It’s now been almost 2 weeks since the end of our South African adventure, and all I can think about is how unbelievably grateful I am for my experience. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and imagine I’ll ever experience again. I mentioned on our final reflection day that a challenge for me during the course was feeling a bit in over my head and unprepared due to being so young and new in my social work career. However these feelings slowly melted away over the weeks as my DU colleagues, professors, and South African friends continuously encouraged, supported, and inspired me. I felt so comfortable and welcomed by everyone, but I also felt like I was taking so much in. Eventually on one of our last days I broke down due to feeling “full”. However I’ve realized since then that I can never be full. The experience was just so emotionally charged and I needed to step away from it in order to realize that this will be something that I continue to reflect on and learn from for years to come. And as the Dean said, this experience is just another thing to put into my social world tool box. And the box can never get full. However if South Africa is a tool, at this point it is my most powerful and useful tool.
Our group truly shared something special, and while it is hard to put into words, I know that everyone felt the passion and connection. In conclusion I am just beyond grateful and appreciative of the experience!