Smile Givers

By Alica Soltyšik (Croatia)

I set off to South Africa dental volunteer project, without expectations really, I just wanted to go so much and make a difference there, do something for African people. Felt like I’m supposed to, and I was right. Throughout this whole experience I’ve learned how these people who we met along our way are so generous and kind, they were so eager to spend time with us and learn how to improve their oral health, teeth cleaning habits and brushing technique. I’ve met so many wonderful and interesting people there. Seeing children at the school and in the villages later on was very emotional for me, these kids were so loving and full of gentleness I was totally amazed and touched by that. Gogos were very happy to see us getting ready to do their welcoming dance. I felt like I’ve already been there before, quite strange feeling really. These women are seriously devoted to their work, trying to do their best every day for those kids.

I thought I’ll see poverty but instead I saw Africa’s creativity and spirit, majestic views and people who are so proud of their country. South Africans are full of interconnectedness and such strong nation in every way. This mission got me thinking of what I want to do with my life, why are we here, what can one do to make it all better and how life fragile is.

It all comes down to the stories that we tell. Now that I’m sitting and contemplating, at the end of the day, staring at the fairy lights and remembering how bright and full of stars was South African sky, I’m realising that I spent two most inspiring weeks in Africa that I’ll remember and cherish for the rest of my life.

Smile Givers pic 2
Smile Givers pic 1