When thinking about traveling internationally, you think about a lot of things. You think about the weather, the language, the things to do, the culture and often the currency.
But something you can’t prepare for is immersing yourself in the lives and elements of the people and places you’re surrounded by.
As seen in my last post, Durban is a stunning, picturesque masterpiece, expertly crafted with rolling Sugar Cane fields, ocean views and landscapes as green as your mind can comprehend; but with all beauty, comes a little pain.
On a lovely mid-80 degree day with lots of sun, a cool breeze and no rain clouds in sight, it’s the perfect temperature to be outside; but where we’re working for the week, strong winds doesn’t always mean a cool breeze; it can mean dust, sand and dirt, everywhere.
When we first started working on the ground, it was a gentle, rainy day, so I was a little caught off guard by the amount of dust in the preschool and on all the toys and books. But today, I got to experience what a warm, windy day could mean for the children and staff at the school we’re working at: burning eyes and dusty clothes with a lot of extra work to keep things cleans and a lot of time hiding your face from the wind so it doesn’t get in your eyes, mouth and nose.
This didn’t stop the spirit of the kids. For them, it’s just another windy day with a little extra movement while playing to get away from the dust, but our group got to experience another day in their lives in a whole new way.
These photos were taken after only 6 hours (give or take) outside today. One day. One sunny windy day, where some of those hours were spent painting away from the wind and working in shipping containers.
When traveling internationally, come with openness. The average traveler doesn’t leave the paved path, but when you do, you gain such a better understanding of how the locals are actually living and get a peek behind the “tourist curtain”.