Student Survey Responses to 2015 South Africa Trip
Life changing is the way I would explain my trip. It surpassed all my expectations.
This was an experience I will never forget! I had so much fun interacting with so many kids, and I noticed that even though they don't have a lot, they are the happiest people I've ever met. In addition, it made me feel that I am actually improving the lives of many children, without working extremely hard. Overall, this trip has been the highlight of my year!
Excellently planned and life changing. Good job Cathy and Robert.
Prior to this trip, I was stuck in a small mental bubble where all I could think of was my obsession with boys, clothes, and school. My biggest concerns were what I should wear tomorrow to impress a boy, and what activities I should participate in to make my college application look decent. That small, immature mindset slowly melted away over the course of the trip.
This is my second year on the trip, but the impact it had on me was just as potent if not more so.
It really was life-changing and inspiring seeing kids and families who live in such dire conditions yet always appear joyful and hopeful. What was also interesting was the overall friendliness, welcoming nature, and happiness of the people considering their circumstances. That and many other things are very inspiring and cause a giant change in my perspective on life.
I want this trip to be the start of something I’m going to do with my life and helping others
Seeing people and children living in less-fortunate circumstances is an experience every person should have. It was inspiring to meet to connect with kids my age, and I will never forget them. It was fulfilling to get my hands dirty and paint murals on preschool walls.
For them to open up their home to us and prepare a delicious meal was just so amazing.
I will definitely remember this trip for the rest of my life. I learned many new things on this trip, about South Africa and 3rd world environments as well. This trip will definitely have a lasting impact in my life. Now I have perspective towards how privileged I am to be an American living in stable household.
I will remember this trip forever because it was my first experience seeing first-hand the extreme poverty that some people ensure. Working with younger children and teenagers my age really opened my eyes and made me appreciate what I have at home. I was also incredibly inspired by the strength and optimism displayed by every person we met, despite the fact that they are surviving in much less than I ever could have expected.
The effect this trip had on me changed how I thought I couldn't do something, it was an extremely rewarding experience and I hope to do it again next year
To see the world with a purpose while changing it for the better was an amazing opportunity for me. My attitude on life has definitely changed; I came back from Africa with a renewed appreciation for life's little blessings, whether it be heater systems in my house, running hot water, food always on the table, and paved roads. Things I take for granted weren't always the things that people in Africa had.
An incredible experience.
I saw kids my age who lived in one room tin shacks, and I could not believe it when people told me that the food they just ate was their one and only meal of the day or even week. Despite all of these difficult living conditions, these people were the happiest people I've ever met. They all appreciated everything they had, and I really admired their tenaciousness to be living in that kind of life.
This trip taught me to appreciate how blessed we all are. It also showed me that the human spirit can thrive even in the worst of conditions. The people here may not own a lot or have any money, but they all have a deeper appreciation for life and family than anyone I have met before.
This trip was life changing in that I've never been happier than when I was giving back to the community. I became very attached to many people there. Although our work in South Africa isn't going to save the world, every little bit counts, and my heart is nearly overflowing with love and happiness after contributing to the efforts of this trip.
This trip definitely changed how I see our world. We are so fortunate here, and what we would think is not a lot of help, can help the lives of many people. Even though they don't have so much, they are really happy and kind individuals. We all made strong bonds that will carry out throughout our lives and hopefully never break.
The trip was great. I feel way more connected to the world. I do think this experience will have a lasting affect on me. I realized how I have so much and others have so little