Be Selfless by: Zavier Bell

I am a 7th grader at Capital Prep School in Harlem. My favorite subject is English. As a kid I always wanted to be a cartoonist, a chef, or a karate master. Now that I am going on this trip, I expect to have fun but learn at the same time.

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Zavier Bell

July 16, 2017

The reason why education is important for poor children is because education gives information  and knowledge.  When you are in school you learn a lot of important subjects like English, math, history and science.  For poor people not having a decent amount of education is very horrible because it will end their employment opportunities.  Poor people have the human right to an education. For example, 70 million kids around the world do not have access to an education. I find this so unfair because kids in America get a good education automatically. In countries like India, Cambodia, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Chad, Papua New Guinea, Haiti, Egypt, and Guatemala do not get an education do to their gender. I just want everyone to be treated as a human being and access their rights to an education, nutritious food, adequate housing and the clothing that they need.

Zavier Bell

July 18, 2016

Nelson Mandela is a big influence around the world because he was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Nelson Mandela day is also, THE BEST HOLIDAY IN AFRICA, in my opinion. But it is also very popular around the world because Nelson Mandela is an iconic figure for people worldwide. as the first president of a democratic South Africa, he brought a dream of a free people alive for his people and the world. Nelson Mandela Day is dedicated to service, the action of helping someone or something, in a selfless way.

A More Accurate View of South Africa by: Jalene James

I attend Capotal Prep School in Harlem. I’m in the 7th grade and my favorite subject is Social Studies. As a career I want to pursue becoming a therapist because I have a great listening skill and when someone needs an ear I’ll be the one to listen and give suggestions to help them out. From this trip, I expect to gain knowledge of what life is like for a child in South Africa and to be able to share it with others so they know the real story. We all know that usually the stories told about Africa are not always accurate.

Jalene James  

7-14-17

Today was a very, very sad and interesting day. I’ve learned so much, such as: Appreciation. Today we went to Diepsloot and went in the homes of some women who lived there. Home 1: We met a GoGo (meaning granny) named Dorothy and asked questions such as what she likes, enjoys, dreams, thinks, and needs. One thing she said was food and happiness. When this was stated by her it really made me think, Wow, we eat all this food and then when we’re full we just throw it away, but think about it, there are people there who don’t even get to eat until they are full because they do not have enough money to buy enough food. Home 2: We met a lady named Thandiwen Cube who took care of two children, one whos mother past away and one whose mother ran away. When we asked what she needed, she asked for food, a stove, and light. She also said she would like to travel but doesn’t have enough money. Home 3: We met a lady named Georgina Maweni. A need she asked for was food. She is a woman who has no fears and just wants the best for kids because she feels to old to dream about what to do in the future. Connections I have noticed between all the ladies is they all live in sheds, all were moved, all need food, all go to church, all have and love children, and all are or have a person that is ill. This experience has really changed me because now I know to be thankful for whatever I’m given and to not be selfish. Yesterday we met kids who goes to school in Diepsloot. One thing I have learned from talking with one of the girls is they love every thing. For example, when I asked her questions like, What is your favorite color? What is your favorite genre? What type of books do you like to read? Do you have a favorite food to eat? The answer I recieved from her was everything. Therefore,after experiencing this experience I will be more thankful for what I have and think of impactful things I can do to really help end poverty and people with no food.

Jalene James                            

July 15, 2017

Today during our home visits it was very exciting, especially because we were more comfortable and confident on what to ask and say to the gogos we met.  We also saw the most cutest kids EVER!!!  One of the Gogo’s we met was a woman named Anna who was born on September 15,1958 and has three children. She use to live in Alexandra but was forcefully moved by the government to Diepsloot. Anna was originally born in Pittisburg which is the rural area,but says that life is better in Diepsloot. The house she lives in is not a shack but is a real house which most people do not have.  She has been able to add an extension herself.  One thing she enjoys is seeing children play on her block and cook and bake. She also enjoys to knit and crochet little hats for children and also sells them at a clinic nearby where she used to work earn more money.  For a hat, she sells it for 160 Rand which is a good amount of money in Extension 5.  Her family consisted of her brother who passed away from HIV/AIDS and her mother passed as well four years ago.  She has two children, one who lives on Extension 9 and the other in Extension 10. When we asked what she wanted and/or needed she said that she would be happy with whatever we give to her.  Some of the poorer Gogo’s have really urgent needs to get food and water which they have not had for weeks.  We also went to daycare where we made lunches of sandwiches, chips, fruit and a drink.  We also read to the kids and sang songs with them. This was the best part of my day because I really enjoyed myself alot and felt so good helping the kids.  They were also very grateful for the food. Their hugs were the sweetest, like ice cream on a summer day. Therefore, today I REALLY enjoyed myself.

