S. Africa -Rosemary

I am Rosemary Achieng a student aged seventeen. I was privileged to attend the Pilgrimage of Trust Taize prayer accompanied by two teachers to South Africa. I really thank the almighty for the chance since it was my first experience to visit a foreign country and got to meet people from different cultures. Surely this was God-given chance.

When I first saw the city of Cape Town in South Africa, lots of joy filled me because the people were friendly and loving and that is what God wants us to put in practice.

The following day after our arrival was wonderful and marvelous because we were shown around the town by a tour guide. I got to visit different places which were fascinating and extremely attractive. I visited the water front where I saw the Atlantic Ocean then I proceeded to the table mountain where I got to see the whole city at every angle. We then visited the ostrich garden where I got to see the scary and huge ostriches. Thereafter I visited the Cape of Good Hope where I saw the gorillas and light tower which is allocated on top of a hilly place. I ended my day when I got to visit the beautified beach allocated nearby on the shores of Atlantic Ocean. The beach was not as the one in Kenya where the water is warmer compared to Cape Town water which was cold hence I couldn’t swim. We went to a restaurant to have our lunch.

The following day was a wonderful one since South Africans were celebrating heritage day - the day they got their heritage. I was first taken to the plantorium where I got to see a lot of things including animals, types of rocks and different type of drumming.  We visited the castle of Good Hope where I saw the structure of the first warriers who fought for the South Africa’s independence. One of the powerful people was King Langa Libele who was honored by having a town named after him. We also visited the town of Langa where we learned the history of the town. The town had a very painful and complicated story. One of the stories is that slaves, especially men were not allowed to stay with their wives and the latter visited but could not stay for long since the men stayed in a group of five per room. I also saw a picture of Langa that showed how Langa has been transformed to date.

The following day we headed for the Taize program. I started my day well and the registration was successful. I got to meet a lot of people from different parts of the world. I was placed in a different group with my colleagues from St. Aloysius. As a group we were allocated a church that was far away from where the program took place. We gave our group a name which was to identify us from other groups. Each evening we would gather together and board a bus which was had the group’s name.

At the church the group leaders distributed us to different host families and I was lucky to have a very welcoming family. I was scared of the dogs at the hosts’ family since I’m not particularly fond of dogs.

The following day, in the church we visited the children school where we interacted and played with the children. We then had games which I found very enjoyable. Thereafter we took a bus to program venue where we sang and prayed before formed small groups with different themes for reflections and sharing. We also sang songs in different languages which I found difficult and interesting at the same time.

I visited one of the workshops which had a theme of African cultures, celebrate trust and reconciliation. There were presentation of songs and dances from different cultures represented in the event. I was fascinated by the presentation of South Africans’ because they performed a dance of throwing legs up which was a different and unique from other countries’ dancing styles. I really enjoyed that day. At the end of the program, I got to attend the church service with my host family and we had lunch together. The worst moment arrived. It was time for my departure. The host asked me to stay but circumstances could not allow. We embraced each other and I got to the car and we headed to where we had to meet with my colleagues form Kenya. I saw them when I was in the car and I couldn’t hide my smile. Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. I could wish to stay but it was impossible. I met my colleagues then the bus took us to the airport to begin our journey back home.

My experience was fabulous and enjoyable that I will never forget in my entire life. I really thank the organizers, sponsors, my family who had contributed to make this journey successful and most importantly I thank God because He is everything.

school hope