I never thought … I would live my dream.

A few years ago I had to break away from city life to just be able to breathe again. I found this cute guest house in the Midlands. I was scared to drive all the way to the coast by myself, so I thought half way will do. A drive 2 or 3 hours out the city will work. In the end it was about a 4-hour drive.

I woke up to the braying of a donkey and I thought: this is where I want to be. Not in a city, noise of cars, pollution, people not caring. I went horse riding that day close to Giants Castle. The mist was so thick; I was scared I would miss the road. But there was also so much beauty. I actually wanted to take photos, but with the mist so thick, another car might drive into me.

When I had to go back, I was sad leaving the tranquility behind. I got back to the rat race of the city. Still enjoying my work, visiting my friends taking up more and more because something was missing.

A few years later I came back. I saw a vacant post at a school in the Midlands, Treverton College. I thought: It is the Midlands, I can stay and work in the Midlands. I stayed at a guesthouse a few kilometres from the school. The first view I had in the mornings, horses. I thought: This is where I want to be. Timing was not right. I went back to the city, the rat race, taking up more and more to do because something was missing. I prayed because I was confused, my heart longed to the country side.

A few years later, my best friend sent me a screenshot of an available post again at Treverton. I asked God what He wanted me to do. Should I apply, should I stay where I was? The answer was: Apply. So I did and yes there I went again, back to the Midlands. They say 3rd time lucky. I just believe God made it possible this time. I packed everything and I left the rat race of the city. I knew God had a plan, I just did not know what yet.

What did I find at Treverton? Amazing people. Learners who are eager to learn. Friends that became family. Friends and learners that accept you the way you are, that will sometimes unknowingly lift your spirits, by just saying something in class that will make you laugh out loud, friends popping in for coffee asking if everything is okay. I can walk to both passions I have. Class and horses. I can take horse riding lessons. I can be with my favourite animals. I never thought that I would make hot dogs to learners who felt devastated by the results of trial exams, I did. Rewarding learners with brownies because the class average was above 70% for an assessment. I never thought I would think about inviting learners to come for coffee. It is so different, Treverton is a family.

I never thought that I would teach with a mask on my face and that masks would become a fashion trend. Yes, I do have my Hufflepuff, Batman and Horse masks. I did know that God sent me here so I can be safe. Like He lifted me from a horse, so that I did not get hurt, He brought me to the safest place I know. Treverton.

I know now: Treverton is the place to be. Treverton is a place of happiness, family.

#thetrevertonexperience www.treverton.co.za

Ms Carin van der Merwe (Afrikaans – College)