Two weeks into my time in South Africa and I was starting to feel overwhelmed. My second day here I read about a Sir Fabien, a rhino that had been killed, poached actually. This rhino had notoriety because of his best friend was a pug. At first when I picked up the paper and saw the story, I thought it was going to be a cute story about their friendship but sadly it was not. Then we toured Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth where you drive from nice upper and middle-class neighborhoods to 3rd world conditions. Then I came to campus excited to start my internship and working with students. On my first day I had a meeting with one student and then another came to see me twice to try and set a meeting to have a tutorial. It just seemed that everywhere I looked there is so much work to be done and I was starting to feel mentally paralyzed by it.
Then I remembered the story about the little kid and the starfish. The last time I’d heard the story was a fundraising dinner for the TriCounty Animal Shelter in St. Cloud, MN. The executive director was talking about the work they do at the shelter and how overwhelming it can be at times. However, she keeps it in her mind that the shelter is making a huge difference to the individual animals they place in homes. You can’t save them all but to the ones you do, its a lifechanger. With this in mind I changed the name of my blog to Star Thrower as a way to keep my focus on the ones that I am able to help. I want to keep this concept at the forefront while I am here so I can continue to be productive and have a rewarding experience helping those students that I am able to help.