By Jonathan Jacobson, Brevard Center Sophomore
I was on a plane. This was not a normal plane. It was a plane that would transport me into a new dimension of thought, time and experience. I remember the times before this plane ride, the times I had in Hoboken. I was an extremely unhappy boy. I was fighting physically and verbally with my mom every day.
This plane was going to be a temporary escape from Hell itself. I was so happy and excited to leave Hoboken, but at the same time, sad that I was leaving my home of America and leaving my dad behind. I never knew if I was going to see him again. When I landed I was so unaware of my surroundings. I saw these people speaking in a different accent and a different tongue and I wondered what they were saying.
Who were these strange people looking at me while on their bicycles? Why were these mothers carrying their babies in blankets wrapped around their bodies? Why was everyone who greeted me a black person with a strange, but gentle, heartwarming accent? And, why did the policemen wear different clothes than your everyday NYPD officer? All I knew was that I was in a strange place that my mom called “South Africa”. I knew that my mom was from this place and that I was going to be living with my grandparents who lived there.
I’d like to say that, all in all, it was a great place to be and I benefited a lot from being there. I learned how to be hospitable, which is more an African tradition than an American one. I learned how to have empathy and sympathy for the poor, disabled and less fortunate because I attended a school for the physically disabled for two years. I also picked up a South African accent which I will never lose.
I hope I will see all of you in South Africa again sometime in the future because it is, truly, a beautiful place.