Back to America. Back to the cold. Back to....life.
I have been staring at my screen for the past 30 min. The thought of formulating my experiences in a blog seems impossible. What I experienced and lived though in Cape Town could be made into a book..I feel that is the only fair way that can I explain what South Africa did for my soul. Every single time someone asks me about my trip, I resort to one phrase "life changing" because that is truly the only way I can articulate what I went through in an abbreviated manner. This trip was my 4th study abroad program and the shortest out of all of them, however It was the most changing and growing experience that I have ever had. Starting with Educo, I knew that this was going to be a trip like no other. Those couple of days in the mountain allowed me to reflect and process personal things that I had left abandoned for a very long time. The fact that we didn't have any material possessions to distract us from the experience of being in the mountains, gave us the space to truly dig deep into ourselves and be with nature.
Continuing on to the site visits, I really appreciated that every single one of them was led by someone who was either directly or indirectly impacted by apartheid. Their personal stories and journey to forgiveness was very inspirational for me. It encouraged me to have the desire to forgive those that have done wrong and have affected me negatively. Volunteering 'responsibly' in Delft was one of my favorite parts because it granted us an opportunity to connect with a local community and learn from the strategies they had in place to transform their community. Never have I walked away from doing service feeling like it did more amazing things for me than the other party. Spending a week in the Delft townships taught me to really appreciate the irreplaceable things in life. In the U.S, our individualistic drive makes it hard for us to appreciate and understad the importance of our community. We get so caught up on "making it" that we neglect, and pay less attention to those we love. I walked away from Delft a better person as a result of what I witnessed.