There is nothing as peaceful as being home. This is the place I’ve longed for for the whole 8 months I was in the U.S. But lately I’ve been conflicted with my thoughts because sometimes I feel like I’m not where I belong.

Living internationally for a while surely changed the way I carry myself, my opinions, how I handle relationships, and even my perspective in general. I’ve been told that it is natural to feel that way: feeling like I’m an outlier in the community and my family. 

On the other hand, I’m happy that I made a name for myself and my family in the society we are living in. I was interviewed at a local radio station to talk about my experience in the US as well as traveling home during the pandemic which was the coolest experience. Sharing my memories of my foreign exchange year was very nostalgic; they are the moments I wish could last a lifetime in my heart.

Pandemic-wise, it looks like things have cooled down in South Africa, as they are starting to open up businesses to regain the economy. Some of my friends have gone back to school and it seems like I’ll be going back to school too, to finish up my junior year. I’m coming back more ambitious, determined, and even stronger than ever. And despite the feelings of exclusion here and there, I’m really happy to be home. I’m excited to see what this summer brings and can’t wait to write more stories next school year.

Mapula Mmatli

I love writing, acting, and public speaking Kind and friendly to all :)

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