Thinking about my upcoming trip to South Africa, I’m feeling unsure about what to expect. I have never been abroad for longer than two weeks, and I’ve never been to the African continent for any period of time.
Of course, I tried doing some preliminary research: I read blog posts, news articles, and I tried my best to educate myself about South Africa as a country, or what our programming would look like, but I realize there’s only so much preparation I can do for how I will feel during this experience.
Luckily in my preparation, I was able to talk to some students who went to South Africa last year. I got recommendations for places to see and food to try, and their excitement for me made me feel less nervous about the upcoming three months of unknown. They gave me some tips for packing (which is much harder than I thought it would be!), and I’m hoping that I’ve found the right balance between being prepared and coming in under the 50lb weight limit for my checked bag.
From my research, two things that I am making sure to pay attention to going into this experience are the water crisis in Cape Town and the impact of the election in the ANC (African National Congress) in December. While I have had a chance to read a few articles about both, I am curious to see what both of these issues look like in real life.