Over the last month there has been a constant flow of children through the Londolozi Cubs Den. Children from Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Australia, Belgium and Holland.
All these children shared common ground in their destination to South Africa – Londolozi.
It was amazing to see how children at first shy to meet each other soon became good friends and by the end of their stay were swapping email addresses and laughing with one another on the back of the Land Rover.
It was activities in the bush that bridged the gap from shyness to confidence; opening up the door for friendship between these children.
One example of this was when we went track moulding. We had a family staying with us from Abu Dhabi and their son was fascinated with animal tracks and loved asking his tracker, Innocent, if he could please sit in his “office” (the trackers seat).
When we went track moulding during his stay he was in his element, looking for tracks suitable to be filled with plaster of paris. When we arrived at a small pan to look for tracks he stood up and with a broad smile and said to the other children, “Come guys, I will help you find the best tracks”. The next thing there were eight happy children following Innocent, eyes glued to the earth, chatting excitedly to one another.
By the end of the activity all shyness was forgotten and friendship had taken its place. On the way back to camp that morning I overheard several of the children asking each other about the schooling, sport and cultures of the different cites and countries they each lived in and they were all making plans to stay in touch. It was wonderful to see how an excursion into the field and their experiences at Londolozi, not only opened these kids minds to the natural world but also broke down barriers and opened up the opportunity for lasting friendships to be formed.