So we’re finally here in South Africa! After 53 HOURS (that has to be a new record) of traveling, we’ve made it! It’s been quite a journey. We traveled by train to the Hong Kong Airport from Changsha, flew from HK to Dubai, through Bangkok, and now we’re finally here in South Africa, the motherland. Stepping off the plane, we met our coordinator and were on our way to Simons Town, where we’d be staying as a group for a couple days before heading to Zwelethemba, a township where we’d spend one of two homestay experiences in South Africa. Being here feels oddly comfortable. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been to Nigeria many times so it’s familiar, or if it’s just the African blood running through my veins that suddenly calms me when it detects I’m in Africa. Whatever it is, it feels refreshing!
I’ve journaled about some thoughts and feelings being here, and tried to journal about my anticipations and expectations of what is to come, but if I’ve learned anything on this trip, it’s to not have too many expectations, but to set goals for myself in terms of what it is I would like to gain by the time we leave. I came up with a few things. First, like in the other countries we’ve visited, I’d like to be present, avoid being consumed by all these other thoughts that distract me from the present moment. I’d like to absorb all that I can from South Africa; it’s history, the many different cultures that compose this beautiful country, and even the many physical environments that we encounter. I really want to just take it all in! Second, by the end of this visit, by no means will I become an expert, but hope to become more knowledgeable in regards to South Africa’s past, present, and how all of this will impact their future. More than anything though, like in the other countries, I really want to exhibit personal growth I all aspects of my life: intellectually, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Without this, I’d feel robbed of experience, as if I was only passing through lackadaisically, without real purpose. I’m sure you can probably sense my enthusiasm for South Africa. Here’s to the start of a new journey within a journey!