Student Blogs

Tutaonana Afrika ☮

December 11th, 2010 hmcane12

In a few short hours I will be leaving KBC.  I still am in denial.  I am not a very emotional person but over these past few hours I really have felt everything from sadness to excitement, nervousness to being completely overwhelmed, happiness to humbled.  I guess going back to America has left a lot of us a little uneasy.  Scared to try and attempt to answer the question, “How was Africa?” Scared to jump right back into the lifestyle of Americans.  Scared to go back to the “needing to make sure you’re in a socially appropriate outfit before stepping outside the door.” Scared to go to stores like Sam’s Club and Costco when here people are dying on the roads daily from food  and water scarcity.  And for me, scared that I will resent people that don’t understand that this other side of the world exists. And how excessive our lives in America are. And beyond scared that I will change back into that. I don’t mean to bash on anyone in America because that was totally and utterly me only 3 months ago. I just wonder if it’s possible to live out this lifestyle  in a college atmosphere? It’s tough.  Not to say we’re not all pumped to go back and eat cookie dough and see our families.  It will just be hard to arrive home during one of the most commercial and materialistic holidays of the year.  And I know I can’t base every future decision on standards of living in africa—“I can’t eat dessert because they don’t have that in Africa.” But I just hope we here are able to open the eyes of as many people in America that are willing to listen.  I just need to remember that not everyone was lucky enough to have their lives bring them here…and I can’t punish people for not understanding fully.  I will just be so thankful that those people are willing to hear of the realities of another side.  I guess it’s like one huge exercise.  We got here and it was tough.  We were winded; the adjustments were challenging until we found our pace.  We chugged along this whole trip, through the uphills and downhills, until today; it has ended.  After the exercise, you ache and hurt.  Leaving here will not be easy.  There are so many unknowns and there will be so much reverse culture shock; it’s going to hurt.  But from any pain or soreness, you build strength.  Whether we have realized it yet or not, we’re different people now than we were on September 4th.  Going back to our old lifestyles may be a smack in the face.  But once we find our pace again, we can embrace the mark that Africa has left on us & use it with the best intentions.  Thanks for all of the emails and support throughout this whole trip, you have no idea how nice it is to hear that people actually enjoy learning about this culture because it is one that we can grow immensely from.  So thank you for that.  See you soon!

☮ Hannah

5 Responses to “Tutaonana Afrika ☮”

  1. Liam says:

    you are a great writer Han. I look forward to hearing some stories in person! Safe journey please!

  2. Karen Todd says:

    Hannah,

    I started to read your blog quite awhile ago because I have college age children, one of whom went to Dublin and the other to Spain. I thought it would be interesting to read your blog because you went to a altogether different continent. I have learned so much reading your blog. At times, I felt like I was on the trip with you. You did such an excellent job explaining what life was like for you and the people you met. I really appreciated all the pictures you included. They were not only beautiful, but allowed me to better see and understand what you were talking about. I know it must have taken quite a bit of time to put it all together. You have a real talent for teaching (in a fun way)some of what you have experienced in Africa. It was obvious how much you care for the people and the ecological impact that we humans have on the land. Thank you for sharing your words with the rest of the Holy Cross community. I understand more about Africa having read this blog. Enjoy being home with your family. I hope I get the opportunity to meet you when you get back to campus. My office is in SMITH 329.

  3. Karen Todd says:

    Hannah,

    I started reading your blog because I have two college students who went to Ireland and Spain. I thought it would be interesting your blog because you went to a totally different continent. I totally enjoyed reading your words and seeing all pictures that you posted. I feel like I was with you on your trip. I learned a lot about Africa and its people in the process. Thank you! I could see that you really care a lot for the people and the land itself. You really have a talent for writing and bringing everything to life for the reader. I hope I get the chance to meet you when you return to campus. I work in SMITH 329. Stop by if you ever have a moment. I hope you enjoy your winter break and the holidays with your family. I know they will be so glad to have you home.

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