Though you could surely hear our moans and groans from the States Monday morning when our alarm clocks went off, those were soon drowned out by our cheering and singing upon walking outside. While at first we all wondered, What is that huge fiery circle in the sky?, we soon remembered this thing that we sometimes have back home called the sun. We were all smiles on the most pleasant walk to work, and even made hilarious jokes about meeting up for a lunch of swimming and sun-tanning, and quickly running back up to our room to swap out our pants and parkas for strappy sandals and sundresses. Of course, tropic weather by our current standards is a blazing 17 degrees Celsius, but beggars can’t be choosers (This means you, people who ask us for money for “food,” yet reject our offerings of granola bars and carrot sticks!). Plus, out of everything we’ve learned while being here so far, I think the most important lesson has been to be grateful for everything we have (ie: I may not have a camera, but at least I have eyesight to take mental pictures. Selina may not have a happy and un-bruised toe, but at least she can still walk. Chelsie may not have an uninjured ear, but at least she can still hear).
Sometimes all it takes is something as simple as the sun deciding to come out of hiding for the day to not only illuminate the beautiful scenery around us, (Marit – Table Mountain has been glittering all week and just begging to be climbed), but also brighten our thoughts and moods.
And even still, on the gloomiest and rainiest days we are slowly but surely discovering ways to stay optimistic and grateful for even the negative aspects of our lives. I think Bob from Sky Youth Center nailed it on the head – it is only until we all learn to light our candles in the dark that the darkness will truly go away.