We arrived at the school with mixed emotions. It was our last day here at Fontein Combined School. On the one hand we were happy that we finished our work. We were proud of what we had achieved. But on the other hand we have grown attached to the kids and their happy faces. I was rather sad to leave.
We gathered in the church hall for a goodbye ceremony. Some kids gave us a wonderful display of poetry reading and dancing. When we played some music between intervals, the whole school started singing along at full volume. It was simply overwhelming to watch these kids who have practically nothing enjoy something so trivial as a pop song. It really made us all reflect back on our own lives and how we are usually unhappy with everything we have. We were all overcome with emotion as we watched them dancing and enjoying the moment.
Our last goodbye was given to all the children and teachers. We presented them with a tree – a symbol of our journey of growth together. Waving for the last time, we headed back home to pack our bags. Becci and I said goodbye to the Geberit apprentices (and now our friends) at the airport and went home for a well-deserved nap.
This project has touched us all deeply. I think it has somehow changed my perspective on life. It has taught me more about necessities, relationships and compassion. I am extremely thankful for all who participated and made this project such a big success. Hopefully we can return to Fontein combined School soon to continue our journey.
written by Lani van Niekerk