Today is the day we leave. People are scurrying around cleaning up 14 Osbourne and trying to fit the last souvenir in their checked bags. I know this quote has been floating around a lot, but I'm saying it one more time.
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
I'm really excited to go home and tell people about my exciting journey to South Africa but at the same time I'm really nervous. Yesterday at Mug and Bean I asked Brittany, "What if people don't even care that I've been to South Africa?" My being here has been just a small blip, three weeks of my life. In these past three weeks I have thought a lot about my relationship with my sister and how happy I am that she pressured me to apply to this program. But her already having been here and leaving again makes me wonder what my reaction was when she tried to tell me all of her stories from the last trip. I know I was probably ending my junior year in high school so I had other things on my mind, like applying to colleges and what I was going to wear on Friday - you know, important things. I know I mostly signed up for this trip because Brittany wanted me too, but I decided before I left that what I wanted the most from South Africa was to help me figure out my own life, who I am and even what I want to do. So in the sunset journal I wrote my purpose. After waking up to see the sunset, something I typically don't do, I was trying to figure out what I was going to write about on the walk out to the mountain. The walk out I was constantly tripping over my sisters pants, as I forgot to bring sleeping clothes. Trying not to trip over her pants and step directly into her path I instantly knew what I was going to write about. Most of my journal said it all and in a more descriptive manner, but my whole life I have been walking in Brittany's footsteps, careful not to stray to far from her path. Brittany and I went to the same high school, same college, we are in the same clubs, on the same executive boards, and have the same job. It's really hard to have an older sister, but it truly is a blessing. Being in the mountains made me realize that yes, having a sister is great, but we don't have to be the same person. I need to acknowledge that Brittany has made great choices, but the choices that are best for Brittany are not always the best for me. I'm not saying South Africa isn't where I want to be, but I'm saying I am starting to realize that Brittany is a great sister, mentor and friend, but I need to stop following in her footsteps. I love yah B.
I just realized I'm most nervous to show people pictures. Pictures can tell a thousand words, but still can't to justice to the beauty of this country. I love taking pictures. I've taken four years of photography classes and I know with a really good picture you can evoke emotion, but I know that whoever I show my pictures to will only get that one frame of a landscape that expanded for miles, or only three of the kids in the house that I volunteered with. Which really makes me understand what Nate's been saying about staying in touch because we are really the only people that will understand when we talk about Africa.
It's not goodbye, it's see you later.