I Miss My Friends!

Let’s be brutally honest here: I moved 6,000 miles away from home leaving pretty much everything behind to come and make a new life for myself in South Africa. In all of the excitement, I completely forgot about the fact that I wouldn’t be able to pack my friends in a box for them to come with me. And I have to say, when it came to saying goodbye to everyone, I broke and felt like someone had torn a hole in me; something that I had never felt before. Even thinking about that moment makes me well up!

I knew that God was calling me to be in South Africa and that He would provide all I needed for me to make it through the year. And one of those provisions was going to have to be some pretty amazing friends. But something that skipped my mind was that friendships take time to develop. Now, I have made some awesome friends and I will definitely keep them with me for the rest of my life. However, I do still feel like there is that hole in me. Whenever I think about the friends that I left behind, I break down because I feel like I don’t have anything like that here.

Thankfully, my friends from the UK are all very good at keeping in touch. I regularly FaceTime Rebz and have some pretty entertaining conversations with the ‘Fictional Character Emotional Support Group’. I will often see a message pop up from a school friend or a church friend. And I am so appreciative of that and that I have friendships that will stretch the extra mile (excuse the pun) to make it work for us. 

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The Fictional Character Emotional Support Group

I feel like I am saying ‘but’ a lot in this post. But I feel like there is good reason for it. As much as I can try and fill my head with the good things – my friends are staying in touch and I am making some friends here – there is still that niggle at the back of my mind that makes me think of the hole that is inside. Yet, this is not something that I want to be at the back of my mind. This is because I want to try and make sense of the feeling and do something about it rather than just leaving it and feeling sorry for myself.

So, what am I doing to make myself feel better?

  1. Going to places where I can interact with other people of my age group. I have decided (with the help of a little nudge from people like Cheryl) that I am going to go to places where I know young adults go to so I can meet people with the same mindset as myself etc. I think that in just meeting new people, more friendships will form, in turn making me feel better about having the majority of my friends 6,000 miles away.
  2. Make more of an effort to try and meet up with people. I have found that there are specific days of my week which can get a little bit lonely if I don’t plan anything. So, over the last couple of weeks, I have made a little bit more effort and it has really been helping. Knowing that I have something to do on a Saturday evening is quite nice and reassuring!
  3. Reminding myself of God’s promises for me. If I am feeling particularly lonely, the one thing that makes me feel better instantly is to shove on some Christian music and sit and read my Bible. There are some great verses in there that help to remind me that I have a constant friend in Him and that what I am doing is all to bring Him glory.
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3 vs 5-6)
  • “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.” (Psalm 34 vs 18)
  • “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11 vs 28)
  • “The Father of compassion… comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1 vs 3-4)
  • “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3 vs 13-14)

My Life’s Not That Exciting!

It dawned on me this morning that I had not thought of anything to post on my blog. Nothing major has happened in the last week that requires a whole blog post dedicated to it and I have been majorly slacking in the taking photos department. I was discussing this problem with Rebz whilst we were on FaceTime and she had a brilliant idea of doing a review of my last three months here in South Africa – something that I have photos for as well! 

The first quarter of my year in South Africa has been completed so it is only fair that I look back and see what I have achieved and what I have been up to at various points.

July:
Dad was here in July and he helped me to settle in in my first week here. I am so glad he came with me because I don’t think I would have got on that plane had I been on my own! I was so scared! 

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Arno and Claire organised a pizza night as well so I could get to know some of the people from church, which was so much fun! It just reinforced my love for pizza.

We also had the quiz night at the end of July – Chloe and I were the people in charge of the score board (I was trying to think of a better name for that but I literally could not think of anything!) so obviously it was mandatory to take a photo and attach a cheesy caption.

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Highest score of the night! 

August:
August was my first full month here and if I am being completely honest, I was totally homesick. But, I have to say that there were some pretty fantastic pictures taken of me… See below!

Notably, the biggest thing to happen in August was going to Hudson’s matric dance. Don’t ask me how it happened; I don’t know myself! One minute I was helping Chloe get ready for a date, the next I was putting on a nice dress and jumping in the car ready to go and take pictures.

I actually got my exam results back in August too! Something that I completely forgot about! I passed them all, which is great!

September:
In September, there were a few meeting here and there, with a few of them happening on the beach! Oh, the perks of living close to the sea!

I was able to celebrate my first Heritage Day here in South Africa, which is otherwise known as Braii Day. Basically, everyone eats loads of meat and has loads of fun and life is good. 

October:
October features last week’s blog. I went to be a part of the Activities Team at ILA and had great fun. You can read about it here.

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So it is safe to say that I have had an awesome first few months here and I am looking forward to finishing my year here with anticipation of what God has planned for me!

Where Did I Go?!

As many of you are aware, there was no blog post last week. Some of you may have thought I was severely ill; some may have thought that I couldn’t be bothered to post. Others of you may have thought that I had nothing left to write about. But you are all wrong.

The reality is that I was itching to write a blog post, I just couldn’t physically get to a computer, let alone one which had internet connection. Last week, I went for a whole week with no communication with anyone from the UK, and even anyone from SA! Now, I know that you are all thinking that I was being super spiritual and fasting from technology for a week. Sorry to disappoint but, I was actually just in the middle of no-where on a missions trip with my youth group.

So, rather than bore you with just a whole load of writing about what we did, I thought I might as well try and tell the story as well as I can with pictures (however, there will be a little bit of writing to fill out the necessary areas!).

Sunday:

Monday:

Tuesday:

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Yes, my face is that red because I got sunburnt again…

Wacky Wednesday:

So, although I managed to get pictures of myself looking incredibly nutty, I did not manage to get any pictures of the main event of the day…

The Activities Team (the team that was made up of youth from Everyday People) were in charge of the evening fun – obviously. But, I mean, it wouldn’t be a real camp if the Activities Team didn’t prank everyone. So, we blindfolded everyone with their bandannas and led them outside. They yelled aloud three times, “WE TRUST THE ACTIVITIES TEAM!” But they really shouldn’t have. Because we then threw water balloons at them. They got us back by throwing buckets full of water over us, of course. So for obvious reasons having a phone/camera on my person would have been a very bad idea!

Thursday:

On Thursday night we held a talent show and I ended up being roped in to do some lip-syncing. Now, I am not posting the videos on here, but if anyone with a video of it feels led to leave it in the comments on Facebook, I am unable to stop them…

Friday:

 

So that just about wraps up last week. I had so much fun and I would definitely do it all again!