Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It's the weirdest thing I have ever experienced. You spend five months of your life in a wonderful place, say your goodbyes, hop on a 18 our plane through Senegal and Washington DC, where you almost lose your laptop at the airport (how ironic would that be?), try like a ten year old to figure out your cell phone, and enjoy your first bagel and good coffee in five months, and then hop on a plane to Boston. You are walking down the airport hallway and suddenly you here footsteps and your little brother is upon you and then your dad is there and suddenly everything, Cape Town, Africa, just feels like a dream. Like you just woke up from an incredible dream.

I am sitting in my bed right now at 4 in the morning because I went to be at 830, and despite my best attempts I am jetlagged. I am enjoying free internet, sitting in my room with all its familiar smells. The drive home from Boston was a blur. I got home, hugged my mother forever, tackled my crazy pooch, and took a shower. Letting the water fall over my face without holding up a crappy showerhead was unexplainable. It was the best shower of my life. My little brother, who suddenly has a girlfriend and a license, drove me to get iced coffee from Dunkin and then around Leominster, making me feel just bizarre. There are no mountains. Everything looks exactly the same. By this time I was already feeling exhausted. After getting delicious chicken parm from Athens (something I have missed beyond belief) and drinking the wine I brought home for my parents, I gave out presents and we looked at some pictures before everyone got tired. I passed out to my first Red Sox game of the season (sox, yanks).

I feel the weirdest I have ever felt. Everything is just so green. My house smells the same. Was it all a dream? It's all so familiar, yet so foreign. I feel at the same time so connected to home yet like an outsider looking in. I feel both incredibly sad and overcome with happiness. I need to relax a little bit, stop expecting what is impossible to expect, and accept that after everything, I am a different person. I have changed, though I have no idea how to articulate how. Maybe I have finally grown up? We'll see. The one thing I do know is that I am so happy to be home.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


This morning I woke up so early because I was excited and incredibly anxious. After a great last run up to campus, and a terrible last shower in my disgusting dog bath tub, I got coffee for the last time with my buddy Noz who I met through class. Then a group of us drove to Sea Point, got sandwiches, and ate them on the grass promenade right along the sea. We hung around there all day enjoying the beautiful weather and the incredible view of the Atlantic, and playing on the swings and sea saw, until the sunset (my last sunset in Cape Town). Then I came back and finished up packing, and walked over to my Zambian friend Keki's apartment to say bye. We had a great conversation, and she revealed to me that I was the only American friend she has ever had. Then Jack, Aaron, Nox, and I had a last dinner at Buena Vista Social Cafe. Amazingly delicious.

Goodbyes are rough, especially since Cape Town has been home for 5 months. I am so happy that this last day was memorable. I have loved this incredible city so much, and I know that when I look out over Table Mountain as I fly out tomorrow, I will feel a pang of regret that it couldn't have lasted just a little bit longer. It's bittersweet, but I think that I am very much ready to say goodbye. Cape Town has given me everything I could have asked for, and I will always be grateful for this. For everything.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

This is it.

Finals are over, and after three or four awesome days off, I have one more day in Cape Town. I still have a TON of packing, goodbyes, and last minute things to take care of, but I'm hoping to do something cool tomorrow on my last day (maybe Kirstenbosch gardens if it's nice).

There is so much to say about these five months that I don't even know where to begin. I really think that a lot of what I've learned here will only hit me once I get back home. Despite the fact that I have absolutely loved this country and its people, I am just so excited to get on that plane and know that I'll be heading back to my family, friends, and everything that is familiar.

At this point, I know things here didn't turn our exactly how I had expected. I didn't make service my primary focus, which I am pretty surprised about. Classes were pretty disappointing, and I didn't get as involved with UCT as I probably could have. But the things I did have the chance to do, the people (American, South African, and more) that I met, the experiences I have had here have all changed me. I feel it, even though it's difficult to comprehend at this point. And to me, that is the most exciting thing of all.

One more day, and I will do my best to enjoy every minute of it.