Category Archives: JFC2 SA Blog 1

List of all answers to blog no. 1 question

Journey for Change 2, South Africa Blog1

Alysia Roberts, Age 14

 Yesterday Wednesday morning I had to say goodbye to my parents as I boarded the bus to travel 15 hours from New York to Johannesburg, South Africa. I didn’t think it would be that bad, although, 15 hours does sound like a long time. MY PARENTS WOULD NOT STOP HUGGING ME! I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal, though, I was not taking for granted that I was actually going to Africa. The bus ride was okay I didn’t sleep no matter how much I tried.

As we got to the airport things went a little more smoother than I thought it would, I thought it would be crazy and everybody would be running around. Instead it was better than when I go on vacation with my parents. I actually didn’t have any problems with the airport except the fact that every time we sat down and I would get comfortable we would have to get up again and walk to a different seating area up until we finally boarded the plane.

 Well we got on the plane and it was bigger than a normal plane and the 1st class area had beds. The economy (coach) part of the plane had mini television screens so I guess I would have been able to live with that. The plane ride was extremely long but it was fun. As I was waiting for the plane to land I watched a couple movies, listened to music, and talked to my newly found friends. I slept for a little bit, it felt like I was asleep forever but it was only like 30 minutes.

 We finally got off the plane and I couldn’t believe how modern Johannesburg looked, I always pictured Africa as there being dust everywhere and little cars or vans. I got the total opposite from what I expected there to pick us up was some fancy coach buses and barely any dust. We finally arrived to HeronBridge and again I didn’t expect what I saw. The school was so nice with the little kids running around and playing and it was perfect weather, hot and sunny. When we checked in we went into the rooms and they were so small barely any space for one suitcase but yet two people was staying in the room.            

It was amazing and I still can’t believe that I’m in Africa.       

Shakirah Brown, Age 14

When I left the U.S.A. my experience was that I was going to feel like I wanted to cry because I left my family. But later on I felt comfortable with being with everyone that’s around me. Then we got on the plane and I thought I was going to get plane sick because we started to go up in the air. The plane food was okay I enjoy that I love there apple juice and there tea. But I thought to myself and said “ Just relax  and don’t worry “. I also had fun on the plane cause we watch movies and played games. Then we had made it to Johannesburg an we started to check into our rooms an then we follow want our instructions. The food here was good I enjoy everything they served for us an thank them for the food. Basically that’s how my experience was from here and now.



Maria Nunez, Age 14

When I said Good Bye to my mom I got a little emotional . I have never been this far away from my mom and if I ever was to leave U.S I would be with my mother. My  flight was very uncomfortable ! I could barely bring my seat back . My legs began to hurt and my neck, I could not wait to get off. I have never been on a 15 hour trip and I have never been to South Africa. Finally we arrived safely, to get to Heronbridge we were to take a bus. The bus ride went good , I noticed a lot of different things. I noticed on one side of a street there were shacks but across the street there were mansions. When we arrived to HeronBridge I was satisfied with my room , not to mention me and my roommate Taijah get along great!

My first day was ok but being that I was tired it kind of took all the fun out of it . I attended our 1st orientation in South Africa. We were welcomed by the Salvation Army members in South Africa with a traditional dance by there younger generation. I enjoyed it ! I participated in 1 of their dances. Also later on that day we had another orientation discussing HIV/AIDS. The information that was giving to us was told by a HIV/AIDS expert. I learned a lot and I was in shock because there are a bunch of countries in Africa and there were 5 countries that were infected tremendously. I am very happy to be a part of Journey for Change because it is really giving me the chance to open up, express myself ,and see different things.

Kavon Willams, Age 12

When I said goodbye to my mom I was very sad because I will miss her then I started crying because I did not want to leave her. So when we got on the bus to go to the plane I stop crying because I know I would get over it. So when we got on the plane for about 3 hours I had to get up and talk to my friends that was all the way in the front because they let us do that. When we landed I was happy. When we first got here all of us saw a chicken and then we went to our rooms to get started. Then we came in 4 lunch and the food was good. Then the people talk to us about what we r doing the rest of the day.  The people also talk to us about hiv/aids and how its speding all over. then we had a little play time then it was time 4 diner  then we started on our blogs.


