Thursday, August 2, 2012

The End

I’m back in New Jersey now. Leaving was so hard.  I woke up this morning, and it was strange not seeing Milou and Sarah and Brittany and the beautiful view from our windows.

I was so proud of myself for not crying when I said goodbye to everyone, but then the moment I sat in the cab and looked at everybody waving from Perspectives, I broke down. The poor cab driver, I hope he didn’t feel awkward. He said, “All good things must come to an end. It’s time to say goodbye to this beautiful city, but know that it will love to have you back.”

Walking towards Customs in Newark Airport was hot and humid and the air was so heavy and South Africa felt like a dream.

I really can’t even begin to convey how incredible these past two months have been.

I got to teach English and meet wonderful students and teachers. I learned so much about education, and about the culture and diversity of South Africa. I saw extreme poverty and extreme wealth; I learned so much about the importance and value of humanity. It’s such a warm, friendly, diverse, beautiful country.

We shark-dived and ate amazing food and danced and laughed and cried and learned and got lost and climbed mountains and bungee-jumped and drove through some of the most scenic places in the world. I’m so happy I met the people I did, took the chances I did, made memories that I will carry with me forever.

I understand why going abroad is encouraged so much – it changes you. It broadens your perspective on everything. It helps you further define, or reshape, your values. Your view of the world, and of yourself, changes. You feel smaller, and bigger, and more connected and have sort of a slightly better idea of how ridiculous and wonderful and beautiful this whole world is.