Looking back at my initial blog post when I explained my goals of why I wanted to do the QU301 South Africa trip really puts everything into perspective for me because not only do I know so much more, but it just validates my goals and my reasons for going. I feel like the whole semester made me realize how important it is to learn all the imperative history and cultural aspects of South Africa before going in order to gain a full experience. I remember saying that one of the main reasons for going on this trip was because I didn’t think that I would ever be able to have the experience again. I knew that it was probably going to be a life changing and once in a lifetime experience, but now that the semester is coming to a close, everything just seems like it is piecing together and making me realize how unbelievable this adventure will really be.
I have never really traveled anywhere before but I know that if I were to travel to South Africa without doing it through the QU 301 Course, I would not have gained the knowledge or respect for the people there than I will when I actually go. I was talking to my cousin the other day who had previously been to South Africa and all she was talking about was how awesome the safari she went on was; meanwhile, I was just thinking to myself about how much more I am doing.
This trip means so much more to me now knowing about the communities and their needs and it especially will be so near and dear to my heart because we are going there to make a difference. I know I will be completely content if I am able to contribute in the slightest bit while I am on this journey and all of the planning will be worth it because of all of our intentions in going down there. I don’t think my answers would have been any different but I now feel differently about how I feel about my answers. I just feel as if my answers were so on track and now I am even more inspired.
Since we still have not been to South Africa yet, I am hoping to just put all my anxieties aside and really emerge myself in the culture and experience because I truthfully don’t know if I will be able to make it back there again.
In regards to the cultural understanding standpoint, I think that the class fully emerged me into information that will make my journey that much more meaningful. I won’t know until I return how much it helped but even the slightest bit of information and understanding of even what the people of South Africa went through gives me more insight of why people like us go there to help out as best as they can.
Although I am a little nervous for the long plane ride, I know that the second I get off it will be the start of a new chapter in my life. I am also more ready to go on this trip because I have become a lot closer with all of the people that we are going with. I think it was important for us to do projects and fundraising together, not only for the service projects in South Africa, but also for us to get to know each other better. The experience will be that much better because we all get along and are all excited to go together and I am thrilled to become even closer with everyone during our trip.