I have just three short weeks to make the most out of an experience I will have only once. Three days from now I will be on my way to South Africa. I still can't believe I'm actually going. The second I learned about this program I knew I had to be a part of it. I remember at the end of the summer before school even started I nervously told a few friends about my plans to go to Africa over my break. I hadn't even applied, but my heart was set on getting to Africa.
It's so difficult to put into words all the reasons I have for wanting to go to Africa. I want to see things I've never seen before. I want to meet people unlike any other people I've met thus far in my life. I want to open my eyes and my soul to a new world. I want to learn what it really means to feel and what it really means to be human. I want to define my goals, hopes, passions, and sense of self by pushing myself to see through a different lens. I want to be faced with situations where I will be forced to go out of my comfort zone. I want to get a taste of a country that has overcome the turmoil of Apartheid by upholding and enforcing the simple value of forgiveness. As much as I want this trip to be fun, exotic, and full of adventure, I want it to challenge me even more.
I am expecting to be totally blow away by the beauty of South Africa. I expect to be completely speechless when I first arrive. Reflecting on y previous work as a camp counselor and a tutor for elementary school kids this past semester has really made me aware of how much I love working with children and feeling like I myself am making a direct impact in someone else's life. Of all the exciting excursions and plans made for this trip, I am most excited to work with and inside one of Cape Town's townships. Life in a township is something I am totally unfamiliar with. My expectations are likely ignorant ones so I am very anxious to rid myself of ignorance and dive in full force as work with and alongside new and incredible people.
As I sit here three days before we leave I am feeling so grateful for even being able to have this opportunity. I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful support from my friends and family and I am so looking forward to feeling the warmth and embrace of all of you who will be traveling with me. I spend the majority of my time traveling between Minnesota for school, Rhode Island to see my family, and Wisconsin where I spend my summers working at camp. I'm thrilled to be going to South Africa and expanding my map. I hope that these next three weeks will only be the start to a lifetime of adventure--whether it take place in another country or locally.