Before I arrived in SA, I had only chatted to Tara once on Skype. While we had mutual friends in the service-learning world, we had never met in person. Not only did Tara help me get my research in South Africa rolling, she and her husband graciously offered their guest room to me. At first, I had no idea if I would be staying with Tara, JB, and their two boys for a few days or a few weeks. Yet two months later, I am just now packing up my bags to leave.
I have been blown away by the generosity of this family. They have welcomed me into their home, driven me places, fed me, taken me on adventures around the city, included me in social events, and helped me find anything I needed. While spending time here, I have learned new Aussie slang, gotten sucked back into the VW slug bug game, deepened my love for the color orange, lost miserably at Monopoly, learned about ninja meerkats, drunk bottles of champagne, walked dozens of kilometers while discussing service learning, and have lost all my limbs (many times over) to an imaginary Tom snake. I am so incredibly grateful for my South African (/Australian) home away from home!