Lindsey Ricker
Lindsey Ricker
South Africa 2012-2014
My studies at Belmont University in restorative justice, liberation theology, entrepreneurship, and philosophical ethics guided me to explore South Africa through an interdisciplinary lens. Academic and experiential work in these fields prepared me for a year in Cape Town interning in human rights, business consulting, and sustainable development. Read More About Lindsey →

A Different Type of Gratitude

November is looking to be a month full of celebrations. So far, I have managed to turn 23, successfully survive a Great White shark cage dive, understand most South African accents, and achieve lung-disease-free X-rays! While my calendar lists Thanksgiving around the corner, I did not need the holiday’s close proximity to reminded me of the people, places, and possessions most dear to me.

My stay has not been without illness or sadness so far, but my misfortunes have been eclipsed by the immense kindness, hospitality, and love sent from overseas and throughout the streets of Cape Town. When I was flying from Knoxville to DC, coughing was so ferociously that fellow passenger gave me her unopened bottle of water and a fresh pack of gum to get me through the next 33 hours of traveling. I was still coughing by the time that I reached Cape Town and woke up my poor, new roommate in the middle of the night. She helped me to navigate my new kitchen and make tea, bringing me salvation. Moments like that have helped me to heal physically and comfort me spiritually. I am constantly reassured that there are good people everywhere. Although, my bumpy start prevented me from engaging with others in the beginning, I have found plenty of kindred spirits to share joyful moments.

Now, I am much healthier, but my cough is lingering. I will have an entirely separate post for you to describe the delightful South African healthcare experience. You may think that if American doctors cannot heal my bronchitis in a month, then there is no hope for my cure. However, I will assure you that from appearances at least, South African physicians are providing to be more thorough. Also, I now know the ins and outs of international medical insurance (don’t even bother… it’s a rip off unless you have an absurd emergency outside of the UK). I will visit the doctor again on Wednesday to hopefully put an end to this three month long plague. The moral of the story? American healthcare is overrated.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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