It has actually taken a while to reflect on the trip to South Africa. I recently looked at the photos I had taken while on the trip, and was able to talk about the trip. I am not certain why I have not been able to talk about the trip, or to look at the photos, perhaps it was because it was all so much to take in while we were there. Everyday had a filled itinerary and normally, that would be alright with me. However, this trip was filled with so much emotion and intensity; it was difficult to process everything that we were doing.
Everything I experienced on this trip was new for me. On the second day of the trip, I broke down, realizing that if something were to happen to my family I could not just hop on a plane and be home in a few hours. I felt out of control. The entire trip was about me being out of control, when usually I am so much in control of my life. Rooming with 3 women was new to me. I never lived in a dorm room, or shared my space with other women. This was very difficult when I am so used to having time alone. I struggled during a large portion of this trip. I would say I have pushed the trip to the back of my mind and not thought about very much until this point.
Trying to handle my own emotions as well as others was very challenging for me. There was a lot to do, and experience while I was in South Africa. I am not sure why it has been so difficult to process and reflect on what I have experienced and learned throughout the course. I believe I am still trying to figure out within myself the impact this trip has had on me as a person.
Overall this trip has taught me more about myself rather than learning about social justice in another country. It was a great experience; it was definitely something that has helped me grow as a person. However, I would have liked to have spent more time within the agencies doing more of the work we could have done.