Jalene James

7-16-17

Today we went to African Leadership Academy (ALA) and did some team exercises which was fun but also included great lessons.  We also played a game called “Lilly Pad,” where we were separated into groups and we had to make it from one side to the other, but with the whole team.  In the beginning my team thought it was a competition, but then at the end realized it was not. The point of the exercise was to show how people think what a team means and that team work is more important than competition.  It was also to show that team work makes the dream work, meaning by collaborating you can accomplish your goals. After ALA we went to see the Hector Pieterson Museum,which was really interesting because I had no idea who he was until today. Before we entered the museum the sister of Hector Pieterson told us a bit of background on that day her brother died. What she said was that Hector Pieterson was in school and like all of the other students was being taught in Afrikaans, the language of the oppressor.  When he marched with the other students shots were fired and Hector Pieterson was hit.  There is an iconic picture where his body is carried by Mbuyisa Makhuba, with his sister right next to him running. They finally found a car but that was owned by the government and layed Hector down in the back seat which is where his sister was told “He’s dead.”  After that his sister felt sad, lonely and depressed. The picture really struck me because Mbuyisa Makhuba held the lifeless body of Hector Pieterson.  After staring at the picture for a good 10 minutes all I thought was this little boy made such a sacrifice for others to have a fair education.  He did not do anything wrong but made such a big difference. Also, I felt very lucky to still have my siblings in my life and I should treasure every moment with them.Then right after the museum we traveled to the Nelson Mandela house and while on our way there we saw 6 kids dancing in front of the house and it was amazing to watch them and I gave them 25 rand. Before entering the Mandela House a man gave us a bit of background as well on Nelson Mandela and his house. After his insight we entered the house and looked around and took pictures of artifacts inside, which really showcased his life.  After that we went for a delicious dinner at Sakumzi Restaurant and talked with the kids from Philisa Isizwe Foundation who live in Diepsloot about ourselves.

Jalene James

7-17-17

Today’s goal was Gender Equality. I learned that women were treated worse than men and that men have more rights than women. For example, girls are not always sent to school and women can not always own their own land. One reason for this is because of cultural beliefs.  In fact, men in Egypt do not say their mother’s name because they were ashamed to do so.  It is because women are not relevant enough to be known — they are supposed to be in the background.  It is said that people need to make equal pay between women and men. This is not fair and needs to change.  I also believe that we cannot succeed if half of us are held back. It is also bad that father’s marry off their their daughters when they are young just so they have less mouths to feed. Ending gender inequality is so important.  In Diepsloot, we asked the granny’s about gender inequality and they talked about violence against women and girls being taken advantage of my older men.  This makes them drop out of school and not have a chance to get out of poverty.

Jalene James

7-18-17

Happy Nelson Mandela Day!!! Today was the day Nelson Mandela was born and I wish him Happy Birthday!!! Nelson Mandela was the president of South Africa and an anti-apartheid revolutionary. We celebrate his life by dedicating the day to serving others.  So today we went to play soccer with 500 kids from Diepsloot.  We all played together and then we played South Africa vs. America. I had so much fun and enjoyed myself while I was there. Before we went to play soccer, we went to two kids daycare and painted a mural on the outside of the buildings.  While we did not completely finish it, we will go back to complete it. To me service means when you work to provide or help.The first time that I heard about Mandela I wasn’t really sure who he was, but after I learned about what he did to help people who lived during apartheid and the fact that he stood up to end apartheid, it makes me want to inform others about him and I will. Therefore, today was a great, fun and happy day.

67 Minutes Can Change Someone’s Life by: Mason Perry

Mason Perry, a freshman at Capital Prep Harbor.

