When I boarded the plane for South Africa on 27January, I didn’t really have firm details on anything past the plane ride over. I didn’t know where I was going to be staying. I didn’t have my internship exactly worked out and I for sure didn’t know what I was going to be doing once I got back to the states.
Things have come together piece by piece. When I finally arrived in Port Elizabeth I found out from the student who met me at the airport that I would be living with the rest of the SCSU students at the Summerstrand Hotel. Unlike the rest of the SCSU students, I had no concept of the living conditions here. When I first got here and the staff person was showing me around the hotel, I was still in a jet-lag induced daze. However, after my first night’s sleep I ran around the hotel snapping pictures because I could not believe how nice our accommodations were.
The internship on the other hand took a little while longer to figure. But like Shahzad told us by the time the Spring Break trip came a long the getting started bit would be in the rearview and he was right. Last week I started the second portion of my internship and I’m fast getting acquainted with the academic support services and teaching support services. Yesterday, the teaching support services (and ex-writing center) staff had a welcome tea for the new staff member and me. It was fun because the crew reminded me of other writing center people I’ve met in the Minnesota area. We sat in a circle and each person told about themselves. Afterward the director told me the staff had learned a lot about each other because when you’re at work, you’re focused on the task at hand. There were quite a few people who’d traveled back in the States, Europe, and all over the content of Africa. After hearing my new co-worker describe her time in Ethiopia, I really want to travel there now myself. Not only is it beautiful, the food is delicious but also the people there have a completely different mindset since they were never colonized. Each day I get deeper into the work the former writing center people are doing with teaching development.
Then yesterday morning the final big chunk fell into place when I received my acceptance email from George Mason University! I’m headed to PhD land!!! Of course I don’t know where I’m to live in DC or any of those pesky details yet but I’ve got until August to sort those bits out.