Participant Reflection: Bontle Theo

Bontle Theo spent her Gap Year in Gore, New Zealand along the stunning South Island and absolutely loved it.  Bontle sent us this fantastic recap of her year, role and overall experience. Thank you Bontle!

"I just wanted to write this message and say thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime by letting me spend a year in a different country, I had the best time and I've grown and learnt so much and I really thank you for giving me the opportunity to do that."

Living and working in Gore, New Zealand

Morning Duty: set breakfast up in the kitchen/dining room. Wake up and get kids down for breakfast. Help kids tidy up after breakfast. Get them ready for school and lock up dorms.

Don’t usually work during the time kids are at school unless I’ve been asked to assist at the school with a class or activity. In my free time I usually go to town or go for a walk, what I do usually depends what time my afternoon shift starts, if it starts at 3 then ill go for a walk or read a book at the bird park in town, if it starts later I'll watch a movie or go to the pool.

Afternoon/Evening Duty: this is after school, kids come through for roll call, then head I to dorms, this is the time to have a chat with some of the kids just a general check up on how their day was. Closer to dinner time, I help in the kitchen if I’m on designated to kitchen duty that day, this would mean I help the kids with tidying up after dinner as well. If I’m not on kitchen duty then I’ll be hanging around the hostel, checking on the kids, doing roll calls etc. and at dinner time I call them all down to the dining room. After dinner there’s either a prep class (homework) or an activity, so I assist where needed in regard to that. After the activity or prep its supper time and time to get the younger kids into bed and this will go on right until the oldest kids are in bed, which will be the end of my shift at 11pm. Some days I finish earlier at 9pm this is when I’m not working in the dorm.

 I worked weekends, weekends are more relaxed mornings is just to unlock the dorms and put breakfast out and do odd jobs around the hostel. My evenings were free so I usually stayed in watched a movie or read, but you could go out if you wanted to, there are a couple of bars in town.

On my off days, if I could I would go out of town for the night either to Invercargill or Dunedin, Dunedin being my preferred choice, when I don’t go out of town I usually hang around town, walk down to the river, or go to the park, or go to the movies, I’ve watched a lot of movies last year! There are a lot of clubs that could fit your interests in this small town.