When I walked off of the plane at the Cape Town airport in late May, I wondered why, of all places, I decided to return to South Africa. I experienced the country last summer and was able to spend eight weeks immersing myself in its culture and engaging on a service project. It was an enjoyable summer, and I certainly learned a lot about the country and myself. Yet, when given the opportunity to plan a civic engagement project anywhere in the world for my SOL grant proposal, I chose to go back. At the time, I thought that my familiarity with the District Six Museum would allow me to be more effective, given the time constraints of the summer. But could I have made more of a difference elsewhere? Am I using my time and talents most effectively in working with the museum on this project? Should I have chosen to spend my summer in a totally different culture? Would I have been better off working with an educational organization? Would I have been better off working with the youth or in other service opportunities that make a more direct contribution to society and the common good?
I guess I will never know.