January 16, 2013
First off, I'd just like to apologize for taking so long to put anything up on this blog. I haven't done much written reflection since I've been here, certainly not as much as I wanted to or had planned on prior to coming to South Africa. These last few days have been rather intense though, working in the Delft township. I must admit, I believe this is the highlight of my trip, or pretty close to it.
Yesterday during our evening reflection circle- a pretty mellow one- I found myself personally connecting with the group a lot more. Like, every time someone said something it came to my mind that I had thought either about whatever they were talking about or had had the same exact thoughts. I'm not quite sure what that means. Maybe I'm "getting it."
I've been so scared this whole trip about my not getting it, not absorbing what I'm supposed to absorb or feeling what I'm supposed to feel or maintaining what I'm "supposed" to maintain. I think that's partly the reason I haven't been writing much, which is truly unfortunately because I don't want to lose the thoughts and feelings I've had here. Though they were not as intense as I have experienced before now, especially considering the magnitude of this experience, they were still important; they still are important not matter how meaningless they feel now... no matter how much I feel like "I'll remember this. How could I forget that?" I know somewhere inside myself how easy it can be for all of the awe, excitement, and nostalgia to fade away.
There's some things I have been and plan on doing differently when I get back to the States. First and probably most importantly, I want to start looking at what I want to gain or what I do gain from the people around me. For instance, for the Educo Africa retreat staff Vipka, Mark, and Wendy (while probably having received something deeper from each of them individually) I gained a realer sense of the importance of nature and the serenity in being quiet with the sunrise and sunset, among other aspects of the natural world. However, I want to do this with everyone around me. Granted, I know this will be harder once I get back to the States, I still want to try. Because of this, I ask that my loved ones help keep me accountable for this want I have for myself.
It's very hard for me to explain what I've gone through with these twenty-one other students, but feel free to ask me when I get back and I'll pull out my syllabus and do my best to fill you in up until this moment!
More to come...