Mason Perry

July 19, 2017

Today is Mandela day, which means dedicating 67 minutes of service for the 67 years that Mandela served South Africa. This 67 minutes is not something that is just said and not followed. The service on Mandela day is REAL. The importance of doing service on Mandela Day all hails from this one important man and people who were inspired to serve their community on his birthday. Doing service work for your community is important as there is always something to fix and always room for someone to help.  Another reason why doing service work is important is because you need to give back to what the community gives you. Going back to the topic of Mandela day we are all inspired internationally because this one man has made such an imprint on the communities within his country, but even on a wider scale worldwide.  Personally, Mandela is definitely an inspiration to me because he believed in the ideals of servant leadership. Servant leadership is when you understand who youre leading by serving them and finding out their needs to find out where you’re going. Mandela knew that his country wanted equality, so he served them by leading them to freedom. In conclusion, Mandela Day is a really cool day where people give back to society. Why don’t you?

 

Dont Ignore Problems, Do Your Best to Help Solve Them by: Nasir Sullivan

I am a junior at Capital Prep Harbor. My dream is to have my own business when I grow up.I look up to a man named Mr. Robinson who is a famous businessman and came to speak with my school one day. I love spending time with my family. I also enjoy reading autobiographies and watching documentaries. In addition to owning a business, my other goal is to be in the NFL.

Nasir Sullivan

July 15, 2017

Today during our home visits with the grannies the conversation was better than it was the last time we did visits. It was better because my group was really engaged in a robust conversation, instead of it being more like an interview. It was very sad to learn that the first family, which consisted of a husband, wife, and a daughter had to struggle to get food for 2 weeks. The granny told us that she had to wait until the end of the month to get her old age grant so she will be able to buy food.  Zero hunger was one of our SDGs for the day and I observed a lot when it came to people not being able to access food.  One of the main ways we can take a step towards zero hunger is to give everyone who lives in a home electricity so they can cook. A famous quote is, “if you give a man a fish you will feed him for a day, but if you teach a man how to fish you will feed him for a lifetime.” I stated that quote to say you can give people food and it will last for a few days, but if you give them electricity they can cook which will allow them to eat for a longer time as well as refrigerate more nutritious foods.  Good health and well being was the other SDG and it is linked to zero hunger. In another family, the household consisted of a granny and her son. One day the granny’s son went to work all day as a construction worker, so when he came home he was tired and wanted to go to sleep. When he woke up, the granny found him severely challenged. He couldn’t walk or talk. We later found out that he had a stroke in his sleep. The granny told us that she tried to send him to the hospital, but the hospital didn’t do anything for him. He has since had no therapies at all.  So her son have to regain his strength and mental abilities on his own.  He still cannot really talk or move his hands, but he can walk with difficulty, even though the stroke happened seven years ago. This is sad because in America we have hospitals that would send us to a rehabilitation hospital after we had recovered medically.  We could also get out-patient therapy until we regained everything back. As you can tell from the story, people are struggling with gaining medical attention because of how far the facility is or just simply because they can’t afford it. I really hope I can impact that family in a huge way. The second part of our day we went to a daycare to help out. It was really fun because when I walked in the room where all the kids were, I saw one kid who was away from all the other kids, so I went up to him and he just clicked with me. It was hard to communicate with him because he only speaks Zulu. The whole time I was there he always wanted to be around me and we had a lot of fun. When it was time to leave he started to cry and I felt really bad. Overall it was a really great day.

Nasir Sullivan

July 16, 2017

Our SDG today was education. I really enjoyed what we did todayay as we traveled to Soweto.  We were able to tour Nelson Mandela’s house and also went to the Hector Pieterson museum. Nelson Mandela’s house was very nice and very modest in the size. You would think that his house will be a huge mansion because he was the president. But I then realized that it is was where he lived when he was young and first married to Winnie Mandela. I also enjoyed the Hector Pieterson museum because I heard a lot of stories about the Soweto Uprisings before going there. While there, I learned that a lot of people who was like the main symbols of the Uprisings had to completely vanish because the police had bounties on their names and heads. They couldn’t even talk to their families, and their loved ones heard nothing from them after they fled. Also after the protest of the students was over, police would literally ride around in cars with snipers to kill students and this lasted for months. Even though this happened, I believe that it was important for the kids to protest about getting taught the language of the oppressor. In actuality I kind of jealous. This is not in a negative way, but I do not know the language of my African ancestors because I am a descendent of slaves.  But because of all those sacrifices, the kids can speak their mother tongue in school. Another cool thing about today was that Hector Pieterson’s sister was our tour guide and gave her personal perspective of being there the day her brother was murdered. I have learned a lot on this trip.  We ended the evening after dinner having a deep Smiley, Mr.Borders, Jose, Mr.Johnson, and Ms.Schneider. We talked about how Africans have names with meanings and in the U.S we name kids anything. So today education played a big part in what we did and the information I took in.  I will not forget all that I learned today.

