Valor Dictus

Safari-ing in South Africa

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One girl gave shots while the other fired them. Both spent a considerable amount of time in South Africa enjoying their daily lives as a nurse and a hunter. Both traveled there to spend their summer doing two completely different daily activities. And neither knew what they would take out of it when all was said and done. 

Seniors Lizzie LaBriola and Reem Rana both spent some time this summer in South Africa living completely different lives. LaBriola traveled there with her family to enjoy the hunting and relaxation of the wildlife. Rana, on the other hand, journeyed there to stay with family and work for her uncle, a general practitioner, in his clinic. The two seniors both said that they felt daily life in South Africa was not radically different than their lives in America. 

“Toilets flushed a different way. That was about it. The food wasn’t even that different,” said LaBriola, who often ate game meat which she said was very similar to the meat we eat here. 

LaBriola said when she wasn’t hunting with her father and brother, she would visit the towns, go to the national parks and experience the culture of South Africa. She said, as with every trip her family had made, her father prepared for the worst, warning her of the wildlife which is much more present in South Africa homes than American homes as well as the danger of pickpocketing in public places.

“It wasn’t scary at all being there. Not even being so close to wild animals like lions, zebras, and giraffes,” LaBriola said. 

Rana said she was not worried either, even though she was spending a long amount of time in a foreign country with her parents. 

“I knew I was going to be with close relatives the entire time, so I wasn’t really worried. When I was there, spending time with them, it felt like I had found another home,” Rana said. 

After she learned to give shots and medicines, Rana said she was taught what the specific cures did and what they could be used for. She also worked as a secretary, filing medical insurance papers and keeping up on common diseases. 

“I don’t necessarily want to be a doctor after this. I don’t know if I’d be able to memorize it all,” Rana said. 

She said this experience did, however, make her realize how fortunate she is as an American to have what she has, especially in terms of our country’s healthcare system. She also said that it taught her to be thankful for the safe environment Virginia has, which isn’t always present in South Africa. 

“You couldn’t always be out after five at night without someone constantly by your side,” Rana said. 

LaBriola also said she felt more appreciative about living in America after seeing not everyone in South Africa lived comfortably. She said it made the experience as a whole more memorable, because the sights she saw stuck in her head even after she left.  

“I’ll never forget going to South Africa. You see how other people there live…it’s a completely different lifestyle. South Africa’s culture is unforgettable,” LaBriola said. 

Whether it was for business or pleasure, both girls took something away from their trips. They  both  said, if  they  had  the chance, they would  go back  to  experience it all  over again.

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