Jayme had the opportunity to travel to South Africa to teach at a scrapbooking convention. She learned so much and I wanted to share it with you.
What is one thing you learned while in South Africa that changed your life or your perspective?
I think the one thing that really enhanced my perspective was the diversity of people, cultures, and economic situations in South Africa. I was humbled seeing the numerous "shacks" right next to nicer homes. I was able to understand the different influences that make up this country. It was interesting to hear about and see different tribes of the indigenous people and the many different languages – 11 official languages in South Africa. It is amazing and awe-inspiring to me to be reminded of the diversity in our world and how we are influenced by our surroundings.
What types of inspiration did you find in South Africa?
The inspirational aspect of this journey was amazing. Looking back, in one word, I would say color. From the multi-colored bathhouses in Kalk Bay to the brightly colored home fronts in the Malay Quarters of Cape Town, color was a big player. I was also surprised and inspired by the Malaysian and Dutch influences in architecture, decor and art. I was also very inspired by all the wonderful people I met! I couldn't have experienced a more kinder, wonderful group of people in which to work with and also the women I met at the conventions. They were all so gracious and made me feel at home. There was also so much inspiration to be found during the three days of safari and in our stay at Kichaka Lodge. It was breathtaking – the experience. I was inspired on so many levels.
What was your favorite adventure while in South Africa?
My favorite adventure had to be our three days of safari at Kichaka Lodge. We had several different game drives and on each drive we saw the most amazing creatures. I kept thinking about the movie "The Lion King" and the circle of life and how this reserve maintains a perfect balance as described by our ranger Francois. For all of the 25,000 acres of reserve, there were just six lions. I was surprised that there would not be more, but soon understood as he talked about the balance and the circle of life. Songs from "The Lion King" were constantly in my head throughout the drives! The lodge, the food and service was another amazing experience all of it's own. I felt like royalty and I doubt I will ever have such an experience again in this lifetime. I am so grateful!
Describe the relationships you created with the people of South Africa?
Glenda, Gary, Kyle, Debbie, Aunty Val, and of course Tim and Mario, were so wonderful to spend time with! Glenda is such a gracious host and seriously made me feel like part of the family. They all did! Traveling by myself, I was a bit nervous being so far from home and being five months pregnant. But all of that went away once I met all of these wonderful people. I learned and experienced so much just by watching them and getting to know them. Some of the most genuine, kind and loving people I have ever met.