Touching Down

Cortney Cordero
August 3, 2015

The past day and a half have been so surreal. I have said goodbye to my family, traveled in and out of airports for more than a day, settled into my new living space, made new friends, and I somehow still have enough juice to pump out this post. 

No lie, the 15 hours from JFK to Johannesburg was the best flight I have ever been on. It started out that I was sitting next to a woman who ended up moving so that she could sit in an aisle seat in a different row closer to her group, leaving me with a section of two seats, window and aisle, to spread out and nest in for the long flight. I occupied my time like I would on any other flight by watching movies, reading, sleeping, etc. But the thing that set this flight out from the rest, was that I got to watch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, bleeding incredible color across the sky before enveloping the plane in darkness. Not only that, but hours later, I got to watch the sunrise over Botswana from the same seat. I will never forget as long as I live, seeing that first glimpse of the blood-orange sun climbing over the horizon. It was absolutely incredible. It was a moment of natural beauty that will never be lost on me.

By the time I had touched down in Cape Town, I had made friends with multiple people who all ended up living in the same building as me. After unpacking and taking a quick walk over to the supermarket for some things, we walked to a local restaurant. Between the entertaining conversation, the incredible scenery, and the fact that I’ve worked, hoped, prayed, and wished for the past few years, I found myself thanking God over and over again for this unbelievable opportunity. And I know that I’ll say it about a thousand more times before the week is over. 

I’ve only seen a corner of this city in the one day I’ve been here, and it’s like I can’t process that I’m finally here. It doesn’t seem real. I am living surrounded by mountains and peaks bigger than I could ever have imagined them to be, and when I look at them, they remind me of the mountain I had to move in order to get here. Suddenly, every tear and frustration in filing paper work and struggling to even have the chance of being here is so overly worth it. 

God is so good. I have no words. It’s only the first day, and I’m totally speechless. 

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Cortney Cordero

<div>Cortney Cordero is a senior majoring in journalism at Hofstra University with a minor in creative writing. This New&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">Yorker has wanted to travel to Africa since she was in Kindergarten. This fall, her dream is finally coming true, and she&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">wants to share her experience with you.</span></div>

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