Taijah Jones, Age 14

All excitement started at 7:00, but then it was time to say goodbye. As we loaded the plane I started to get more and more excited to reach South Africa.  On the plane for 15 hours we finally landed in Johannesburg, South Africa. Our first mission was to have lunch then go to an orientation.  The first orientation was mainly to welcome Journey 4 Change into South Africa. The Orientation held talented kids from a salvation army. The kids perform for us and we really enjoyed it, we learned a little something from ourselves. The last orientation was about HIV/AIDS. We learned about the greatest and the least amount of countries suffering from HIV/AIDS. A lady from the meeting told us a story about her and HIV/AIDS; she was brave enough of her to speak to us about something personal of hers. Our Journey has just started but it is yet to be over.

Shari Clark, Age 13

Today the first day Journey For Change 2 trip was nice. We checked in our luggage. Took transportation two charter buses two our dorms. Also we ate lunch before went two orientations .One of two orientations was talking about HIV/Aids. Other one talking about  South Africa how they speak 11 different luggage. After that we had free time and dinner.

 To get daily updates of my trip in South Africa please read more of my blogs on Karito Kids® at


Rochelle Chambers, Age 13

Leaving home to travel for 14 hours on a plane to South Africa was very exciting to me because I never experienced traveling for so long neither going to South Africa .On the plane I thought for 14 hours on a plane would be boring but as soon as I heard that we can watch TV show cases, movies and play games sound very fun. The fun started to expire because it was kind of boring plus when food came I was very disgusted because the plate was drained with oil. So I skipped lunch, our next meal was breakfast, that disappointed me because the eggs did not taste like eggs and the ham was sweet. Sleeping for me was very uncomfortable because there was too much commotion going on through the plane, but towards the end of the ride I fell asleep and that was not a smart idea.  Finally coming off the plane, my stomach was hurting me so bad for the whole day at first I thought it was just me but it was other children to. Leaving the airport we took a comfortable coach bus which I was able to get my hour sleep to our cabins. I was so excited to see how nice it look but when we went inside it was freezing to search for my room, to find out that my roommate and I room was the smallest upstairs which wasn’t fair. But we made the best out of it because it the warmest room. Our first orientation was to introduce us to South Africa which was entertaining to how the South Africans dance and showing them how we Americans dance which was funny to see them try to do different dances. The next orientation was about HIV\ Aids this experience was very moving because a lady name Rosina stand up and talked about her learning that she is HIV positive. Next was dinner time there I felt my stomach ache coming on again and soon reach to a bathroom to vomited which was gross. But was relieved because once of the mentors gave me a ginger candy. When I came back from the restroom we received a card with our name and the meaning and heard a poem with all of our meanings inside of it which was very cool. So far my journey to today was exciting and I can’t wait for tomorrow.   

 To get daily updates of my trip in South Africa please read more of my blogs on Karito Kids® at


Nia Bey, Age 13 

Dear JFC followers ,

Yesterday I took a flight from Brooklyn , New York  to Johannesburg , Africa.  The flight was long but I didn’t mind because I was excited . It was my first time out of the country and I was up for the new memories and experiences. This morning I finally landed in Johannesburg and it was colder than I expected. We got our luggage and didn’t waste no time . We took a two hour bus ride to the place we are staying at , Heron Bridge . It is pretty nice. After we settled in we ate lunch. The food wasn’t really different from American food except for the noodle casserole . Then we had an orientation , there was food , dancing and lots of fun . After the orientation we had a meeting about HIV/AIDS. It informed me about a lot that I didn’t know. For an example , South Africa has the most people that are infected with the HIV/AIDS virus in Africa itself. We finally  had dinner after a long day.  Last was my favorite part of the day ,debriefing because I found out my name ,Nia, means bright purpose. Then our busy day finally ended.

