Helpers might be paid to do the job, but many have become part of the family, especially those who stay for many, many years. And while they were paid to do their duties, the help and peace of mind they bring over the years are truly priceless! Many of them even become second parents to the kids they helped to raise.
One family in Johannesburg, South Africa, surprised their helper on her 60th birthday as they brought her on a vacation she had always dreamed of!
Oscarine “Occa” Ngceba has been with the Berger family for many years, since July 22, 1997 – a month after their daughter Jessica was born. She has been a loyal, hardworking helper who helped raise Jessica and her younger brother.
“My mom and dad told me that as I was learning to talk, I started calling Oscarine ‘Occa’ and that is what has stuck. Oscarine is my second mother,” Jessica narrated.
“I think as a child you can’t quite understand the dreams of others. As a child you have dreams of being an astronaut, or being a doctor or even being something mystical like a dragon or a unicorn. As I got older, I realized that I can help Occa achieve her dream. I can help make her dream a reality. I told my parents about my idea, had it stuck in the back of my mind for a while.”
For her 60th birthday, the family decided to bring her to an all-expenses-paid trip to Durban where she could see real penguins, her favorite animals! It was Jessica’s idea to treat Occa to the dream vacation she thought would never happen in her lifetime – and her parents fully supported the idea.
As her father, Michael Berger, drove them to the airport, Jessica said that Occa had “excitement written all over her”. It was going to be her first airplane ride! Occa was nervous, at first, but was soon excited to see the houses getting smaller and smaller as the airplane flew higher.
Jessica, her mother Marselle Berger, and Occa then went to uShaka Marine World to see the helper’s favorite animals. They attended the first penguin show right after breakfast.
“She listened so intently to the talk. She got to feel penguin feathers as well as a model of a penguin egg. She couldn’t stop laughing, because she says penguins make the same noise as donkeys,” Jessica narrated.
“She was amazed by the jellyfish and size of the sharks and sea turtles.”
They also went shopping and bought Occa a beautiful red dress. Then, they headed off to the beach – because Occa had never been in one!
“It was extremely windy, so we walked down to the promenade and took some pictures with the sea in the background. A day full of laughter, love and unforgettable memories was coming to an end. We ordered our Uber and headed back to the airport. Always use your heart for love and compassion and always use your ability to help others, wherever and whenever you can,” Jessica added.
Indeed, it was the best birthday Occa could ever imagine. And while she’s celebrating her 60th birthday, she admitted that the fun-filled day felt like she was 16 again!
“I have never been on an airplane. I was scared to fly. When the plane took off it was a feeling I can’t explain. Looking out the window, the roads became so small. The houses looked like small sheep from the sky and I couldn’t see any people because they were all far down,” an excited Occa recalled.
“The best part for me was to see the penguins, to see the sharks and to see the sea. This was the most special day for me. I don’t even know what words to use to tell you how special it was. I felt like I was 16 years old this day.”
Her friends couldn’t believe she was able to ride a plane, see the penguins and other animals, and also see the beach!
“They were so happy for me. This family is like my own family. I got to go on the airplane with my other family. I will never forget this day,” she happily added.