Postcards From Africa
I ended my program with climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro which was my favorite part of the trip. That experience also introduced me to Tanzanians with the same love for mountains that I have. Being in Africa taught me so many things and has widened my perspective on the way people live around the world. It has showed me how much I don’t know about places in the world, giving me a stronger desire to travel more in the future and learn more. Seeing new landscapes and animals reminds me how magical the world is. Spending time in Africa also shows me how much we are not taught living in the United States about the rest of the world. Everyone in Tanzania can tell me what our political system is and who our president is without having a newspaper or TV. Although, many people in the United States don’t even know where Tanzania is. We need to find more ways of educating our country about the world around us. Therefore I feel like traveling and studying abroad is extremely important to our understanding of the world and learning about yourself.
Although I am very grateful and happy for my experience, I had a very tough time abroad. I felt a bit trapped by my program and would suggest to others that are looking into doing a study abroad to make sure you know exactly what your program will be like. I want to keep exploring in my life, but I have now learned that the structure and the stationary nature of my program in Tanzania wasn’t the right choice for me. I missed my freedom and the way I experience nature back home with biking, climbing, and more. To add to these feeling my boyfriend of over a year broke up with me while I was abroad making my trip a bit difficult for me. The culture was amazing to learn about, but many aspects of sexism was hard to handle. I want to be able to say, like many others from my program, that it was the best time of my life and I never wanted to leave. But I was ready to leave by the end, and it was one of the hardest experiences of my life. By having this challenge although I learned a lot about myself and what I desire for my life. I feel so much more enlightened and I do think everyone should travel as much as you can in life.
Thanks Africa for everything you have giving me, and thank you Washington for welcoming me home 🙂