Enter to Leave, Leave to Serve

Throughout this journey, I felt like I was being guided to the edge of the mountain (similar to my experience in Cape Town) and told to just sit and observe. There was a sign that my classmates and I drove by when we were leaving Zwelethemba, a township in South Africa, and it read “Enter to Leave, leave to serve”. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the sign, but I did record an audio file to remind myself of the message. For me, it embodies a lot of what the study abroad experience has been like. We enter these communities and learn as much as we can in the allotted time frame. Of course, we were encouraged to give back in any way that we could, whether that was by doing something as simple as listening actively to the stories being told or actually participating in neighborhood events. Then, we leave these communities to go back to our homes and the comfortable lifestyle that I have been fortunate to live in because of where I was born. I feel that this entering and leaving is the first step for me. The next step, according to the quote, though, is now to leave and serve. In what way, you may be asking? At this moment in time, I am not too sure yet. I look forward to figuring it out, though!  In this way, my journey will continue.

I do know that this study abroad experience has been life-changing and that I will continue to reflect on all that I’ve learned for as long as I can. Thank you for accompanying me on my study abroad journey!