Well...I have been back in California for a couple weeks now and have hardly had a moment to breathe, as you can tell by the delay of my entries. When I first arrived back in the States I gave myself a couple of days to try to get over the jet lag and try to get used to the millions of changes in my life. My mom threw a wonderful welcome home party (Thank you to everyone that came!!) and while I was a bit overwhelmed at that point it was nice to see everyone. The problem with big parties like that though is that you hardly get to spend quality time with anyone, not that I was in any sort of state to do anything quality.
After the initial shock of being back in the States wore off (not sure that shock has completely worn off yet) I jumped right into studying. I had less than two weeks to study for the GRE (an exam required for both vet school and grad school) . So that is what I did. I pretty much locked myself in my parents study and well...studied. Mom was a bit frustrated that I was concentrating so much on my studies and not 'playing' with her. I think she thought she would finally get her daughter back when I returned only to find that some strange version of her daughter had returned but she had a book stuck to the end of her nose and was constantly muttering something about South Africa.
I did get away long enough to go to a football game with a couple of friends, though it was strange to watch a football game after seeing so many rugby games in South Africa. But I did have a good time catching up with old friends and it was nice to be out of the house for a bit.
The big day came and I took the GRE. I thought I completely bombed it (per usual when walking out of a test) but I actually did quite well. I was so relived to just have the darn thing over with! So my Uncle Bill and I went out to lunch at the golf course to celebrate. I was finally able to breathe, but had to jump right back into the mix as my application for vet school was due in 5 days and I had yet to start my personal statement!!
The next five days are a bit of a blurr, there was lots of writing and tons of revision. In the end I think my personal statement turned out quite well. I turned in my application 15 minutes before the cut off and now it is out of my hands. All I can do now is wait. Within two weeks I had taken the GRE, completed my entire application for vet school and turned it all in. A bit hectic but I survived it!!
Now that I am through all of that craziness I have been helping my parents around the house preparing for my brothers wedding. It is going to be such and amazing day. People have already started to arrive and the wedding is not for another week!
I have finally had a moment to catch up with my parents and have been having a great time with them I am also slowly trying to catch up with friends and family, but until after the wedding I think I have been deemed my mothers slave. They have been working me to the bone!!
With all that has been going on I haven't really had time to really reflect on my time in South Africa other than the nostalgia that dominates my heart. My time abroad has changed me in ways that I will probably never be able to explain. My outlook on life has been completely altered and I am not sure if I will ever be able to look at a map again without having my eyes wander down to Cape Town, longing to be there. I will always cherish my time South Africa and hopefully will be able to stay in contact with the many wonderful friends I have met along the way. I have started a 'get Sara to South Africa' fund...so hopefully I will be able to return again sometime in the near future, it all depends on how much change I can find in the seat cushions of my parents couch.
To everyone that has been following my journey, thank you. I am privileged to have been able to share my thoughts and my travels with you. It was great to be able to stay in touch with so many of you and even get to know some of you better than when I left. I will be using this website for the next couple of months for my friends in South Africa, but you are welcome to continue to check in if you would like. I can't promise the same adventures as the last year though. If you would rather not receive these postings be sure to take your name off the mailing list!