The Country I Fell in Love With

By: Alexis Williams, Part-Time MBA, College Park, Md.

Three weeks ago, I returned home from my first trip out of the country, and it was AMAZING! It was such a surreal experience and felt like a dream. By the end of my trip, I didn’t want to return home because I had fallen in love with South Africa. We went to Johannesburg and Cape Town, which are very different cities and provided a different prospective then that of the U.S.

One thing I noticed about the culture in South Africa, is that there is more of an emphasis on the quality of time than the quantity of time you spend doing something. What I mean is that food came slower, but you were able to enjoy the company you were with longer and the end product was so good! The food there was DELICIOUS!  It is a stark difference from the U.S. or the Northeast mindset and that is not to say that we don’t enjoy the time we spend with the people around us, it’s just we are always just go, go, go.

I learned so much about myself, how to immerse myself into a different culture and how to soak it all in. During our trip we visited many companies in different industries and spoke about what they do, their issues and what it is like to conduct business in South Africa. South Africa like any country has its unique issues, but the apartheid left such drastic issues and hurtles for the country. The poverty is high among more than 40% of the country. That was so shocking to me, especially to see it, but some of the organizations we met with and consulted for, were trying to change the status quo and make a difference.

Even with all of its challenges, South Africa was breathtaking, filled with such nice people, and a trip of firsts for me. I went on a Safari, played with baby lion cubs, tried Ostrich and Antelope, saw an entire city from Table Mountain, went to Robben Island, bargained at the markets, etc. One thing I know for sure, I will be going back to South Africa because there was so much more I wasn’t able to see. Until next time!

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