Education and Community Will Defeat Poverty by: Alanna Haley

Alanna Haley, 8th grade at Capital Preparatory Bridgeport, CT.

Alanna Haley

July 16, 2017

Today our SDG goal is number 4 and is about education.  I realized my education is the most important resource in order for me to reach my work goals. I think education is important for reaching your goals because going to school allows you to be exposed to so many more opportunities and good information. Access to information is critical. Also school basically gives you the opportunity to have dreams and the mechanism to become anything you want to be.  The learners in Diepsloot, South Africa do not have an equal opportunity to success because their given human right to have good education is taken away from most of learners. For example, young some female learners in South Africa are prohibited from attending school regularly  because of the gender status making them have to stay home and clean or take care of children if they are the head of a child-headed house.  This really confuses me because this will make it impossible for her to get out of poverty.

Alanna Haley 

July 17, 2017

We started the day talking about gender inequality, which is SDG number 5.  So today I learned more about how women and girls have a great disadvantage. Like in a Middle Eastern countries men have a particular taboo of not disclosing their mother’s name, sometimes because of the teasing that may occur but mostly because she is just simply a women. She literally has no identity other than as the mom of the oldest son.  In other countries, there are also set rules saying that women are not allowed to drive and cannot leave the house without a male escort.  I think that it is important that in South Africa and in other middle eastern countries that governments should be working working very hard to ensure that they reach the goal goal of ending gender inequality.  There is no way to end poverty without uplifting all of the girls in the world.

Alana Haley

July 18, 2017

Mandela Day is an international holiday in honor of Nelson Mandela by inspiring everyone to volunteer and serve on that day for at least 67 minutes.  Mandela spent 67 years serving the world and South Africa.  On Mandela Day people give back to their  communities all over the world.. Giving back to your community or a community in need is important because just like sisterhood or brotherhood once you make it and succeed, you have a responsibility to give back and act as a stepping stone for everyone coming after you.  This will help to ensure that people are successful, happy and living out of poverty.  Mandela Day should be celebrated everyday so that people give each and every day without even thinking about it.

Creating the Change I Wish To See by: Nalah Sullivan

I am a freshman at Capital Prep Harbor school in Bridgeport, CT. I am the founder and President of the Event Planning Committee, yearbook coordinator, and I play on the basketball team. My dream is to attend M.I.T., Yale, or Harvard for Business and Finance and Marketing. I want to become a successful entrepreneur. My motto is: “Dream big and never consider quitting”.

July 15, 2017

Today was a focus on sustainable development goals #2 and #3, “Zero Hunger” and “Health and Well Being”. Having a focus on these goals, I noticed some things I would pay no mind to. For example, I noticed how some shacks (homes) had an electric stove and fridge. This is important because these were the houses given to the people by the government. I believe that this shows a development in hunger, by providing electricity. As an example of health and well being, we still have a long way to go. People can get colds, aids, etc. and still can’t seek the proper medical treatment right away or ever.

-Nalah Sullivan 

July 16, 2017

Having a focus on the sustainable development goal #4, Quality Education, made me realize how education can save lives in South Africa, townships in particular. Education is just information used to determine your future and how far you will go, in my own words. I believe that quality education can end poverty. Think about it, if you excel in school and develop a strong foundation, there will be no limits for your future and you would be able to choose how far you will go. Quality education is a good way to end poverty because almost everyone will now have “a way out”. Quality education will provide the less fortunate with the information they need in order to to become fortunate. Simply put, education saves lives. Together we can decrease poverty starting with a better education for all as the foundation. Education saves the lives of children everyday, especially girls. School keeps girls from getting pregnant,  kidnapped, raped, and even killed. Schools not only provide safety, but quality schools can guarantee a fair future income. Simply put, learners (students) will have a better advantage and a brighter future. If poverty needs to decrease, education must increase. There are many solutions and theories to ending poverty but promoting and improving education is surely the smartest solution.

