During late March, Chiara and I had to leave Kjetil alone at the office to spend a week at the Wortelgat Outreach Trust camp site and conference center close to Hermanus in the Western Cape. There we attended the midterm seminar of our sending organization. While the timing was not very good for us we were both very much looking forward to it. For me the biggest reason was probably just seeing all the people I met and made friends with during our preparation seminar back in Germany. Most of them I had not seen during the last six months in South Africa. And obviously we all shared the experiences we made during the last six months. It was fascinating to hear how different everybody’s projects are.
Hearing of some of the problems other volunteers have at their workplace also made me appreciate our working environment at awarenet even more. I was surprised how many on the volunteers are unhappy because they have a problem with someone at their workplace. On the other hand I realized how many of us struggle with similar problems in our daily lifes, which definitely makes them seem a lot less dramatic.
What also made the seminar very enjoyable was how beautiful the landscape around us was. The Wortelgat campsite is located in the midst of the Fynbos in between the Atlantic Ocean and a big Lagoon with picturesque mountains in the background. It is quite interesting to be swimming in a different ocean for a change.
As for the negative side of things, the seminar was over far too quickly and reminded us bluntly that more then half of our year in South Africa is already over. There is still so much I want to see! (I haven’t even been to Cape Town yet) And the seminar reminded me that I really want visit some more of the other volunteers on top of that. I feel like I already wrote that a million times, but I am still impressed of how short a year can feel like.