  To get daily updates of my trip in South Africa please read more of my blogs on Karito Kids® at


Laquan Dickerson, Age 13

 When  I  left the United  States  I  really didn’t know what to expect. I  was  scared  to  get  on  the  plane  I never  liked  planes. I  always  think  it  might  crash. When  we  landed  in  Africa  I  really  couldn’t  believe  it. I  never  traveled  to  another  country  before. When  I  saw  the  people  that  were  from Africa I said “WOW”. I  wasn’t  expecting  everybody  to  have  a  African  voice.  I didn’t  think  Africa  was  so  beautiful. When  the  bus  was  driving  us  to  the  dorms  I noticed  that  Africa  and  America  have  the  same  stores. This  trip  was  more  than  I  expected. In  the  orientation  today  I  was  shocked  that  a  lady  that  had  AIDS  was  wanted  to  speak  with  us. The  lady  was  proud  to  speak  about  what  she  went  threw  it  touched  me  a little but  I tried  no  to  get  emotional  because  I’m  sensitive. I’m  looking  forward  to  having  a  great time and  a wonderful  experience. I still cant  believe  I’m  in  Africa  its  hard  to believe  I’m  very  excited.


Kristian Capers, Age 12

 The day we finally leave. It is 6:30 as I wake up to go to the Salvation Army, to leave for Africa. I hate waking up early but I’m so anxious that I don’t even notice it. Its finally time to say our goodbyes.  I am happy because I have never traveled out of the country by myself before. I am happy that I will get my first stamp on my passport at the age of 12. As I am leaving that I am the first one in my family to travel out of the country. I said goodbye to my mom, dad, grandma, auntie, uncle and brother, I know a lot of people.

 On the bus I talk until we get to the airport. When we get there we grab our bags and head to the line. We are first!! It is my turn and I show my passport, and then a mistake comes up on my mentor’s passport. Me and my partner stand by and wait while everyone passes us by. Then we are told to go on ahead. When we get to the next station we prepare for metal detectors (ugh). Good thing I picked that day to wear pants that don’t require a belt. I breezed through the metal detectors.

             When we get to the plane I find my seat and sit down. The plane ride goes so slow but I made it through. We land in Africa and head to check in at our dorms. When we get there it is straight down to business. We go to our first official orientation. We watch African performers dance and hear them sing. It was a wonderful experience. That’s why I caught it all on video tape. I suffer from sever jet lag throughout the day. Then we have lunch, then dinner. So far my time here has been great and I hope it stays that way.

Keion Staton, Age 13

 When I was leaving the salvation army, I was excited I said bye to my family. I got on the bus and sat in my seat. It took us at least 30 min. to get to the airport. Once we got to the airport we gave our bags to the security, And waited for the plane. When we got on the plane it took us a while to take off. When we took off the plane went fast and it was bumpy. I took out my game and started playing it. Then a hour later the flight attendant gave us food.

 Later on that day everybody went to sleep. I had a had time sleeping because that was my first plane flight. After I went to sleep, they woke me up to eat lunch. Then everybody went back to sleep, when we got off the plane we had to take a bus to our hotel. When we reach our hotel we looked at our rooms. Then ate dinner at the dinning area.  And went back to our rooms.

 After that we watch a show at the other side of the hotel. We watch a couple of shows and then we ate again.  After we had a little free time. Then we typed our blogs.

Keara Sheppard, Age 14

We arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa at about 9 this morning. The plane ride was very comfortable and relaxing. Though, when we changed time zones I got a little thrown off. While we were on our way to the HeronBridge Retreat, the place where we’re staying, it felt like I was still in America. I watched the scenery as we drove and didn’t look much different except for the fact that there is no concrete. Our first meeting was very exciting. We got to watch and learn some of the dances the youth did here. In return we showed them some of the dances we do in America. It was something to remember.

Kaela Jones, Age 12

 I can say my experience from the time that I left to now is great. But there are some differences from New York and South Africa. Well some differences are the time differences. The time from here and in South Africa is 6 hours apart. And in South Africa there is a lot of land.  A lot of animals around. The same things are there are hotels like there are in New York, there are fast food places too. I can say that South Africa and New York are kind of the same but at the same time there are differences. But the plane ride was kind of weird. I say that because I have not been on a plane since I was 4 years old. But beside that everything is well.

