By Terri van Iperenburg
On the 3rd of March, I left with 3 of my co-students to George. Off to the hospital to work on my thesis and hopefully get my diploma at the end of June.
The ride to George was amazingly beautiful! We even saw some elephants along the way. The scenery was really different from Cape Town, but as I live in a village in the Netherlands I enjoyed the nature. I learned to love the nature through my boyfriend, who loves hiking and playing around in nature (15 years expierence in scouts does that to you I guess ;)).
When I arrived at the hospital residence I was surprised by the amazing appartment that was given to us. 5 rooms, a shared kitchen, a shared living room, a bath, a shower and 2 toilets. We have very nice neighbours who we wave to. And also we met 2 girls from the UK who have stayed here for a month longer than us.
We went to rent a car this week and got to know the surroundings a little. Further we saw the hospital and hot introduced to a whole bunge of people (HELLO AWKWARD INTRODUCTION SPEECH EVERYTIME). But everyone is very nice and they offered a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on when I am not feeling well. I feel very welcome here and that’s really helping me at the moment.
So I have been writing about all the amazing things happening here and about the awesome things about graduating abroad, but I also have to be honest and let you know about the things that I have been having troubles with over the last few days/weeks.
Graduating in a different country lets you see how much luxuries you have in your own country. For example I don’t have Wifi in the appartment, which makes for a lot of troubles in terms of writing my thesis and a lot of costs for my internet I have to buy every month (maybe now even every half month).
Also as I said before (and as many of you know) I have an amazing boyfriend… Of course he is in the same country as me and we are very blessed that we can do this adventure, but being apart (after being apart for 2 months last summer) has done us both not that good. I can say I have been doing bad! The crying is real everyone… What comes with this is that a lot of people are giving me advice (which of course I appreciate soo much) too focus on school and that the missing each other will pass and that we are here as individuals and people even ask me if I did this for him? This insults me soo much sometimes and makes me sad as well, because of course I am an individual but people will only understand the problem when they experienced it I think (I don’t want to insult anyone, but I want to be honest as well).
The other thing is that organizations work very differently in another country than your own. You’ve worked and experienced some organizations and have made it normal to find certain things (like open and direct communication). It feels weird to see all new things, and the four of us have been tired from all the new experiences. But on the other hand it is super interesting to see how differently people are working and how they communicate (my observation skills are very triggered the whole day haha).
I do get a lot of awesome opportunities from the Hospital so I can develop myself. I am learning to ask for what I want. For example I get to see the psychiatry unit and go to an organization in a ”township” where I can go with a social worker on house calls to see what people need in social support. I’m soo curious to do these things and many more! I will keep you posted on this.
I am very blessed with the amazing people I get to experience this with and want to thank them through here. Thanks guys for being there for me when I need you the most. And also to just have a good time 🙂
Follow Terri on her Blog The Big Adventure