This is for Joanne-about Howick Falls
We were all blessed with seeing Howick Falls and being with Jenny’s kids the day before we flew back to Atlanta, then LA. What a day!! Not so long after we arrived, the boys all performed for us and sang and danced…really beautiful and so much talent! Us talented be the cause singers then performed a rendition of Rudolf the Rednose Reindeer to stun critics and audiences everywhere (this said as pinocchio’s nose grows :) ) I will remain steady in my viewpoint though of how our singing did improve from sitting around on the beanbags at our stay in Durban, to the hospice to our final performance at Howick.
After the performance, we were assigned a buddy(one of the boys)…I shared a buddy with Shaheda and I remember his name was similar to the name, Maya. These boys all were similar in dress. Baseball caps with polo shirts, pants-all in grey, beige colors. Something I couldn’t wait for was for them to open their xmas presents because we brought them brand new tennis shoes for their uniforms for choir.
So back to after the performance…the boys led us down an amazing trail to the waterfall…we got to see the waterfall from above…a scenic viewpoint and took the obligatory group pic,etc…but to see the falls after hiking a trek and basically falling into them-something quite extraordinary and breathtaking!
What I was personally touched by—I had fallen on an earlier hike in our service vacation—at Table Rock-this wasn’t major and my scrapes quickly healed…but let’s just say I was a little trepidatious…even when we hiked at Cape Point before leaving for Durban, I paced myself and I could kick myself because I didn’t hike far enuff to see where the Indian Ocean/Atlantic Oceans meet…pics later will have to fill that missed opp for me. So anyway, we hiked all the way down to a stream with rocks that would lead us closer to the gorgeous waterfall. Being still a bit cautious, I sat down on a big rock while other volunteers crossed with their little buddies. Mahsa passed me and said something to the effect of…are you not crossing, Gianna?…with concern in her voice-she was one of the sixteen very helpful after the slip sliding away at Table Rock (and just to note-table rock hike-very accessible and safe to hike at—just my own athletic tearing down the hill that got me in some trouble).
So let’s just say I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get closer to the falls…again, what touched me entirely was the boys…they helped us across!! They took some of our hands and led us across the rocks! At one point, one boy had one of my hands and another held my other hand. They were the sweetest and it felt like they were the Howick Falls’ angels—not to get too corny or anything. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that experience and the quiet, determined selflessness of these boys…to see us across so they could share the beauty and play with us. When we got across, I could see that photos taken from every angle would flatter every face, every scene. Needless to say I chickened out and walked through the water straight away on the way back instead of risking slipping…what can I say?
After we made it to the top by the gift store and the boys’ living quarters, it was almost time for lunch…yes, out of breath…I still went to play soccer with the boys and Mike, Katie, Manveer and Liza. Playing soccer for me was the right choice…I was laughing the whole time and it was an awesome example of staying in the moment. Later on, the boys got their shoes and it was another tough goodbye as we gave them hi-fives out of van windows with a quiet drive home to Durban to reflect on the day’s amazing events and interactions.