Archive 2008 - 2019

Semester in Cape Town: Part 16

by Bella Tobin

 Friday, June 1st,  I'll be homeward bound. I have two more exams -- mathematical programming on Wednesday and statistics on Thursday, and then some time to say goodbye to South Africa.

I've changed a lot here, not that I realize it; but I notice my friends have drastically changed, and it's likely I have as well. It's been an incredible experience that has changed my life. Meeting the people, experiencing life here, seeing so much of South Africa and facing the obstacles along the way, have changed my perspective and taught me a lot. A friend said "South Africa has a lot of problems, but it doesn't have apartheid”. One thing I've learned here is what you don't have is more important than what you do have.  It's not important that you don't have the latest gadget, or that you don't have the coolest clothes.  It's about appreciating the good things. 

There are a lot of flaws in the government, and yes, it is a violent country, but it is important to focus on the good things. The economic status of South Africa is improving and there are less racial barriers. Many people are really happy here despite the bad things. It's important to appreciate all the good things here. The beautiful landscape, the wonderful weather, the friendly faces, the divine food, and the opportunities given to us. It's important to want to change the unfortunate things and take action to change things, but if you just dwell on it, it won't help anything.
One huge thing I've realized since being here is how incredible my life is. I mean really. I don't mean to sound like I'm high and mighty, but I do have the best family in the entire world and better friends than I could imagine, and as much as I complain about UVM, it is a great university.
I love South Africa and it will always hold a special place in my heart.  I hope some day to come back, but I cannot wait to be reunited with everyone back home.
It has been an experience of a lifetime. 

Comments (2)

Bell, your stories were very much appreciated. Truly a great opportunity. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

Pam Zicko | 2012-06-05 22:47:33

Bella, I have watched your writings from South Africa here. Your older brother and my son went to school together, graduating in 2005. Glad you had a great time! Great story!

Maureen | 2012-06-02 00:08:27