I have never been away from my family during the fourth of July. It’s not like we have a big celebration every year for it, but we are usually all together having a cookout or something. It was weird not seeing red, white, and blue all day while walking around. At home, everything is red, blue, and white to celebrate our independence. My program tried to put something together for us, to make us feel a bit more at “home”. We celebrated by going to an event called Food Jam. We were split into teams, and given recipes of different dishes to make. There were about 6 different teams. After we were all finished cooking, we were able to sit down and eat the delicious food that we all made. I was on the team that made samosas. Among the other dishes were; ostrich filets, homemade fettuccine noodles with marinara sauce, meatballs, ice cream, vegetables, and potatoes. It was a beautiful meal and a wonderful time for us all to enjoy each other’s company and bond more. Cape Town braai’s a lot. This is their term for the word barbecuing.
It was around this time, that I was beginning to miss home. Coming here I knew that it would be important for me to find little trinkets that reminded me of home. I was walking along the gardens one day and I found a statue of a turtle, which reminded me of my home university’s mascot. This brought me much joy. I was also able to find a solid group of friends that reminded me of my friends from back home who definitely kept me grounded. There is a graph of the emotions you experience while being abroad, and I was right on target. Being able to talk to my family daily is very helpful, a lot of people doubted whether or not there would be stable internet connection.