I’ve been back in the states now for a little over 3 weeks and I’m already planning how to go back to South Africa next summer. I had an absolutely incredible experience with EcoLife and I highly recommend anyone interested to apply for the program. I appreciated how much the program was focused on showing us South Africa’s unique take on conservation issues because I had no clue of the system they have set up. It makes me hopeful for a future where conservation and capitalism can coexist and I see myself contributing to that healthy balance. I also think South Africa is a good country to visit to see history in action. I’ve read about Apartheid and America’s own history of slavery in text books, and we are currently dealing with our own race issues, but in South Africa the issues are newer and more apparent, so it was very interesting, if not at times unsettling, seeing all the different perspectives on issues and solutions there.
The rest of my summer will be comprised of finishing my vet school application, taking the GRE again, and getting employed. Most of this envolves cover letters and personal statements, and fortunately this experience is fresh in my mind so I have a lot of material to talk about in my statements. With all of this though, it was challenging living in camping situations for three weeks and I was very happy to come back to my amenities and my bed.