  To get daily updates of my trip in South Africa please read more of my blogs on Karito Kids® at


Jordan Griffin, Age 12

 When we were getting ready to leave our parents I felt happy to be alone, but a little sad because I did not want to leave.  I wanted to stay with my family and stay in New York. Then my parents said goodbye and we got on the bus. The bus ride was quick and we did not really do anything but talk to my partner about how is the trip going to be.

 Then we unloaded off the buses as we got off the bus. We checked in then waiting about 20 mins and then it was time to get on the plane.  The plane took off going way fast then we was in the air on the side watching the view. I just played some games having a regular plane ride. Then some people started changing seats in my row. I ended up with about five girls. They had me cracking up laughing that I could not even go to sleep. Then every time the plane made a turn or drop they were scared. We had to be told about 50 times to be quiet.  I was finally able to get just a 1 hour sleep. Then woke back up and had food which I did not like. Especially the breakfast the eggs made my stomach terribly hurt. The ride was long then we got off.

 Journey For Change and I went to get our bags and then rode to our place to stay. I saw a lot of great stuff. When reached our destinations and went inside saw where we slept and unpacked. We choose if we were sleeping on top or bottom beds. Then we went to lunch and had rice and chicken it was good. After we had a couple of orientations and learned some dances. We learned about HIV/AIDS from a professor then heard a true story from a person positive of Aids. After we broke into teams and learned who were going to be with when we go to Diepsloot and who’s showing us around.

 Later we had dinner and it was beef with some nice sauce and rice. Then we waited so we could blog about our day 1 experience while we drank coffee and hot chocolate.


Jasmine Brown, Age 15

 Dear Journey for Change followers

                                                                Well at first I thought it would be easy to say good bye to my family .I was so ready to just  get  on the bus and go on my way, but it wasn’t I cried and cried. I thought my grandmother wasn’t going to stay and say good bye. In the end she did come back I was kind of sad because my baby sister was crying to, and she wouldn’t stop. The bus ride was pretty easy and fast we stayed at the JFK Airport for few hours. We took the South African Airwave (SAA). It was a little strange because I don’t remember the last time I was on the plane or at an airport.

       The flight seem like it took forever but it was fun. We watched movies, and played games but I mostly slept. I didn’t believe people when they it would be cold on the plane.  I was so cold I had to blanks and a sweater. They served us beef with carrots and mash potatoes with some kind of  dessert. I was good just eating my cookies. It was funny because me and the person I was sitting next to kept play so much.

                As we got closer and closer to south Africa it seem so much closer . When we land in the airport it didn’t seem as what I expected. We took this big couch bus to the resort it was real nice driving pass all these beautiful houses. When I arrive at the resort I dropped my stuff off in my room and came to the café. We had some kind of spaghetti with vegetable and chicken tenders which was pretty good.

                 Then some kids from the salvation of South Africa came and did a little dance and taught how to dance to. We got to talk to a lady who has HIV/AID. She told us how it is for her to live with HIV/AIDS. We had a lovely dinner that didn’t really eat but I heard it was good.  I call my mom, grandmother, and grandfather they seem so excited to hear from me. Well tomorrow is another day and I’m so excited.


Gabrielle Bradley, Age 12

                 Hello today is Thursday August 19,2010 it is the first day in Africa. We have been on a long Journey coming from New York to Africa. First we had to be at the Salvation Army at 7 o’clock in the morning. Next we got on the bus to go to J.F.K. airport and departed from the airport at 10 o’clock. On the plane I watched Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Princess and the frog. Then they served us some fish or beef with fried rice. Then I ate fruits and candy. After that I got up to go sit with my friends in the back. Then I went back to my seat and fell asleep. By the time I woke back up it was the next day. At that time they were about to serve breakfast. They were serving either eggs or pancake. I had got pancakes but I did not eat it because it didn’t have any syrup. But I ate the fruits and the yogurt and it was good. Then I went to go brush my teeth and use the bathroom. In the next 30 minutes they said will be in Africa. I was so happy.

