Tim Charody goes surfing in JBay

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

The Surfer Kids charity program helps children from poor parts of Africa immerse themselves in the atmosphere of freedom, wind and surfing for a short time. Volunteers from all over the world come to South Africa to help children learn how to ride the board, and at the same time take a break from life in a disadvantaged environment. Instagram blogger Anastasia Morozova told the Championship her story of participation in the program.

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

Photo: Anastasia Morozova

I learned about this program when I was in South Africa on a surf tour. As part of this tour we were brought to Mosselbay, where we spent the whole day with the children. After that, I decided that I would come back here again, but already as a participant in this program.

The financial side of the issue

I'll tell you about the financial side right away, so as not to come back to this. The program itself costs about 50 thousand rubles (for one month), this cost includes transfer, meals, accommodation, and the use of all the necessary equipment. Plane tickets can be bought for 35 thousand in both directions. The Internet cost me about 8-10 thousand rubles, but this amount can be safely divided by three, because I used it very actively, because I had to work during my entire stay in Africa. For standard use of social networks, 3-4 thousand are enough. There is not much money to spend on the spot, but even if you decide to go out for dinner somewhere outside the program, a bottle of good wine and a steak will cost you 500 rubles.

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

Photo: Anastasia Morozova

As for housing, I certainly expected the conditions to be terrible. However, the apartment for volunteers is located in a good residential complex, it has several bedrooms and in general there are all conditions for living. This is a new apartment, they began to be rented only in September 2016. Before that, the volunteers lived in the village, with the families of the local population. But due to the fact that the village was located far from the beach, it was decided to rent an apartment that would be closer. I was the first volunteer in 2017, so I lived alone in a huge apartment. The second volunteer arrived only two weeks later.

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

Photo: Anastasia Morozova

What you need know before leaving for Africa?

One of the most frequently asked questions: Do I need any vaccinations to travel to Africa ?. Specifically, in South Africa, no vaccinations are needed, it is even indicated on the embassy's website. The only thing you really need when you go to do some kind of activity is physical fitness. Of course, you don't have to be a super athlete, but after a kilometer run you shouldn't have shortness of breath either. You don't need to have a deep knowledge of surfing either. For example, I was one of the few volunteers who can surf himself. Usually foreigners come, who first study on their own. In such conditionsx, whether you like it or not, but your own level will rise very much, daily practice for 8 hours makes itself felt.

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

Photo: Anastasia Morozova

Daily routine

Speaking of daily practice. The daily routine there was something like this: early in the morning breakfast, from 9 am to lunchtime (depending on the weather conditions) you work out alone or with a coach - this is your personal time for surfing. Then you have lunch and from about 2 to 5 pm you work with the children. After training, you do what you want. Evening is your personal time. I used to have dinner and then go out with my new South African friends for a drink. This is standard entertainment for any small provincial town, because there is nothing else to do there.

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

Photo: Anastasia Morozova

Sometimes it seems to me that there is some kind of magnet inside me that attracts strange people and strange events. For example, when I just arrived in Mosselbay and went to a local supermarket, a bearded young man came up to me with a friend and asked: What about your knee? May I pray for him? (I was in a bandage because I have a sore knee.) And he did not look like some kind of thief or a homeless person, and I was already so tired of the road that I replied: Yes, please, do what you want. He sat down on the floor, put his hand on my knee and began to pray: Dear Jesus, I ask you to give this girl health so that her knee will be healed, and his friend repeated every word after him. At that moment, I did not understand at all what had happened. And after a while he added to my friends on Facebook with the message: I found you with God's help !. And when I went to his page, it turned out that he is a local star of evangelism and has tens of thousands of subscribers.

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

Photo: Anastasia Morozov

Not a single surf!

The next day I went to my first lesson, met the kids, and along with all the surfers on the beach. So I found myself new friends on the very first day. All of them, by the way, were South Africans. We did not only surf with them, we often did bry (South African shish kebab). They even have Bry Day there - it's a day off when everyone goes out and grills meat. Absolutely in every house and every apartment there is a special place for this bry, they have this, one might say, national pride and, in general, a very important moment in the life of any South African.

By the way, despite the fact that we constantly ate meat and often drank alcohol, I returned from there in very good shape. Surfing is an absolutely exhausting story, so you need to eat a lot, hearty and healthy, otherwise you simply won't have enough energy for anything.

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

Photo: Anastasia Morozova

About children

As for children, it was a very interesting experiencet communication. At first they didn't even greet me. They did not react to me in any way, did not communicate. Firstly, I was older than other volunteers, because usually guys who just graduated from high school (17-19 years old) come there. And these are the people who love to babysit the children, buy them chocolates and play with them on the beach. But the task of playing on the beach is not worth it. I understood that I was there for a specific purpose, so I was quite strict with the children. They immediately realized that you could not mess with me. In addition, I already have some experience in surfing, so I immediately started training them, and not just pushing them on the waves. Due to all these circumstances, at first they looked closely at me and were quite strict in this.

Day, probably on the fifth or sixth, I was a little late and came to the center a little later than usual. And when I approached the center, I saw that they were all kind of sad, although they usually always dance, shout and hooligan. When they saw me, they immediately began to shout, laugh and clap their hands, chanting: Frost! Frost! Frost! (This is what most friends and acquaintances call me, and the guys were no exception). It turned out that they thought that I had left and were very upset. At that moment, my stone heart melted, and I realized that contact between us had finally happened. Since then, the relationship between us has been perfect. One boy, Sammy, was very shy and shy, it was difficult to try to communicate with him, because he was silent all the time. Once I went up to him when he was painting. He immediately dropped his pencils and ran away. I looked at his drawing and I got really hysterical because I realized he was trying to draw my wetsuit.

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

Photo: Anastasia Morozova

Coexistence with sharks

Of course, sharks are inevitable in Africa. There are many sharks there, because this is their habitat. Andres (my coach) calls it coexistence. You need to understand that you are not in your element, not at home, but visiting these sharks. There was one case when I was on the line-up with my friend from Portugal, and we saw shark fin in the water. My friend was on the shore in three seconds, because he saw a shark for the first time, it was stress and shock for him. And I, probably, was more prepared for this meeting mentally.

Andres very often told me that if you saw a fin, then, in principle, you are safe. The fact is that sharks are very smart and cunning predators that survive by hunting. And if the shark has shown itself, then there is nothing to worry about, because they attack from below. In addition, people are not their diet, sharks eat seals.

On the wave of good. Volunteer surf tour to Africa

Photo: Anastasia Morozova

First Person

What do I think about this program in general? Not all of the guys I trained are talented and athletic.A professional surfing career is at best for 2-3 people, but for them it is really better for them to play sports with their mates on the beach than to be in the depressing atmosphere of their township among drugs and alcohol. These kids have nothing but a program where they have fun and have fun. And I increasingly think that they taught me much more than I taught them. It was with the advent of surfing and these guys in my life that I realized how little is needed in this life for happiness.

Nastya's next trip to South Africa will take place on June 5th. She plans to continue running her telegram channel, “I Volunteer at Mom's,” and talk about her South African adventures.

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