My father and his three siblings were orphans. They lived in the Abraham Kriel Orphanage in Langlaagte, Johannesburg, but he was moved to Kimberley at the age of 4 after he contracted polio, and only saw his siblings again in adulthood. A caring teacher organised for him to attend Goudstad Kollege after school, but holidays proved to be a problem, he had nowhere to go. This is where his passion for travel started. He donned his college colours and hiked through the country until it was time to return to class.
His life story had a tremendous impact on me. We were lucky to travel often, and his stories awoke a passion for exploring and travel inside me. He was incredible in his job as a teacher and changed many lives, but he struggled as a parent. He passed away at the young age of 54. I often wondered about this man that was my father, who he would be if he had a loving family, if he was played with, took places, experienced love and the world outside. I applied to do my second year practical at the same orphanage in Langlaagte where he was but a mere toddler. It broke my heart.
Thankfully times have changed, and we now talk about children’s homes, many kids live in small family-type units, and won’t be separated from their siblings. But poverty is a bleak reality in Southern Africa. Eenblond TOURS do not just profit from touring in communities, we meet up with local charities, support NGO’s and entrepreneurs.
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