 To get daily updates of my trip in South Africa please read more of my blogs on Karito Kids® at 


Emani Hears, Age 13

 The place that I live in is Brooklyn, New York. It’s almost like South Africa. I say this because the cities are alike. In South Africa they have many stores like in New York. They both have highways and many, many more stuff alike. Most of the food taste the same, but there were many things I didn’t like. When we boarded the bus to the JFK airport I didn’t cry at all. The travel to South Africa was very long. It seemed short though. I enjoyed the plane ride a lot, I had so much fun with my friends. I watched many movies, TV, talked to friends and listened to music. When we got onto the airplane I was so excited. So now I’m in South Africa. I am having so much fun so far with my friends. So far we have gone to two orientations, lunch, and dinner. The orientations were about the JFC2, and the second one was faced on HIV/AIDS.        

 To get daily updates of my trip in South Africa please read more of my blogs on Karito Kids® at



Douglas Williams, Age 14

 Saying goodbye to my parents was hard leaving them for two weeks. When we left and got on the bus I thought I wasn’t going to be able to have fun, but from getting off the bus to the getting on the plane it was a lot of fun. We had different types of food , was able to watch different types of movies, tv shows ,and different music. It was very hard to sleep on the plane people was taking pictures, had all different types of candy, food, and yelling because of the excitements. When we landed we had a full day planed and lots of us was very tired. We learned about HIV/AIDS. We also seen a women that had HIV/AIDS and she talked about what she has to go through since she has HIV/AIDS.

                There also was a guy that spoke with us about HIV/AIDS. He was telling us what people has to go through since they have to deal with HIV/AIDS. When we came home we seen a live chicken. People were so excited about our rooms and roommates. We seen South African dances and the dances were really nice. A different guy was telling us about how South Africans live. What they like to do. When we first got off the plane we seen a lot of left over world cup stuff.


Dorian Anderson, Age 13

 Today and yesterday was great!

Yesterday I went on a plane to South Africa. The flight was long. The food was great, except the eggs. Well, I was going to have two chairs to myself, but a “person” came and sat in the chair next to me.

Today the orientation was great. The first one was very informational. I almost fell asleep during the orientation though. But after a cup of coffee I was up and ready for the second orientation.

The second orientation was great. I took a lot of notes. The notes are very informational. The people who spoke were inspiring.

 I am grateful to be here so far. I hope everyday is fun, and informational like today. I almost forgot the airport was great, clean and less crowded. The dorms are great also, but cold.


Dijore Harris, Age 12

 When I got on the bus to go to JFK airport for our trip to South Africa, I was kind of upset because I had to tell my mother goodbye for two weeks and that was hard. The reason why we’re going to South Africa is because we’re advocating for the poor and are learning more about HIV/AIDS. When I got to the airport I was shock because it was my first time at JFK airport and on a plane.

 When I got on the plane my ears popped because of something. When we took off I was frighten to start with but when we was in the air I got use to it. The ride was very long, but we manage to get here.

 At the end of the day we had an orientation to go to. When we got there we saw amazing dancing and we learn more about HIV/AIDS. After that we ate dinner and headed to be.


Devonte Wilson, Age 13

 Today was so fun.  I am finally in South Africa I can’t believe.  When I first got off the plane I walk straight outside from the air plane. When I step foot outside I notice that it was cold and I needed a sweater on me. Then we went outside and got on the bus and went to HeronBridge. HeronBridge was the place that we were going to say at. When I first got in my room I found out that my roommate was one of my friends. While I was in the room I started to unpack my clothes and put them in my closet.

               When I finish unpacking it was lunch time. When lunch was over I went to my orientation. While I was in the orientation I saw Ms. Elizabeth and Mr. Donaldson. They were giving me and my fellow friends a talk. After all of that people from The Salvation Army started to tell us about them self they were singing and dancing. While they were singing one of the singers came up to me and was rubbing my face. When everything was done Professor Jeffery was talking to us and I was taking notes. When he finish talking it was dinner time. Everyone ate and laughed then I started to right my Blog 1.


