Roza in South Africa

Roza is a junior Hunt Scholar and Mustang Scholar majoring in communication studies in Meadows School of the Arts and political science in Dedman College. During summer 2011, she is participating in SMU-in-South Africa, a four-week study program that introduces students to South African history and culture. She plans to take two courses: “The African Diaspora: Literature and Culture of Black Liberation” as well as “Music Theater Workshop, West Side Story.”

Roza then travels to Washington, D.C., as the 2011 Jack C. and Annette K. Vaughn Foreign Service and International Affairs intern, through SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies. She is working at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars with the center’s Global Health Initiative.

An unforgettable summer

As I reminisce on my summer, I feel nothing short of absolute gratitude. My internship experience has taught me more than I could ever have imagined. I am a better researcher, writer, thinker and worker because of it. More important, I am more aware of global affairs, especially in the areas of population, health and the environment. My stay in DC has taught me to be more confident and independent. I had never lived alone for an extended period of time, or had to transport myself, cook my own meals, or navigate an unfamiliar city without my family’s help, but now that I have traveled the journey, I look forward to doing it all over again. I am [...]

2011-08-25T22:33:00+00:00 August 25th, 2011|Roza in South Africa|

Exciting work in D.C.

As the summer gets closer to wrapping up, the more I realize how amazing my whole summer has been. Honestly, this has been the best summer of my life. South Africa is definitely hard to top, but adding DC on top of it, unbeatable ... I guess I’ll have to see what next summer has in store. My internship has been keeping me busy, but it’s the good kind of busy. I’m grateful that unlike most DC internships, I get to do actual work; not the typical internship jobs where you copy papers and answer phone calls all day. I spend my time researching international issues I care about - population, health and the environment. I have gotten [...]

2011-08-04T15:31:31+00:00 August 4th, 2011|Roza in South Africa|

Busy in D.C.

Yet another week has gone by, and D.C. only keeps getting better. My internship has really picked up its pace, and now I stay busy on weekdays from 9-5 doing Wilson Center work. The staff I work with is really incredible, and I enjoy my responsibilities. The best part of my internship is that I get to attend all of the Center's lectures and forums, and for someone who loves international affairs as much as I do, it definitely suits me well. Thus far I have attended lectures pertaining to maternal health in Kenya, U.S.-Arab relations, environmental issues in Tanzania and the launching of a new book by a Wilson Center Scholar, Rock the Casbah, which addresses the [...]

2011-07-21T16:38:39+00:00 July 21st, 2011|Roza in South Africa|

And on to D.C.

On the Capitol lawn I didn't get much time to sit and reminisce about my South Africa experience with my family because my flight to Washington, D.C., was at 7 am the next morning.  I have spent exactly a week in D.C., and I must say I have had quite an introduction to the city. Besides the few complications of trying to adjust to new means of transportation and familiarizing myself with the venues, I have enjoyed my stay thus far. At the World Peace Talk On Saturday I had the honor of listening to the Dalai Lama give a speech on World Peace on the west lawn of the Capitol building. Since I missed him [...]

2015-01-06T14:31:02+00:00 July 12th, 2011|Roza in South Africa|

Goodbye, South Africa

The three weeks I have spent in South Africa will forever remain the best memories of my life. I have met friends I plan to keep in touch with forever, and my eyes have seen some of God's most beautiful creations. Although I hate to leave it all behind, I'm looking forward to coming back and reliving those movements. After my wonderful experience, I cannot help but be an advocate of study abroad programs. I am not going to lie; initially I had reservations about my journey. I did not think that I would find studying abroad as enjoyable as everyone else made it out to be.  However, now that I have gone through it, I understand why there [...]

2011-07-14T22:29:41+00:00 July 6th, 2011|Roza in South Africa|

Long road to equality

Nothing makes you forget  about all your problems and worries like visiting District Six, Robben Island, and learning all about the political prisoners who fought against apartheid. During the apartheid era, District Six was proclaimed a whites-only area, so all the non-white residents were uprooted from there and displaced, many of them left homeless. To walk around the buildings and the area where only blacks were allowed to enter just a few years ago, brought back the same feelings I had while I was on the Civil Rights Pilgrimage visiting the Little Rock Central National Historic Site. Once the tour of District Six concluded, we made our way to Robben Island. Robben Island by itself, separate of its history, is [...]

2011-07-11T16:53:37+00:00 July 1st, 2011|Roza in South Africa|

On to Cape Town

We took our final examination for the African literature course and finished with all our classes; at least all the learning that happens in an inside classroom setting concluded. Now the last three days will be spent on excursions in Cape Town. Leaving Durban behind is one of the hardest things I have had to do. I cannot help but get close to people, especially when the people shower you with so much affection and enrich your experience. Part of me wishes that I didn't get too attached to these people; perhaps then, saying goodbye would not have been as emotionally draining as it was. My three weeks of stay in Durban contain memories and friends of a lifetime. Sadly, all [...]

2011-07-11T16:54:02+00:00 June 29th, 2011|Roza in South Africa|

Birthday in South Africa

Never in my life did I think I would celebrate my 20th birthday away from home, much less outside of the country. As much as I would have enjoyed to have my family and friends around, I cannot say it was not a unique experience turning 20 in South Africa.  My friends took me shopping to one of Durban's well-known malls. After shopping, I had a taste of traditional South African Braai, also known as BBQ. One of the students I met while studying here insisted on throwing me a party, so he welcomed me and all my classmates to his house for BBQ…I still cannot get over how loving and welcoming every single African I've met has been. Spending [...]

2011-07-11T16:49:50+00:00 June 26th, 2011|Roza in South Africa|

Wild animals and Zulu dancing

Before we got back to the books and papers, we had one more adventure for the week: an African Safari!! We had to drive three hours to our destination, but once we got there it was all worth it. We saw rhinos, giraffes, elephants, and zebras, among other wild animals. We were hoping to see a lion, but unfortunately that didn't happen. Once we returned from our safari, dinner was waiting outside. At first I thought to myself, it's already cold enough inside, what kind of reasoning is it to have dinner outside? Well, that is until I stepped outside, saw the scorching fire that was blazing and the buffet of food that was all ready and waiting [...]

2011-07-01T22:31:30+00:00 June 23rd, 2011|Roza in South Africa|

Day at the beach

To celebrate a successful performance, my classmates and I went to the beach and had a relaxing day. The beach in Durban is absolutely gorgeous. Of course being at a beach resort anywhere is exciting, but to have it topped off with such beautiful scenery and perfect weather is even more exciting. Even as a fellow African, I would have never imagined such beautiful places existed in South Africa, but gladly I was proved wrong. We all had such a great time relaxing at the beach. After the beach, we went out to an Italian restaurant and concluded the day with delicious food and great conversations.

2011-07-01T22:32:19+00:00 June 21st, 2011|Roza in South Africa|
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