We have officially passed the two week mark of my time with Africa Media this June. I’ve spent two weeks making friends from around the world, learning new journalistic techniques, practicing my writing skills, and exploring South Africa.
I’ve walked with elephants and cheetahs, I’ve shopped at an African farmers market, I’ve visited the town of Barrydale, and I’ve explored the Point at Mossel Bay.
There have been down times. I have gotten physically sick. I have gotten homesick. I’ve questioned my career goals and life aspirations.
When you come to a brand new place all on your own, you tend to often ask yourself, “Who am I? What am I doing here? What is my purpose?” … or maybe that is just me.
Overall from this experience, however, I have faced a lot of tests in putting up with people that have completely contradicting personalities to my own. I’ve been tested in that I must challenge what I’ve known from the past to gain a better understanding of what I’m learning here and now.
My favorite thing about these past few weeks (besides seeing the animals) has been the time I have gotten to self-reflect. I came to Africa for an adventure. I wanted to see and experience a piece of the world that I hadn’t journeyed to before. Now that I am here, I have been presented with many opportunities to reflect on what these experiences mean to me and how I can share them with others.
Here are the major lessons my time in South Africa has taught me thus far:
- The world is so complex, yet so simple. While different cultures may have completely different, contradicting traditions and values, all humans ultimately strive for the same thing: survival first, then to be loved.
- Humans are not the most important beings on this planet. In fact, there exists no ‘most important’ species on Earth. We share this world with countless other beautiful creatures, and if we don’t start looking after nature, we’re going to kill everything. Seriously.
- Keeping up with your loved ones is extremely important. I’ve had days I have felt very isolated and lonely, but receiving a text from a friend or family member immediately boosts my mood. Relationships exist for a reason and can really benefit in keeping us sane when we happen to stray so far from home.
I have a lot more to learn. Like I said, it is only halfway through my program, and I still have two weeks to explore South Africa.
Who knows what other lessons Africa has in store for Grace?
Africa Media: https://www.africa-media.org/