Dara Hutchinson, Age 13

 My trip so far was awesome . Being back on the plane was reminding me the time I was on the plane for the 1st time. On the plane was so fun even though people was playing around like the plane was like a photo shoot it was fun. It was so hard for everyone two sleep because we were watching movies, playing games, and listening to music. Finally every one slept for like about 10-30 min. I had trouble sleeping because of time changing I felt so tired that I finally slept. When on the land of Africa it was so unique but the same from another place I went to.  I wanted to sleep in my HOME but we had two orientations in one DAY man I was tired trying to keep up with the lesson. Well finally the day is finishing up and tomorrow is the big day along with the rest of the trip. I can’t wait to see what the other days bring!!!

 To get daily updates of my trip in South Africa please read more of my blogs on Karito Kids® at


Briana Kirven, Age 13

 Hello my name is Briana. I had a wonderful flight on the plane. I hung out with my best friends. The flight was 14 hours long but it was fun. The people that was serving food served two meals for lunch I ate fish it was awesome. I went to sleep and when in woke up I ate breakfast which was pancakes and eggs it was delicious When we got to Africa I was so excited. When I saw my room I was surprise because it was very big. My roommate name is Dara. She is a cool person but she is just too loud sometimes, but I can deal with that.

  To get daily updates of my trip in South Africa please read more of my blogs on Karito Kids® at 


Bria Henry, Age 12

 My day was very fun from the day the time I was standing outside of The Salvation Army saying goodbye to all my family and friends. My flight to South Africa was very long and upsetting I was getting restless and wanted to get up and move around but was too scared of the plane going through the clouds. During the flight I fell asleep on and off and I tried to stay up for the last five hours of the flight but found myself dozing off and before I knew it I was fast asleep. When I woke up it was time to eat breakfast and time to head toward land. Then the plane landed and I arrived in South Africa and got on a bus to go to HeronBridge and time to get ready to go to orientation.

 Brenden Archer, Age 12

When I left my mom and brother I was sad. I was sad because I knew that I wasn’t going to see them for two weeks. When I left them I was crying because I have never traveled so far wit out my mom. After I finished saying goodbye I got on the bus we had to put our bags on the bus but I wasn’t so sad. When we got on the bus to go to the airport it was a short trip.

 When we got to the airport we had to unload our bags on the bus. After that we ha to get our passports checked. Once we got past the passport check we had to go through security. When we got past security we had to give our luggage to the crew flight. When we finished doing that we went to the waiting area so we can catch our flight.

 When I got on the plane I found my seat I put my bag under the seat. I got comfortable because I knew we was going to be a long flight. I listened to the crew flight instructions. Once they were done I put on my seat belt and got ready for flight once we were in the air the TV turned on and I watched some movies. When I got done with the movies I played my PSP. When my PSP died I went to sleep I waited for my PSP to charge. Then the flight crew came around with dinner I asked for beef and rice .

 The beef and rice was good. After that I continued to play games and watch movies. As time passed by it was breakfast time I had pancakes then we got off the plane. We got our bags and got on the bus to Heronbridge and we did orientations until dinner time.


Aneudy Taveraz, Age 13

 Hi my name is Aneudy Taveraz. So far in my experience from the plane ride to now is fun. In the plane ride, it was

Cool because we had food service we all watch a movie listened to music. When we got off the plane I felt relief that we was in South Africa.

 Bus ride

 When all the ambassador’s left the airport we all went to the bus. Out the window I saw a lot of interesting things it felt like we was still in New York. I saw a hotel, a gas station, and the heron bridge college. I NEVER NEW THEY HAD ALL OF THAT!!!

 HeronBridge Retreat

 When all the ambassador’s left the bus we went to check in on our rooms it was fantastic, I felt like I was in the Hershey park hotel. In the room there was a bunk bed, a window and a two way closet. I felt like this was home. To me today was like the best day ever.

 To view photos of the mission trip to South Africa, please go to:

Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service uplifts the lives of inner-city youth through global travel, volunteerism and advocacy work.  More information on the program can be found at