“Although it was surely an illusion, the city, with Table Mountain looming behind it, looked agonizingly close, as if one could almost reach out and grasp it” (Mandela 465).
It was after reading these words that reality had most certainly hit me directly in the face. As I read this part of the book I certainly got a sense of how amazing and lucky I am to be able to go on a trip to South Africa. What is even more remarkable is that I am actually going to climb a piece of land that once served as a sense of freedom and justice for such an incredibly recognizable figure.
This little tiny excerpt from the book created an incredible image in my mind. I can see myself looking down at Robben Island with all the freedom in the world, while imagining myself on the other side of the spectrum, just like Mandela when he was a prisoner.
It is incredible how I can picture myself looking down at that island realizing that it took one man’s struggle that ultimately lets all the people of South Africa and myself climb Table Mountain freely today.
For all the battles Nelson Mandela fought outside and inside of Robben Island, he knew he was doing it for something much greater than himself. The courage and strength that Mandela had to overcome prejudices and inequality changed South Africa forever, and if it was not for him I am not even sure I would be going to South Africa in May.
I am extremely excited to climb Table Mountain, especially because of the thoughts that this one sentence brought about. Just knowing that I have the freedom to go to South Africa and embrace the idea that I am able to because of people like Nelson and their struggles is really something special. I cannot wait to have my image become reality and have a moment of peace on the top of Table Mountain.