This first half of the summer has been amazing and I guess it all starts from the four hour flight I took a couple of weeks ago. I was so excited about finally traveling to another African country which was my goal this summer. I didn’t know what to expect and I was definitely quite anxious. It felt like I was reliving the time I travelled to the US for the first time for school. The only difference now was that my parents weren’t with me and my left sock was soaked in soda because the person sitting next to me had accidentally spilled his drink on my feet. Beyond that, this summer was filled with more interesting experiences and learning moments.
The first thing that I will never seem to get used to is how the weather is quite different from back home. The contrast between a hot day and a chilly night in South Africa and Eswatini was a quite intriguing. I guess now I’m more appreciative of the warm weather back home and how 60 degrees fahrenheit is widely perceived as freezing temperature in Nairobi.
The most significant moment was definitely working on a film project with Helen, Megan, Jasmine and Lucy (otherwise known as the gimbal girls). I can’t help but think about the project meetings we had and all the work we put into the film. We bonded in such a short time over long hours of brainstorming, trips to the Mbabane center and Manzini, bringing our ideas to life and discovering new sides to our personalities. Our final film made all the effort worth it and I’m so proud of what we were able to accomplish. On a lighter note, I’m also elated that I’ve learnt way more on making videos and taking pictures and now I cringe at some of the photos I took on Auto months ago.
The highlight of these past couple of weeks, however, was making such amazing friends and I hope to see them again in the fall. I’m looking forward to Saybrook Buttery nights with Lucy(once I figure out where the Saybrook Buttery is), Branford dinners with Helen and Jasmine, doing the same dance with Megan (right after she finally joins the Yale Danceworks group), going to Kellen’s and Heeral’s duty nights(actually meant for first years) and hanging out with Jordan and Jaz.
I’m flying to Kenya tomorrow and as much as I’m excited to go back home and eat the world’s greatest chapattis, (I miss my family too in addition to the food) my heart sinks at the thought of leaving. I’m also sad because I now have to do work that I’ve been postponing for months that is due in a week. However, after having such a great experience in South Africa and Eswatini I’m definitely looking forward to traveling to Ghana and Zimbabwe for my summer job- exploring other beautiful countries in the continent.