I recently returned home from my abroad term in Cape Town, South Africa. Wow what a fantastic trip! Between the sky diving, bungee jumping, safari and shark cage diving it was an incredible adventure that I will never forget. The fact that I got to spend it with fellow teammate Kelsey Johnson, and for a few days Courtney Bennett, made it all the more sweet. I lived in downtown Cape Town in a small apartment with Kelsey and got to experience the city first-hand. Living in an urban environment was a big adjustment as I have never lived in a city before and am used to the close-knit community of Hanover.
Table Mountain frames the city, and on the other side of it are the most beautiful beaches in the world. While there, I hiked Table Mountain with men's lacrosse player, Nikki Dysenchuk, and we both were surprised at how challenging it was as we had to quickly climb the steep 3,567 foot ascent to catch the last cable car down. I also went sky diving and liked it so much that I tried to go again with Kelsey, but she was very thankful when it got cancelled due to high winds. As most of you have seen, we had a crazy experience on the Garden Route with our good friends the ostriches. At the end of my trip, I was fortunate enough to go on a safari and it is something that I hope you all get to experience some day.
Even though it appears I was just a tourist, I actually spent a good deal of time working at two hospitals while in Cape Town. Both hospitals were government owned, which meant that we were primarily assisting the 80% of people that did not have health insurance. The first hospital I worked at was Groote Schuur (do not try to pronounce) in the Department of Neurosurgery, where I was able to go into the operating room daily and learn about the various procedures. It was unbelievable to witness brain operations so close and to see the precision with which they did their jobs. Towards the end of my trip, I started working at Red Cross Children's Hospital where I conducted research and helped with data collection on traumatic brain injury in children. While many of the kids at the hospital were in bad condition, their strength and spirit was uplifting. I feel lucky to have had such great work experience and it made my time in Cape Town truly worthwhile.
While it was a once in a lifetime experience, I am really looking forward to seeing all of my teammates and working hard towards another Ivy Title for the Big Green! Happy Holidays and GBG!