Coming to South Africa on my own was a huge risk for me, but knowing that Connect-123 was there and easily reachable allowed me to know that if anything were to happen I had somewhere to go, while still being independent. Connect-123 set me up with a small environmental, urban-greening organization only a 5 minute walk from my apartment in Cape Town where I acted as a Public Relations and Communications/Marketing Assistant. I was able to be creative and contribute valuable input to the team, in a relaxed, yet efficient work atmosphere surrounded by kind people who are truly enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. I was given the opportunity to attend one of their major projects, called “Trees for Zambia,” a reforestation festival held in Livingstone, Zambia, which only provided more insight to a life I wasn’t aware of before.
To describe my experience in Cape Town outside of work to anybody over the internet would in no way do it justice. It was absolutely incredible. My advice is to take absolute advantage of any and every opportunity that you’re presented with. A friendly tip: create an itinerary! A few friends and I created a calendar of when we wanted to do what; whether it be visit the penguins at Boulders Beach, skydive, bungee jump, visit Robben Island, hike Table Mountain, and much, much more! In only 10 weeks I learned more about my field of interest, myself, and what I am capable of than I ever imagined. I encourage anybody interested to take advantage of this truly awesome experience. Set any fears or doubts aside and take a risk. I did, and it was the best decision I could have made!