Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 15: Reasons to be Thankful

Post by Kelly Perfect

Well it’s official; this week is our last week in Windhoek. Our final integrative projects are finished, the packing has begun, and we are all busy digesting last night’s Thanksgiving Day feast. Throughout the house there are a lot of mixed feelings about leaving the place we have called home for the last three months. Some of us are excited to get back and see our families while others are begging to stay for another semester, but today we can forget all of that and celebrate being together. This semester has certainly been one of challenges, both big and small, but what has gotten us through are all of the incredible people we have met. 

As we sat around the table last night eating our turkey and stuffing I began to realize just how much I have to be grateful for. Of course the opportunity to be here studying in Namibia has been amazing, but I really think it’s the little things, the routine of every day that has made this experience so great. I am so grateful that I have been able to live in a beautiful house and wake up every morning to Sara, Eveline, and Junobe greeting us as we stumble through the kitchen, still trying to open our eyes all the way. I am grateful that I have had the support of my roommates in times when I felt like giving up, and that I now have friends all over the world to visit. I am grateful for all of our professors who have invested their lives in helping us grow as individuals and for all that they have contributed to making that happen. And I am grateful that I can sit here now writing this next to the pool as I eat yesterday’s left over mashed potatoes and work on my tan.

This semester has truly been something to be grateful for and for me this week has been one of the best of the last fourth months. To think when I arrived here I was an innocent traveler on my first trip outside of the US and that three days ago I presented for 30 minutes on development in Namibia blows my mind. I think that in both preparing for our own integrative projects and seeing the work others put into theirs it finally became clear that we really have done something here. Throughout all of the travel seminars and guest speakers and readings, something has changed inside all of us. It may not be obvious by just looking, or even by talking, but something has changed. It may take us months or even years to integrate all that we have learned here back into our lives in the US, and although we are leaving Windhoek we are not leaving it behind. It is almost impossible to describe the growth we have made, so instead of trying I will just remain grateful. 

Students and staff at Thanksgiving Dinner

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