My time in South Africa has come to an end. This is certainly a bittersweet moment. Although I am excited to get back to my family and friends in the U.S., I am not so enthusiastic about leaving the friends I have made here.
My experience in Johannesburg has been incredible. I have learned so much about this country and so many of the struggles it still faces in trying to overcome the lasting effects of apartheid. Although I had my share of negative experiences (racial discrimination, racial profiling, mass poverty), my positive experiences were far more abundant. Not only is this country beautiful, but the people here are kind, generous, helpful, and strong. I have met so many people that are determined to bring about social change for the people of this country. And I must say, the members and staff of the Khulumani Support Group (KSG) are helping lead the way.
I cannot stress just how influential Khulumani has been in aiding its 100,000+ members and their communities. And KSG’s success is a perfect reflection of how great its staff is. The KSG staff, with limited resources, has done so much for South Africa. I honestly don’t know where this country would be without the change that Khulumani Support Group has helped bring about. Working with Khulumani has been nothing short of life changing. Sometimes, I feel as though living in the United States is like living in a box. There are so many things happening around the world that we can relate to, yet we are completely unaware of.
While working with KSG I have met people that I will never forget. Together, we shared ideas, stories, and experiences, which I think really benefited KSG as a civil society organization and myself, as a future lawyer. The honesty, determination, and the very nature of the people at Khulumani Support Group is inspiring, and I will never forget them!
I want to give a special thanks to the Khulumani Support Group National Director, Dr. Marjorie Jobson. I could not imagine having worked with anyone else here in South Africa. The opportunity that she gave me is truly invaluable. By giving me a chance to come to South Africa and giving me as much responsibility as she did, not only do I think I have gained more skills to be a successful lawyer, but this experience has made me a better person.
I also want to thank Brenda and John Scanelli. Some of you may be aware that I received some financial assistance to make this trip possible. Well, Mr. and Mrs. Scanelli were source of that blessing. To Brenda and John Scanelli, thank you. Your generosity is truly remarkable, and it is greatly appreciate.
Lastly, thanks to my family for supporting me on this trip! My mom, dad, and little sister were incredibly supportive of what I was trying to accomplish here, despite their reservations. (You should have heard their reaction to “WHERE IS HER BODY?” haha). My parents, in particular, really have done everything they could to make this trip possible. Also, thanks to Angel, Denissa, and Jillian for coming to visit! Your visit made this trip that much better.
I will definitely be back to South Africa in the future. But now it’s back to the states! Operation 3:33-2.0?