The world is a book, and those who don't travel read but one page, it's true. And recently, someone told me that at times those moments that feel like they make up a simple chapter, turn out to be the main plotline of the story. Often on this trip it's seemed like I've been re-reading pages of my life that I have already lived.
This trip to South Africa happened for a reason - everything does. I just have yet to figure out the reason for this trip, which happened on such a whim that there must have been a higher meaning.
Perhaps it was less about my work here, which I've done before, and more about the relationships I built this past month. Each person I worked with taught me something different about myself, whether I wanted or not. Some taught me to be more fun, others taught me to shut my mouth. One pointed out my sometimes faltering self-confidence, others relied on me for support. I learned from them, observed them, and listened to their advice when they would give it to me.
Some of my relationships you wouldn't understand, and I'm not even sure I understand them myself. I had a great bond with some people that others never got to know, and sadly I didn't have enough time to really experience other volunteers to the same extent.
One volunteer even taught me that just because something is far from my mind doesn't mean it won't slap me in the face. It's this relationship that I could write a whole chapter about - or maybe a book.
This last trip, unplanned, might have meant more for my person. Although it was a rollercoaster more for my relationships and interactions instead of emotionally on the projects, it fulfilled something for me that my last two trips did not.
I left home expecting an escape, and that's not what I got, but putting myself on the line to build a rapport with others paid off in the end, even if we had to say goodbye.
I wouldn't change a thing.