On Saturday, March 5, I attended my first ever rugby game. I went with my host and her dad, two other exchanges and their hosts and their families. It was at this huge stadium with what looked like a football field in the middle. We were all dressed up in blue, including face paint, to cheer for the Blue Bulls. The Blue Bulls were from South Africa and were playing against the Rebels, who were Australian. We were all sitting on the edge of our seats cheering and having a great time. We won the game and everyone was jumping and screaming for joy. Once the game was over and we were just about to leave, they opened the gates to the field and a bunch of kids ran onto it. At first we weren’t too sure what was going on, but then realized that anyone could run on the field and have a good time. The rugby players were also there behind a rope taking photos and signing autographs. It was a really good game, the best one I have ever seen.
A few days later, on March 9, I went to Albert Street with the grade eights on a community service outing. There I got the chance to spend time with young children who don’t have parents and are refugees from other African countries. We got there and the first thing I noticed was that when the kids saw us they were so excited. They were waving and smiling at us and it was a great feeling. We got separated into groups of two and placed in classrooms. I was placed into a grade 2 class with around 12 students. The class itself was very small and cramped and there were no games or books, which is very different from the grade 2 classes at LCC. It really made me reflect on how lucky and fortunate I am for everything I have. Once we got to know some of the children, we played games with them such as Simon Says. A few minutes later they had a break. Where they played was very shocking to me. It was in a small back alley with barbed wire around it, pipes above the ground, and a big muddy puddle because it was raining. There was a piece of cardboard in the middle of it which all the kids wanted to jump on and over. They were all running and jumping and even fighting over whose turn it was. It really made me think how these kids have so little and just jumping in a puddle put a huge smile on their faces. Time passed really fast and it was time to go. I will never forget that day of how just playing a game with those kids or giving them a hug put a huge smile on their faces. It was such a memorable experience, one I will keep with me forever.
Dahlia Kahn ‘18, Exchange Student at St. Stithians College