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This story is part of our news archives, prior to July 2010.

andrew meeker in south africa

from Andrew Meeker:

During my study away, I did an independent research project on refugee identity. Specifically, I was looking at refugee oppression, access, and prejudice the person experiences in that place. I worked with a refugee activist group called People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP). One morning at the Department of Home Affairs, I was chatting with a Zimbabwean asylum seeker who said, “We are just a spectacle to you.” I was taken aback by how direct he was, but also by the pertinence of his observation. Although this is not necessarily problematic, it was difficult to reconcile my desire to make positive change with my being an outsider. I think my experience in South Africa cemented my desire to “think globally, act locally.” Travel is important to gain a global perspective, but I wish to “be the change I wish to see in the world” in my own home.

Top of Lion's Head in Cape Town, looking down on the Atlantic coast
Edge of Fish River Canyon in Namibia (world's 2nd largest canyon)
Contortions in the desert, Namibia
Cape of Good Hope with my mom and aunt
Wine tasting in the wine region outisde of Cape Town