Over the course of the trip to South Africa, my cheek muscles hurt from smiling so much. You could say that it had to do with the weather–yes, I love the sun–but I think what was most significant was the wonderful people that surrounded me, taking me into their homes, and just accepting me for who I was. I met people whose beliefs I didn’t agree with, people who treated gender roles in a way that would’ve been unacceptable to me in an American setting. I met people who were from different backgrounds than me and were part of different cultures. And still, despite all of our differences, we were able to come together in one big Hands for a Bridge family. So, for me, that’s what I’ll remember most about South Africa. The family I found there, and the bonds I formed despite the oceans that separate us.
– Sophie Grosskopf