On Saturday, 18th July, eighteen of our Daniel and Friends Fund families were treated to an incredible morning at Two Oceans Aquarium by the amazing Reach for a Dream team in celebration of Mandela Day. It was amidst an air of barely-contained excitement as close to 100 people, all proudly sporting their new DFF badges, gathered in the foyer of the Aquarium, hugs and smiles a-plenty as new members were welcomed and those already acquainted got down to the delightful business of 'catching up'! The atmosphere could have been no more festive than if there had been a white-bearded, chubby-bellied gentleman jollying himself around, dishing out gifts and chanting "Ho ho ho!'"
Of course, connecting as a group and the new friendships and strengthening of bonds that comes with that was largely responsible for the high spirits, but certainly contributing to the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere was the reassurance that, at that moment, no one individual family was standing out against the rest of the crowd for being different. Oh sure we stood out as a gloriously unique group, don't get me wrong, but confidence in numbers and a sense of belonging was the order of the day!
After exploring the Aquarium for two fun-filled hours, we gathered outside for an additional treat from Reach for a Dream - scrumptious Spur meals for each and every person there, personally delivered by Christelle Gantz and Noeline Jacobs. As tummies were filled and thirsts quenched, conversation touched excitedly on some of our awesome upcoming events...a Housemarket on Saturday, 25th July in Durbanville...our hugely discounted CPR Course at the beautiful La Provence Wine Farm in Stellenbosch on Saturday, 1st August and of course the Totalsports Ladies Race on Monday, 10th August, which at least 12 of our Daniel and Friends Fund moms are participating in, in all their magical glory...watch this space!
Our community-based activities are not only an invaluable opportunity for our moms to connect and nurture friendships but, just as importantly, an opportunity too for our communities to come out and meet our families, hear more about the Fund and get to know our children. We've all heard the traditional African proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" - this couldn't be more true than when that child has special needs!