December 17, 2015

Rolene Strauss : My Journey Ending and yet Beginning

One year ago today, South Africa's Rolene Strauss was crowned Miss World. With only a few days left of her reign, Rolene reflects on her time as Miss World, and the journey she has been on.

As my reign as Miss World comes to an end; Time is heading in one direction, but my memories in the opposite...
Looking back, this year has been filled with various times; Good and bad, easy and difficult, learning and teaching, and so it goes on. I can truly say that I am grateful for each of these times as they were sculpting me into the woman I still strive to be.
Rolene receives a big welcome : Mexico, July 2015
Rolene with the people of Mumbai, April 2015
Rolene scales to the top of the Dongfeng Race Team's Mast : Volvo Ocean Race, Sanya February 2015
Travelling the world and seeing places a usual tourist wouldn't necessarily get to see, opened up my eyes to so many wonderful (and sometimes sad) things. I realised that we as humans are all part of one integral picture, we all long for similar things and most importantly, we can all make a difference. 
Rolene inaugurates the new oncology ward at the Philippines General Hospital: Philippines, February 2015
My travels to India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Mexico have touched my heart dearly. I had the opportunity to be involved with various charity projects in these countries and saw how grateful individuals and communities are for the smallest of things. My heart slowed down when a little orphan girl in Oaxaca, Mexico asked me to take her home with me. How could you even answer such a desperate little girl?
Rolene in Oaxaca, July 2015
Sometimes you wish you could do more. The premature children in the hospital of Shirpur, India, made me rethink life and its purpose. How could a small child suffer without any reason? I have learnt that some questions we just don't have the answers to, all we can do is use the opportunities we receive to give back. Dearest Julia has shown me this so many times in the past year.
Rolene in Shirpur, April 2015
Apart from some tear jerking moments, I have loved the times where I could really be present, smile and appreciate little moments; To drive in a taxi, open the window and smell unfamiliar smells while watching unfamiliar people in unfamiliar countries. It made my heart beat fast with excitement as well as longing for the familiar paradise I am proud to call home; South Africa. The time where Carina and I went into a tribal home, sat on the ground and made spices with the tribal people in Shirpur, India.
Rolene at the Iowa Telethon : March 2015
I treasure the time where Elizabeth and I took part in raising  $3,805,100 for Variety - The Children's Charity at the telethon in Des Moines, USA. I remember my visit to the beautiful, tropical Jamaica like yesterday; I had such a good time with Laurie-Ann that I actually missed my flight back home with one whole day! The way I could message Megan whenever, wherever about whatever and receive the best advice I could ask for. Thank you Megan; you have inspired me to be the best Miss World I could have been and now, to be the best mentor I can be for our next Miss World.
Rolene relaxing in Jamaica: August 2015
This year has surpassed all my expectations, I will be forever grateful for the wonderful memories, lifelong friends and opportunities I have received. My future lies ahead of me like the sun from the back of the horizon. I am now as ready as can be for the next chapter of my life. 
Thank you all for being an integral part of my journey, the one that was and the one that is yet to come. 

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