One Anamosa resident said a recent study abroad opportunity really put things in perspective for her.
Megan Boone currently attends the University of Northern Iowa and spent July through November abroad in South Africa. A family services major focusing on mental health, Boone said she chose the country for the volunteer opportunities it offered.
Boone volunteered at Little Angels Daycare. The daycare was for kids up to preschool age and took place in the woman’s home who ran it, the size of a small room. The roofs in the township were held down by rocks.
She helped with the kids during their playtime and school work, where the kids used fitness equipment as a playground and the trash outside was used for counting exercises and learning colors.
“I will never forget them as these little ones taught me so much about their culture and for me to be a better person,” she said.
She attended Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth during her time there and said her schooling experience there made her appreciate the American system.
“Our problems are very minor in comparison to theirs,” she said.
There were a pair of riots at the school while she was there, one concerning a rape on campus and another dealing with tuition.
Though it seems like everything is named after the former Nobel Peace Prize-winning president, Boone said his legacy in the country was more complex than it was internationally. Though apartheid ended in the early ‘90s, the country was still struggling with the aftermath of the system.
When not in classes or helping out at the daycare, Boone said she had plenty of opportunities to travel. She had the opportunity to go skydiving, shark cage diving and ostrich riding. She also got to go on safari to Namibia.
Having spent her first time out of the country, Boone said the study abroad program is something she feels everyone should take advantage of if they can.