Musings: Five Things That Will Be Weird About South Africa

Joburg Nights - South Africa
I've been thinking a lot about what's going to make this trip so different than anything else I've every experienced. This is what I came up with:

1. People of color will be in the majority. It's really hard for me to imagine a country where this is true. I wonder what it will feel like.

2. Nelson Mandela is on his deathbed. What would happen if they took him off of life support while I was there?

3. The language barrier. When I went to Spain, I still more or less understood what everyone was saying (once I got past the accent, that is.) In South Africa, and especially Johannesburg, a good number of people speak English. However, there are all these tribal languages and Afrikaans that I can't even begin to understand.

4. It's winter there. In one day, the temperature can go from 40 degrees to 70 and back down to 40. I forgot what 40 degrees feels like.

5. Not knowing anyone. I went to Spain by myself but I lived with a friend I met through a summer exchange program.  Even though I hadn't met her family, I knew Pilar. In South Africa, I'll stay with the sister of a family friend and the people she's set me up to serve with. I haven't met her face to face yet and it will be strange, yet thrilling, to actually meet the person I've been emailing for so long.

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  1. Kristyn @ Poppy The BlogJuly 9, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    I'm really sad about Nelson Mandela--he is one of my biggest role models and one of my goals was to one day shake his hand. It's sad to think that will never happen now.

    The language barrier might be a little difficult, but you will work your way around it! When I went to Germany, I barely spoke German but everyone was very accommodating! And I'm sure you will get along with the people you stay with :) That's probably always the most nerve-wracking part about traveling alone, but it's so fun getting to know people and I'm sure you will end up super close!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Kristyn. It is really sad that Nelson Mandela is reaching the end of his days.

  3. There's a lot of things to think about in a place that is unfamiliar and this post has inspired me to do my own about moving to Japan. I wish you the best with your trip! I'm sure you'll have amazing experiences and meet a lot of people!

  4. I'd lov e to see you reflect on japan! It's a great way to process and prepare.


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