best friend in the world and telling me their entire life story at a rapid-fire pace. And I adored every single one as they were each so special. I thoroughly enjoyed walking with the lion cubs and watching the majestic males and females stretching, fighting, hunting and play fighting with their brothers and sisters. My parents always told me how lucky I was to have the home and family and schooling that I did. And those were just the basics. I always said stuff like “yeah, yeah okay” but I never truly believed them by seeing with my own eyes how they were right.
This trip has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and it’s only been a couple of days. The kids we have met are the sweetest, most genuine people, and also some of the happiest. I am so grateful for every minute I get to spend here, and can’t wait for each day that comes next. Not only are the people amazing, but the wildlife is mesmerizing. The lions we have encountered are beautiful and we are so fortunate to have this opportunity. I am so thankful for all of the things I have come across in the past couple of days.
From the three days of being here my expectations have already been surpassed. This trip has given me so many opportunities that had blown my mind. Being here feels surreal. However, I’ve met the happiest people, seen the craziest animals, and connected with the kids. I’m excited to venture more of Africa and experience many more insane experiences. I’m confident in knowing the rest of the trip will be as good if not better.
Marcia, Denzee, Grait, Ethel and Elizabeth are only a few of the names of the children I’ve met. Each and every one has been nothing but kind, loving and amazing. My heart genuinely feels overjoyed, the smiles and laughter were more than enough to last me a lifetime. Apart from the children, the wildlife has been incredible. I look around and feel like I’m in a Planet Earth episode. All the animals exceeded all of my expectations, the lions so far have been a highlight. Although they’re powerful killers they are also playful kittens. The trip has been beyond amazing, I cannot wait to see what the rest brings.