Day 10: A Long Walk To The Top

Former President of South Africa & Nobel Peace Laureate F.W. De Klerk speaking with the QU301 South Africa students.

Today was a very spectacular day for me. Not only did I have the opportunity to meet with the former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner, F.W. De Klerk, but I conquered one of the seven natural wonders of the world- Table Mountain!

When speaking with Mr. De Klerk, one solution he brought up to the many problems South Africa faces today is education. Unfortunately there is poor quality of education, especially in black school systems. I found it interesting because the main reason why I decided to apply to the teaching program at Quinnipiac is because I too feel that education is a solution to many of the world’s biggest problems.

For the past week or so I have been feeling a bit under the weather so I was kind of skeptical about an hour and a half hike up-hill. It didn’t take me long to become out of breathe, so about 5 minutes into the hike I was starting to question if this was something I was going to be able to complete. One of my classmates decided to take the cable car up and for a good 30 seconds I considered taking it too. After taking those 30 seconds to think about it I decided that this was a challenge that I needed to complete and if I let myself back down I would be disappointed with myself. I learned that I really can do whatever I want to as long as I

Michelle on top of Table Mountain.

put my mind too it. The pain of the hike is only temporary, but the memories and experience will last me a lifetime.

It helped me understand why Nelson Mandela went through all the pain in order to achieve freedom. Ending apartheid was something that he truly wanted to achieve, and when he put his mind to it he did not stop the journey until he reached the end. His pain and suffering lasted 27 years, but his hard work and determination resulted in freedom which will last forever. That hour and a half hike straight upward was the hardest thing I have ever done, but the feeling I felt when I finally reached the top will last forever.

One Comment on “Day 10: A Long Walk To The Top

  1. I’ve learned that perseverance produces good character…something quite evident in Nelson Mandela’s life. Good for you for learning from his example and pushing through!

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