but everyone can do something!!
If I could recommend only one thing to all the people in the world, it would be "Go to Antelope Park at least once in your life!". This is because the trip itself will totally change your life, once and forever!
It's now three weeks since I left this lovely place. Three weeks since I left a piece of my heart in the land far far away - and that's a piece I will never ever get back. In one way it feels like a fairytale that never really happened. But I have pictures that shows me that it did. Pictures that shows me that this was in fact the best thing that ever happened in my life. When I came back to work my boss asked me if I was in love, and I realize now that the answer to that is yes. I'm in love with a place and a country. I'm in love with all the gorgeous people I met on my journey, and also all the gorgeous animals. I just love the whole thing from the bottom of my heart.
Something, and someone, really changed my life while I was in Zimbabwe. I'm not sure how to explain it, but I just have to give it a try. People who've already been to AP knows what I'm talking about, cause there is in fact something special about that place. But I want the rest of you to understand as well. The way I'm thinking is changed. The way I'm behaving is changed. The way I'm feeling is changed. The way I'm reacting is changed. Things changed, and will never be the same. I am changed, and will never be the same!
I've been to a lot of places, and I've seen a lot of things, but still this trip is the one trip that really changed my life - forever. To go to Africa to be a volunteer is the one thing in life that I'm always gonna be proud of. I will always have a piece of my heart in Zimbabwe and with the people and animals I met on my way.
To wake up early in the morning and walk with the lions is better than anything else I can imagine. You feel you're a part of the nature in a way you've never ever felt before. It's just so amazingly gorgeous to walk in the bush with wild animals like lions. How can you have a bad day when you wake up and this is what you do the first thing in the morning? The same thing is happening in the afternoon. When you walk with these gorgeous animals you realize that the world is so amazingly beautiful. When you're at an elephant ride and the elephant you're sitting on is picking up a stone to you as a gift (just to get food). When you're having a whole cow in front of you, that you'll have to cut into pieces and give to the lions to feed them. Or, when you see big grown up lions making a kill right in front of you at a night encounter. This is just some of the amazing thing you can do with the animals, and this is just some of the amazing things I've done with these animals.
What makes you change the way you're thinking, the way you're acting, the way you're talking and the way you're living is this: All the things you've seen and experienced. All the things you've been through. All the people you've met on the way. This is what changed my life, and will change my life forever.
To see how the people at the park works for 13-14 hours a day (every day) without complaining, and always with a smile on their faces, just because they're so happy that they have a job (while in Norway you hear people complain if they don't get a break every hour or every second hour). Just to know that what these people earn during a month is what I get from one night shift in Norway. Just to see that they don't have money for a car, so they're walking or if they're really lucky they're having a bike (while in Norway you often see that families have more cars inside the family then people able to drive it). Just to see how much 1 single dollar (5 NOK) can do for a family in Zimbabwe (while a family in Norway wouldn't even notice if they lost a dollar). To meet the people who works at the orphanage and the Drop in center and see what a great job they're doing, and then you know that they don't even get payed for it. They just do it because they really love the children. How it makes you feel when you see how the children runs along the car just because they want you to wave to them. How it makes you feel when the street children comes up to you just to say hello, when they see you in town Saturdays. Just to be at the Drop in center and walk in the street searching for the street kids. Just to see the same kids coming to the center to get lunch, and then you'll see how thankful they are for the food they got (while in Norway it's not even usual to say thank you for the food anymore). Just to see how these kids eat whatever they get, even though it's just one piece of meat and a tiny spoon of vegetables, you never ever hear them complain. They're so thankful for everything you do to them. Just to see the joy in their eyes if they for once get two pieces of meat instead of one. Just to see the joy in their eyes when we're playing with them, and when the music turns on. Just to see how much these kids want to go to school and get a better future for themselves (while you in Norway see all the kids who don't even think that some kids are living a life without being able to go to school, even though they would do anything to be able to). Just to see the joy in the eyes and the smile on the face to the kids at the orphanage when you every Saturday bring them food for the week (which is less food than a norwegian family eats for dinner). Just to see how thankful they are for everything. Even though we don't always have money to buy them meat for the week they're thanking us and being so happy for everything. Just to see the joy in their eyes when we're coming Saturdays to visit them and to play with them. Just to see how proud they are when they're putting on some really old football shoes, and how they use only one shoe each cause they don't have enough for everyone (while in Norway you see people have so many pairs of football shoes). Just to see how proud one of the boys were of his green tractor - which was his one and only toy (while in Norway the kids don't even have time to play with all their toys cause there's too many). Just to see how grateful and happy these kids are, even though they don't have a lot of anything. Just to see how the kids share their beds without madrases, and they don't even say anything on it, cause they're just so happy to be able to stay there (in Norway you change your madras if it's not as good as you wanted it to be, or if it's old). Just to see the smile on their face when you're asking the kids how they like the school, and they're answering that they love the school, and that they want to become a truck-driver when they get older. Just to see how the kids take care of each other and help each other being better (while in Norway you see people making fun of each other if they have the wrong clothes or not getting something).
This is why my life is changed, and this is what makes me realize that I have to do something more. I don't think my life will ever be the same. This place and these people will stay in my heart forever. I'm so thankful for everything I've done and everyone I've met on my way! You've all made a huge difference in my life, and I will in fact always love you for it! I would do anything to be back with you, and one day I will be! My dream is in fact to go back and work there for a while. I've now been there, and I've seen how they're living and what they might need to make a change for them. And it actually takes so little to make a big difference for these people. I want to go back and help them by teaching them all basic things. This is not impossible to fix, it just takes a little effort. Unfortunately I'm not able to do it all by myself, but I will try to make a plan to make it happen!
Even though it might be a cliché, there is a fact that you won the lottery by being able to grow up in a country like Norway! You should know that there's so many people out there who would do absolutely anything to be in your shoes, and to be able to live your life!
If you would like to help me helping the people in Zimbabwe it's possible. I still have the account open so you can use that one, or you can become a sponsor for Midland Children Hope Project. If you want to know anything about it just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember: Everything helps these people - it really does!! And nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something!!!