So this is my first blog for South Africa....actually, this is my first blog I have written ever! Big deal, I know, but I hope for everyone who reads this, I hope it is a learning experience. Not just for myself, but for the people reading it, that you will begin to understand what I go through and what we, as a group experience in our adventure to South Africa together. :)
There are so many reasons why I chose to go to South Africa this winter break. I don't think I could fit it into a single paragraph, but some of the main reasons I am choosing to go are because I have always had a fascination with Africa. I find it to be a diverse and beautiful country that I have never understood. There are many different people, cultures, and religions that are not highly known in the United States. They have gone through things that I cannot even image and they still manage to be true to themselves, that is a beauty in itself.
I also chose this global seminar because of it's name, South Africa: Tracing the Footsteps of Social Change. I was looking online and I saw the name and instantly read the description of the program. I fell in love with the seminar. The description talked about the beauty of South Africa and how the people, even through Apartheid have achieved a sense of happiness and zeal of life. It discussed that as a student I would focus on my "self" and to be honest, I think that is a major thing that I need to work on in my life. I hope that I will be able to focus on my "self" and to be able to grow as a person and to be able to understand the culture and my surroundings in a positive way to help me figure out who my "self" truly is. The description says we will learn about the history of South Africa and we will examine how South Africans view their community and how they live together. This caught my eye because I want to work with urban youth in particular and many urban youth are a different ethnicity than I am and I believe that this will help me grow as a person and a youthworker to better begin understanding other cultures.
My expectations for this trip are far and wide. I'm so excited to go to South Africa but am incredibly nervous at the same time. I have never travelled this far, I've been to Mexico and Canada but those two countries almost don't count because they're so close! I've never gone over the ocean! So I'm not looking toooo forward to the plane ride :P I get antsy with a four hour plane ride to Mexico so we'll see how this goes! But I am expecting this to be an amazing trip! I've heard this trip is awesome and I have heard from other people who have visited South Africa that is incredibly beautiful. So I'm expecting nothing less. But I don't know what to expect with we do our service learning in the Delft township. As Kevin Winge stated in his book, I'm afraid that I will only be looking through an "American lense". I'm scared that I won't be able to get past my "Americanism" to be able to truly grow with my experience. So my expectation of myself is to get past my "Americanism" and to be able to "come in right" to South Africa. I can't wait!!!!!! :)