Laila Hudson Heads Back

On the 23rd of May, in a haze of blissful post-exam freedom, I began my long journey from my home in cold, little Scotland to King’s school, South Africa. In all honesty, as I boarded the plane that would fly me thousands of miles across the world, I felt a huge amount of terror at the prospect of arriving in a completely foreign country where I would know absolutely no one. Swallowing my fear (and remembering the price of the plane ticket…) I made the journey and, despite my initial apprehension, I am so very glad I did so. King’s school welcomed me with such warmth and friendliness – children and staff alike – that it did not take me long to find a home here.

It has been immensely enjoyable experiencing such a colourful culture so different to my own. I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to immerse myself in and learn about South African lifestyle, wildlife, music, lingo and food, and it has been the most fascinating experience. I have seen my first wild monkey, tasted biltong and boerewors, tried my hand at Zulu dancing, visited a fraction of the plethora of arts and crafts establishments on the Midlands’ Meander, and basked in the glorious so-called South African “winter”! South Africa is a beautiful, colourful and enthralling country and there is still so much for me to learn and experience.

My experiences helping out at King’s have been by far the highlight of my trip. It didn’t take me long to find my feet thanks to the overwhelmingly friendly and enthusiastic pupils. They really are a credit to the school and have taught me so much. It has been simultaneously challenging and rewarding assisting at the school and I have learnt so much, not just about education in another country, but about my own capabilities too. Assisting with Teacher Fathima’s Grades 2 & 3 has been incredibly entertaining, challenging and at times exhausting! The children make every minute worthwhile and I have grown more attached to them than I ever could have imagined – I will be very sorry to say goodbye to them all.

When I left Scotland – tentatively excited and very nervous – I never would have guessed I would learn so much and come to feel so at home at King’s school. I have had the most unforgettable time here and cannot wait to return (for there is no doubt about it, I WILL be back!) I owe a huge thank you to everyone at King’s for welcoming me with open arms, offering me such a fantastic opportunity and for giving me so many wonderful memories to cherish. Salani Kahle, King’s!