As our trip to South Africa approaches and we are set to embark on our journey in less than two weeks, we were asked to revisit our goals and expectations. I am nervous, excited, and eager all at the same time. I am excited to learn about South African culture, eager to experience this once in a lifetime trip, and nervous about connecting with the South Africans.
When I applied for this course and trip, I thought the course would be easy and the trip would just be about traveling to somewhere new and bringing back souvenirs. I now know that this trip will have a bigger impact on me than I even know. Although the course was not a walk in the park, and we had a large amount of assignments, I have learned a lot about the history and current status of South Africa.
Will this make me more prepared for this trip?
Maybe, but I still don’t think I fully know what to expect. I have gone abroad several times before, never learning about the country’s culture, history, or views of Americans. I think this trip will be extremely different from all my others because I will be able to realize why things are the way they are there.
My main goal is to gain the trust of the South Africans in the communities we will be working with. We are foreigners and we are throwing ourselves in these communities to do the service projects we have been working on all semester. We have to realize that even though we are there to help, it does not mean they will trust us right away. I want to break out of my comfort zone and really interact with these people.
I am counting down the days and cannot wait!