Sunday, December 14, 2008

saying cheers to south africa (for now)

Well, a couple of months ago I posted a passionate little number about my dream to move to South Africa. I did move there, got a job, tried to work again with several orphanages, bought a car, and networked for over a year with people who have become some of my closest friends. But...sometimes things just don't work out like we've planned. About a month into my journey I couldn't shake the anxious feeling I'd had the first four weeks. I just can't quite explain how I felt. It seemed that nothing I was really trying to accomplish was "working". That's when the lightbulb sort of went off and after a few days of fighting the promptings I was getting to turn around and come back home, I finally really decided that it was the best decision. It's difficult to give up a dream, especially if you are a stubborn goat like me. This is what I thought I wanted for years. However, as soon as I made the decision to return to Salt Lake City and be with my family I started feeling at peace. The only thing I really know is that God works in mysterious ways. I don't regret for a second moving to South Africa. I marvel at the beauty this country has to offer and it's always full of a few surprises. I am constantly reminded when I travel around Southern Africa that God exists. I am convinced that when Heavenly Father created the earth his masterpiece was Africa. I treasure the friendships that I have made. The people of South Africa are so willing to help and show a traveler around. It's amazing. I will miss the braais, the rugby, the animals, the roadtrips, the children, the rooibos tea, the beautiful accents and language, the culture and the sun more than I can describe. But mostly I will miss the wonderful people that I met along the way. Just more reason to visit again and again and again. Already planning the next trip!

If there is anything I really want to say from this post it's that when one door closes another opens. Closing this chapter on South Africa has already opened up the opportunity to follow another dream for me. I will be starting a Master's in Education and Culinary School in January. Yes, that is going to be a lot of school at once, but why wait? It's been nice to take a couple of years off of studying, to live in Connecticut and South Africa and get some traveling out of the way, but hitting the books again just feels right and hopefully in about a year and half I will be fufilling my other dream to teach cooking classes to teenagers and children. And the greatest part of being teacher will be having three months a year to visit my favorite places around the world. How sensational is that!?

For now, I am back in Salt Lake City just enjoying my family and the holidays. Tonight is our Harris Family Nativity Sing A Long and for sure there will be pics. Stay tuned!