Due to my schedule and obligations at home, I was the first to depart. The 10 days had gone by way too quickly. Here, I truly felt like I was with family. Keith and Sherol were excellent hosts; generous in spirit and quick to converse. Mark worked around the clock coordinating transportation, collaborating with others, following leads, obtaining solar jars and solar lanterns, looking for compatible cell phones, and tracking the paper trails. The most evident and universal characteristics in South Africans are their love for their country and their open and generous spirit. I had the fortune of meeting several dozen likeminded citizens who unite for the cause of alleviating energy poverty. There is plenty of change that needs to occur to help to secure cleaner and safer energy while providing employment for our South African youth. Today, I am assured that the wheels of change are in motion. In fact, today brought forth the final victory before the launch of the PAYG lanterns; the Angaza software finally uploaded onto the smart phone without an error message!! 🙂
It’s never easy saying goodbye to people who have welcomed me here like no other. There’s always a feeling that wants you to linger a little longer. But I also have a love for my own at home.
The pictures below my “Bon Voyage” Crew who saw me off at the airport.
Natalie and I
Mark and I
Phillip (Mark’s friend and Aspire Youth Associate) and I
It’s time for me to go, but the problem of unemployment and poverty still lives on. One of the greatest wishes for Aspire Youth is that they continue to find success in their social business enterprises. If I in some way have planted a seed of change, encouraged others to break free of the cycle of poverty, or have inspired others to pursue a career in science and technology, then my mission will be fulfilled. Only time will reveal the answer. And, with time, tenacity, and determination, maybe, just maybe there will be another chance to return back to Cape Town and witness their youth experiencing a brighter future.