Community. Love. Respect. Togetherness. There are not enough terms to express the journey I was fortunate to take part of, except to allow these few words to describe South Africa as a whole. I’ve gained a spectrum of knowledge from cultural dances, handshakes, and slang, to
more leadership skills, social interactivity, and the economic and social reality in South Africa.
To be a leader, you have to have an open mind, be a listener, and be able to speak your truth and your passions. The trip facilitated my growth as a person and as a leader. Prior to the trip I was doing a lot of social action, discussions, etc., but being surrounded by others who were willing to learn, and express their opinions built a new level of personal knowledge. I gained confidence by allowing myself to be in vulnerable positions and speaking on personal experiences in community circles, and gained leadership skills in the smaller focus groups, by leading those same discussions, making sure things were flowing well. In the aspect of serving my community better with the skills and exposure I gained, I look to continue to share my experiences of my journey, the people I was fortunate to meet, and, the places I was able to see.
Each and every day, we had a new adventure ahead of us. A Leadership Journey allowed each of us to be one with the learners we all truly are. The never ending curiosities, questions, and experiences that travelling to South Africa sparked, ranged from being educated on the different dialects spoken in the areas, to the in-depth passions of each of the young, poetic minds we interacted with. All the people I’ve met, including students from the schools we visited, the people I met on the trip who are now lifetime friends, and the Leadership Team, have impressed me with their intelligence and drive, and I will always have love for each and every one of them.
Two weeks felt like months of excitement and learning, but it flew by in seconds, leaving me
eager for more of those interactions. I can confidently say the trip was the most beautiful,
thrilling, and eye-opening occurence of my life so far. I was blessed to have been exposed to all the new environments and heartwarming individuals, which made my expectations even better than imaginable. When I’m asked “how was Africa?” the simplest thing I can say without going on for hours is, “life-changing,” and that holds weight for all the emotions I feel at just the thought of A Leadership Journey to South Africa.