African Impact's destination manager for St.Lucia, Lucie Hett, visited the project and had a life changing experience! Lucie got to know the ins and outs of the projects as well as the community! Her journey is filled with smiles, laughs and a few tears. Before setting off for a stay at our project in St Lucia, South Africa I most definitely did not expect to have such a completely life changing week. The Town of St Lucia instantly reminded me of a tropical seaside town in Kenya where you are constantly greeted by either smiling familiar faces, or the dirty backside of a Hippo! There is an abundance of sun, beautiful fresh fruit markets, stunning scenery and amazing wildlife. The volunteer house is beautiful - it’s equipped with a pool, comfy beds, a lovely living space and the most wonderful ladies who cook the best food! It truly is one big family which I immediately felt completely part of.
My weeklong visit began with an incredibly special morning as a rare outing to the beach had been organized for a few of the community support groups and one of the crèches we work with. I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the ladies and children and their incredibly joyful spirits. Their appreciation for the work African Impact has done for them brought everyone to tears. It was a really magical morning. I then joined one of our volunteers Maria, and Shwele the project’s healthcare coordinator, on some of their regular home based care visits, aimed at patients who are too ill, or have not got the means to make it to the local clinic in Khula. As we poked our heads around the door of the first patient’s home, I was immediately taken aback by the desperate living conditions this seriously ill 80+ year old man was subjected to. The realisation that the work AI does for the communities around St Lucia really does save lives hit me hard! We received wide smiles and warm hugs from various Gogo’s around the village that volunteers and staff had been visiting and delivering food parcels to for a long time now. Each lady’s health had significantly improved since they first became patients on our healthcare project! The last project I was lucky enough to spend time at was Snenhlanhla Creche. I joined our Education volunteers for a morning of snotty noses, shouting voices and the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen. The children were amazingly well behaved and had a clear respect for all the volunteers which meant that the songs, stories and educational topics shared with them, were all absorbed with enthusiasm and appreciation. In between all these amazing experiences, the rest of my trip to St Lucia was packed full of delicious Zulu food, stunning days on the beach, exciting game drives and regular Hippo encounters! I feel extremely privileged to work alongside such special people and for such an amazing organization that is making a very real impact in so many people’s lives. St Lucia- you rock! You could also have an incredible volunteering experience with African Impact's St.Lucia Project!