This semester has been so full of school and work that I honestly can't believe that I'll be leaving for Cape Town in less than three weeks - Ahh! How did time pass by so quickly?! I fully anticipate that this will be an experience of a lifetime that will help me to learn, grow, and form invaluable relationships with others. Also, have you seen pictures of Cape Town? I definitely expect it to be gorgeous!
I've been abroad before, to London, England, and that experience was fantastic. I learned a lot about myself in the context of being far from home, being independent, and developing self-confidence. However, as wonderful as London was, I've always had a voice in the back of my mind telling me that my studies abroad couldn't end there. I craved something where I would experience a culture different from my own, where my perception of the world would be challenged and broadened.
Social Justice is a topic that I have a lot of interest in, and as a social justice minor, I'm thrilled that I will receive elective credits for this course. However, more than the credit aspects, I am beyond excited for all of the lessons that await me. I've done a lot of reading and discussing about social justice topics, and I have been involved in various aspects of social justice organizations in my community at the University of Minnesota. However, what I'm looking most forward to about this trip is that I will be transplanted out of a University of Minnesota classroom to a world where the issues I like to learn about are reality. I think it will challenge a lot of the beliefs that I currently hold, and I'm anxious and nervous about putting myself under a microscope. However, while I imagine that at different parts of the experience I will get frustrated, sad, and angry, I also anticipate feeling hopeful, rejuvenated, and empowered. So, essentially, I expect a roller coaster of emotions J I'll keep you updated.
For now, I'll continue to count down the days until I'm on that long journey (I'm not so much looking forward to the travel part) to South Africa! Here we go!