After four months in Cape Town, I realize that I have a terrible sense of humor. I stuck to my guns, but my guns apparently weren’t funny. This cuts me deep and is making me rethink things. I arrived in Cape Town in July and fell in love with this place instantly. The sprawling city, the diverse and interesting people (and their accents), the breath-taking scenery. Oh, and the bars and clubs. What’s not to love? Read more
My study abroad experience has been the most amazing experience of my life. I cannot believe that almost 5 months has passed and I’m already back home. It seems like I just left a few weeks ago, but when I look back at everything I got to see and do I feel like it was an entire chapter of my life. It is wonderful to be home and see all my friends and family, but I miss everything about Africa. As much as I hated on the food, I miss papatas! I miss taking combis to the Station, Main mall, and S.O.S. Orphanage. I miss going on adventures to cities outside of Gabs and Countries outside of Botswana: South Africa, Mozambique, and my favorite… Zimbabwe! I miss having the chance to do crazy things I will never do again.. bungee jumping at Victoria Falls off of the highest bridge in the world, night swims in the jellyfish infested waters of the beautiful Indian ocean in Ponta de Ouro, and climbing the -way harder than it looks- Table Mountain in Cape Town. I miss the feeling of being somewhere new and exciting and different full of different people, culture, foods, and environment. I miss the children at Tshwaragano Primary School in Old Naledi and at S.O.S. Orphanage. I miss hearing Liquideep and all the other fun house music beats at Bull and Bush, and dancing like crazy! Read more
*The title translates as ‘goodbye for now’ in Irish.
As the time of my departure draws near I have come to realize that living in Ireland is different from what I thought. A very naive part of me thought that American and Irish culture were fairly similar, however I have learned that there are many differences between both the Irish and American traditions. One day I can specifically recall was St. Patrick’s Day, which was easily one of my most favorite days in Ireland. In America one would find everyone wearing green clothes, shamrock headbands, and shirts that say “kiss me I’m Irish”. There are parades with young girls Irish dancing, men playing bagpipes, and then perhaps a drink or two between festivities. However in Ireland the tradition is a bit different. Some people wear green, but not many. The parade was a bit strange and did not seem to have anything to do with St. Patrick’s Day; it seemed more like a celebration of many other cultures. And since St. Patrick’s Day is a bank holiday and students have the day off it is a great excuse to go out on the town and have a good time. Now, even though I was not dressed in all green, and I didn’t enjoy the parade I still had the best St. Patrick’s Day of my lifetime. It seemed as if everyone just wanted to have a good day with their friends and family which made for an amazing atmosphere in town. There was plenty of traditional music to be heard, friends to be with, and even a few Irish ciders here and there as well. Although this year’s St Patrick’s Day was much different from any other that I had experienced before, it is definitely one I will never forget! Read more
So a question I’ve been hearing a lot is “Are you ready to go home?” The answer unfortunately isn’t that easy to give. On so many levels I’m not done with this place—the people, the traveling, the experience. But it has made me realize some important things about the US.
I will always be tied to the US because that’s where not only my family is, but also where I was shaped into the person I am today. Not saying that living here in Belfast hasn’t also shaped me, but my foundation, as a person, was built in the US. So as much as I love this city and this country, it will probably never bear the same sort of attachments as the US. Read more
I’m scanning the Interstudy blog here and the shock of returning home comes back again. Yup, that’s right. I’m back in the states. I’m looking through all of your posts, completely and 100% jealous that your experience continues. I had fallen in love with London, the elegant buildings, the relaxed culture, the beer…It’s a place that I could return to and live long term. In fact, I’m penciling that into my life plan as we speak. Read more