I will start off apologizing for taking so long to post a new blog. Two weeks come way too fast and I simply lost track of time this time around.
Over the past few weeks I have experienced so many unexpected emotions that I thought I would make a list of things I never expected to gain from my internship.
- An appreciation for office life. I knew that working in South Africa would be an experience like no other (some may even say life changing). I knew that there would be experiences that I would not be able experience in USA. What I did not expect is to love every minute of working in an office. I am not a business suite type of person nor do I want to wear a dress everyday. The thought of staying in my own little section of the office day after day only to mingle with my co-workers at the water cooler made me want to vomit. So you can imagine the relief I felt when I realized I would not be working in an environment anywhere close to that. I am not sure that I will ever experience an office environment quite like this one ever again in my life. The people are super relaxed and easy going. There is no stuffy dress code other than the implied “don’t come to work looking like a hooker”. We do have a water cooler but that is not the main meeting place as you are welcome to chat with people wherever you deem suitable. This is my ideal work environment and I will not be happy anywhere that doesn’t have the same standards.
- Random connections will all types of people. With my upbringing, I have always had a diverse group of friends. That may actually be the best quality about my friendships. But even with the diverse group of friends I have, I was never prepared to make so many connections with so many different people in this short period of time. Just thinking about all of the people that have made a lasting impact on my life, it is a bit overwhelming. I am so thankful for every person that has come through this volunteer house and I am excited to meet everybody who is still on their way here.
- A new appreciation for nature. Living in a house that is constantly changing, sometimes you need an escape. There is no cable for our television and the internet leaves a lot to be desired. But if that wasn’t the case, I would have never noticed the beauty I am surrounded by everyday. I often find myself saying, “I am in Cape Town, South Africa” because it is easy for me to get into the everyday routine of the day and not stop to be amazed by the views. Cape Town is the most beautiful place I have ever been to. Looking at the beautiful landscape and diverse geography, I am left speechless at times. You can see the beauty that God meant for this place in everyday life. I can also see how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to appreciate this beauty. It is very healing to just sit and be consumed by Cape Town’s beauty.
- I never thought I would push myself in the ways that I have. This past weekend I faced my hardest challenge thus far. The charity that I intern for held its first Three-Peak Challenge as a group. The planning phase of this challenge stressed me out so much but the end goal is what kept me going. But let me back up, the Three-Peak Challenge is where a group of volunteers and staff hike all three of Cape Town’s three major peaks in one day. Devil’s Peak is 1,001 meters, Table Mountain is (via Platteklip Gorge) is 3 km, and Lion’s Head is 2 km (1 mile=1.6km=1609.34m). I knew that I was in no shape to hike all three peaks but I had goals on what I could do. We started with Devil’s Peak which is just as pleasant as its name. I wanted to make it at least halfway up the mountain but about 1/4 of the way up I was almost in tears because I didn’t think I could make it. In the moment I was about to give up, I stopped and prayed and convinced myself that I wouldn’t let anything stand in between me and my goal. The rest of the way up I sang in my head, “Just take one step at a time, there’s no need to rush. It’s like learning to fly or falling in love...”. No matter how the rest of the day went I was going to be proud because before I knew it, I was at the spot I wanted to make it to. I hiked up half of the last peak of the day but I was so proud when I saw the group of remaining hikers coming around the corner to complete the hike. That has been my favorite day here so far.
I have been having the time of my life and I am excited to see what else I will gain from this experience.