-Nalah Sullivan

July 17, 2017

With today being the last day of visits, we had the opportunity to learn about gender equality (sustainable development goal #5) from Go-Gos (grandparents) in Diepsloot. With South Africa still recovering from the Apartheid (their version of segregation), there are still tensions against women and their ability to do things. From the brief conversation, I learned how gender equality will help end poverty. Yes, giving females a voice and more freedom will lower poverty rates. In fact, it will break the cycle of poverty. For example, if mothers who are raising their grandchildren are unable to send them to school, they would most likely stay in poverty and so would the future generations. Gender inequality even affects the safety of females. Females are getting kidnapped, raped, and even murdered in South Africa. Females in South Africa are way more vulnerable than males and this needs to end. Quality education (sustainable development goal #4) can guarantee the safety of these girls but gender equality will guarantee the future of these girls. To achieve gender equality, we need to have the mentality that females can do just as much as males. If we can break the cycle of poverty by simply acting on gender equality, imagine what else we can end. Females should have the same advantages and resources just like males. Aristotle once said, “If women didn’t exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.”. I included that to say  women play a significant role in society too.

-Nalah Sullivan 

There’s More to South Africa Than Poverty by: Tremayne Garrett

My name is Tremayne Garrett and I am in the 10th grade at Capital Prep Harbor. I would describe myself as a humble young man who is self-motivated, determined, and focused on my goal. My goal is to be successful in life and to have a little fun at the same time. I would like to pursue a career in physical therapy for athletes because I love sports and I know how it fells to have to sit out of games because of bone breaks or muscle tears. I want to help athletes get back to their sports faster I also care about my community and the empowerment of others. While in South Africa, I look forward to learning about a new culture and having the opportunity to help those in need.

Tremayne Garrett Jr.

July 9, 2017

My name is Tremayne Garrett.  Today is Sunday July 9th, 2017. The Capital Prep group who came to South Africa early for the African Leadership Academy program travelled to Sun City.  We went to community a church and also a few nearby homes, day cares, and even an orphanage in a tribal preserve. We did something very simple as giving gifts and necessities to the citizens, and though we may feel that we could have given more, our gesture was dearly appreciated by the kids, men, and women.  This is because what may seem small to us in America is huge and very important to them and are some things that we take it for granted. And while they were poor, they still had smiles on their faces and did not take out all of the negativity or anger on the world.  I learned a lot on this day, but one thing for sure is that your situation doesn’t define you, you define your situation.

Tremayne Garrett Jr. 

July 14, 2017

My name is Tremayne Garrett. Today is Friday, July 14. Yesterday the second cohort arrived and settled in. We were then shown 3 presentations on HIV/AIDS, on an organization that helps South African kids, and a presentation about the African Leadership Academy. We then met the GoGos (grannies) and some of the Journey For Change children from Diepsloot. We socialized, got to know each other, and then had a campfire outside where we sang songs, danced, and just really had fun with both the grannies and the children. From yesterday I learned that wherever you come from, when people are the same age, there are going to be similarities that bind you. From the children I interacted with, we had a lot in common such as favorite colors, hobbies, sports, and even in the songs we like.  And believe it or not the only thing different is our surroundings and where we live. And there were other similarities about poverty.  In South Africa, one person may be poor but not as poor as someone else.  And if one person in the neighborhood doesn’t have something and someone else is able to provide for them, then they will help.  It is similar in South Africa. So all in all yesterday I was reassured to not judge a book by its cover and that no matter where you come from you can always find something in common if you really dig and ask questions.

Now today we actually went into Diepsloot and gained information from three families or GoGos and really tried to get to know their situation so we can figure out how to help them in the best possible with the money we are allowed to spend.  For the most part the grannies moved from their rural home village to Diepsloot because where they lived was even more poor than Diepsloot and there was no food. They barely get to go home, but maybe just once a year and sometimes not for the best reasons such as funerals. They all would go more but they cannot afford it. The three grannies I met all had similar problems, such as they could not get work because they were “too old.”  Since some of them are from different countries they are not able to get grants or pension which is terrible because some of them were there for over 30 years. Two of the grannies barely had anything because they were not receiving grants for caring for their orphaned children and that is a real life changer. It can be the difference from having food, water, kids going to school, having a stove to cook on, and having none of that at all. The things I saw today in terms of what they did not have were so simple and basic to us at home, but literally makes their life unimaginable and difficult.  I have to thank God and my parents for providing me with those basic needs. Those of us who can say that they do not have to worry about their basic needs are really blessed and sometimes we don’t realize it. I truly learned today that I can easily be in their situation if I don’t get the right education. So education is the path out of poverty.

Tremayne Garrett Jr.

