Port St Johns, Graduation and Hospital

Over the past few weeks we’ve done even more travel which has been great but it’s inevitable that everything that’s good comes to an end; it was the pre-school’s graduation this week. This means that 19 of my 25 adorable children will be leaving Bethany Home and I will probably never see them again. However, I’m going to tell you about the positive parts of the week before we get to the heartbreaking second bit. 
Last weekend we took a trip to the paradise of Port St Johns. The outward journey was quite scary. The driver had a massive crack in his window screen, he drove double the speed limit and over took vehicles in strictly no over-taking zones but we arrived in one piece. 

We ordered the backpackers delicious homemade burgers for our dinner and met some other travellers during the first evening. Port St Johns is basically Coffee Bay but bigger and we were advised to go here through the people at Coffee Bay. 

On Saturday, we spent the morning at the beach sunbathing and we found this amazing rock pool which you could swim in. We’ve been warned to not swim in the water as there are sharks. The pool is shark-free so we made the most of the beautiful, refreshing water whilst we could. 

We then had a pretty chilled afternoon and we even had an afternoon nap that in turn made us more tired so we ended up heading to bed very early that night. We headed back to Mthatha on Sunday and thankfully the driver this time was much better.

As I said at the beginning of this post it was graduation this week and this means that, in January, 19 out of the 25 current pre-school children are leaving Bethany Home. It’s upsetting to think the kids that I’ve got to know and love are leaving the home but at the same time,they are ready to fly the nest and move on to bigger and better things. 

The day started with helping the children to get ready. We painted all the girls’ nails, brushed all their hair, put their dresses on and put the boys’ shirts and smart trousers on. They all looked so cute in their outfits and we hadn’t even put their graduation gowns on yet. 

We headed up to the graduation hall, the kids walking in pairs was just adorable. Once we arrived we put on their gowns and got ready for an amazing ceremony. There was singing, dancing, empowering speeches and most importantly the kids performed their drama that they’d been working on. Even though there were a few mic mishaps the children were so confident and just continued without it. I was so proud of all of them once they had finished and the audience enjoyed it too. 

At the end of the ceremony it was lunch time and Nando’s delivered about 50 lunches to the ceremony, which entailed a man dressed up as a chicken which the kids were absolutely terrified of. I can’t blame them as I’ve been told similar stories of what I did when I was younger. The children were then called up one by one to collect their certificate on stage and that was the end of a lovely day. 

This week also entailed two trips to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital which was an experience I’ll never forget. We took two children to get checked up on and they seemed to survive better than we did. When we first arrived we could see how busy it was. Mothers were waiting with their children, people were standing waiting to get their file and children were getting bored. The first thing we had to do was wait for the staff to give us the kids’ files which in itself took about an hours wait. We then headed to the pharmacy area which we waited for about an hour and a half to get the kids medicine. This wasn’t the end of our hospital visit. We then had to go and wait with one of the kids whilst the other one was being seen. This took about 2 and a half hours but we still weren’t done. Once the child was seen he was referred someone else so we had to then wait for him to be seen. At the end of our hospital visit we were there for a total of 7 hours and by the end we were hungry and tired. Mostly because we failed to bring enough food for that amount of time. We still hasn’t picked up one of the kids medicine but we couldn’t stay there anymore so we went back two days after and we were only there for a few hours. 
Thank you so much for reading and it’s crazy to think that I’ve now been here for 3 months. 

We’re heading off this Saturday to travel to Cape Town via the Garden Route so I’ll try to post as often as I can. I hope you have a great Christmas and a happy new year. Lots of love from sunny South Africa,



4 thoughts on “Port St Johns, Graduation and Hospital

  1. Another great report!
    – tho the hospital experience sounded fairly grim 😦
    Have a wonderful trip over Xmas/New Year 😀
    SAFARI NJEMA (that’s Swahili!)
    Heather and Nigel


    • Thank you 🙂 if you let me know your email address I can send you some photos of the kids. If you’ve got my parents email they’ll be able to forward it onto me if you don’t feel comfortable putting it on here x


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