Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Where A Piece Of My Heart Remains: South Africa Memories

I've been dreaming of the South African ways, the people, that sunset (below), and my trip back in 2008. How has nearly 6 years already gone by? My forever life-changing experience, many ah-ha type moments, and those come to Jesus times all happened during my travel abroad.

I have never forgotten those moments in rural areas where people spent nearly all their monthly income to take a trip to the TB clinic...only hoping they'd be one of the very few to be seen. And unfortunately, many of them were the unlucky ones that had to turn around to head home. I can still remember the smell of pressure ulcers...ones that started on someone's coccyx and tunneled up their back. It's a smell that we, as nurses, will never smell here. I miss being able to sit on the ground to play with the orphans because we weren't allowed to carry them or show them what love can be like. For that one moment, you feel like you made a small difference in the world by just giving them more touches than they would otherwise in a day. And I always think of some of the most wonderful people I met during that time (my host family, the other travelers, and best of all, Trevor & Nicole!). South Africa is a place I think about often, dream of the time we can go back, and is a place that will forever have a piece of my heart until I can set foot on the SA ground again. 

South Africa was a place I traveled to, thinking I was about to change the world (something you think you can do in your early 20s), but returned home only to realize it changed me. We all have our
life changing experiences...this was just the beginning of mine.

Edith Benson Baby Home
(provides a home from orphaned children, with many of them having HIV/AIDS)

Table Mountain (above)
The tip of South Africa: Cape Point (below)

Some other friends we came across:

Would you believe that I had just met Ty right before leaving and I wanted nothing to do with a relationship at that time...thank the Lord he was still around and available the following year or the Stanwees would not currently be a happenin' thing.

Here's to all those memories of South Africa, all sorts of life changing experiences,
and to hoping we get see the beauty of SA together someday!