July 15, 2017

My name is Tremayne Garrett. Today is Saturday, July 15th, 2017. Today we were scheduled to volunteer at a daycare and they had not had electricity for the past week so cooking has been difficult for them. So to help them, we purchased food and some of the students made sandwiches for them while others played and read books to them. One of our SDGs is that there should be No Hunger and making the sandwiches, plus chips, apples, bananas and a juice falls under this goal because we gave these children at least one more meal so they don’t go to sleep hungry. Also during our home visits that day, it was great that both of the families had electricity so they had working refrigerators and were able to store fresh foods and fruits making it easier to eat healthy foods and maintain a healthy life. Today I learned that  No Hunger and Good Health and Well Being go hand in hand because you can’t be healthy if you’re hungry. Also being hungry takes a toll on school and also physical and mental growth.  

Tremayne Garrett Jr.

Sunday, July 16th 2017

Dreams are huge for children. Some dream big some dream small but we all have dreams. But it hurts when you realize your dream is nothing more than a dream and will never become a reality. For a child to fulfill their dreams they must have a strong education and today at the Hector Pieterson Museum we learned that many South African learners fought for their education to be taught in their native tongue so they can fully understand and actually grasp what was being taught. As they began to protest this law, some were even killed for it such as Hector Pieterson who died during the famous Soweto Uprisings. Students in the U.S are so privileged in so many ways it’s unbelievable. In most schools we have translators if we need them, AIDS if kids need help, most of our public schools are close to transportation so it is not an issue, and many private schools give financial aid to those who need it. With what I learned today and yesterday going to school is their privilege. Most schools are miles away from the gogo’s shacks and they can’t always afford taxis so they stay out of school or walk for hours, some of them them barefoot.  And if they’re late they’re kicked out for the day. So now you take away their education and their dream is also gone. They are now so much farther away from getting out of poverty and more than likely will stay in the shacks they live in today. Most U.S students take education for granted. I know I do at times but after seeing the kids we partnered with in Diepsloot soak up the information at the museum and at the African Leadership Academy, I know for sure they would literally kill to be in our positions and would actually take advantage of it to make their dreams come true .

Tremayne Garrett Jr.

Monday, July 17th 2017

Last day of visits and I believe it may be the best visit yet. My group met a granny who actually is the grandmother of Ntombi, Ms. Compton- Rock’s daughter. One of her children told us because she is a girl it was more difficult to get a job than a male. She even said for women it “sometimes isn’t what you know but who you know”. The granny was just so nice, generous, and proactive. She once lived in a shack like the other grannies we visited but with the money she saved from the income generating program she is in and visits to the dump she managed to collect bricks and built a house, bathroom, shed, and potentially an addition to the house. She really inspired me in a way that money isn’t everything and it does all start from a dream. But sadly to say because of her age she was jobless and did not have aid from the government. When I asked a granny why so many grannies worked in domestic workplaces she said “With the low quality or no education at all the better paying jobs were too difficult mentally for them and washing dishes is easy” so that was where their income came from. We also asked what were their dreams and aspirations for the young girls in their lives who they take care of today and most said that they want them to get an education, obtain the job they dream having and get out of Diepsloot and poverty altogether. Gender inequality happens all over the world, but it is particularly horrible in Africa and worse than in America. The only way these girls and women will get out of poverty is if this SDG, gender equality, is achieved.

 

Mandela Day

Tremayne Garrett Jr.

July 18, 2017

I swear each day gets better and better here in South Africa. Today was Mandela Day and being in South Africa it is a big deal. In the country on this day it is known for everyone to dedicate 67 minutes to community service because that is the amount of years Mandela dedicated to service. So we started the day off with going to a daycare in Diepsloot and played with the kids and painted a mural on the front wall of the house. It made the house look more colorful and bright because it was just a plain wall before. But the characters and bright colors brought it to life. Then we went to a community soccer game that we Journey for Change sponsored which was also in Diepsloot and actually played with the kids.  There were over 450 kids in attendance and we had lots of fun.  Some even made us look foolish because they were so good. But so far throughout the trip the best feeling I have had is when I made someone smile by doing something so little, such as just giving a granny a long hug or giving high fives to the kids. Now today was all about serving others on Mandela’s birthday in which he would have been 99 today. But to me at times I feel community service should be everyday and can be both a big or small gesture.  If you can just make it so a person forgets that they’re in a bad situation then that’s a good start.  Service is something that we should all do all of the time.