Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Little compares to a genuine and welcoming smile. Today Kenneth Gardens was teeming with them. As a researcher it is an incredible blessing to be embraced by the community you intend to assist and learn more about. In this respect, the Kenneth Gardens community exceeded my expectations ten-fold. I never would have thought that I would find a home away from home so quickly. From the inquisitive, kind, and brilliant children and students to the warm and giving maternal figures of the community clinic and soup kitchen, Kenneth Gardens is filled with fantastic and fascinating people that I cannot wait to better understand and know. In so many ways these individuals made the Building Global Bridges team feel as if our presence was not only welcomed, but an exciting event to celebrate. I danced the "Jackpot", bought traditional Zulu clothing and accessories (see the pic below), consumed South African/Indian cuisine "Biryani" (which, admittedly, may be a bit too spicy for my foreign and unacclimated tongue haha), and listened to some of the community members' stories. Overall, it was a warming and unforgettable introduction to a community that I hope to remain connected to, either physically or spiritually, for a long time.

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