Jan Term Tales — Students spend night with Muslim hosts

South Africa: Of all the places to travel for Jan Term, I think South Africa was literally as far as we could get from Spokane.

While some of the trip embodied that other-worldly feeling, at other times it didn’t feel so distant from home. I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to stay with a diverse range of host families and experience slices of life that opened our eyes and challenged our perceptions. Their sheer hospitality and willingness to open up was incredible.

In Durban, we had the privilege of spending a night with Muslim host families. The opportunity to share stories, opinions and engage in so much worthwhile dialogue was a refreshing highlight. I especially enjoyed speaking with the two teenage sisters in our family who are growing up in entirely different circumstances than myself, but were still able to find so many cross-cultural connections.

Learning from individuals who have lived through what we can learn about in the classroom makes the devastation of apartheid and injustice a reality that isn’t so far in the past. This program was the trip of a lifetime. I feel so blessed to have been this enriched in such a short amount of time.

Story by Pam Bauthues Guest Writer