I was fortunate to be a part of the 2011 Abe group. One of my favourite poets, Rilke, said that we have to live life to the limit, not according to each day but by plumbing its depth. The Abe Bailey trip allowed us to investigate life every day, whether it was through casual conversation, intense debate or simply being aware of the world around us. It was a powerful period of learning - the tours and sights and meetings and discussions during the day, the (often hilarious) conversations that carried on late into the night . . . there is nothing quite like this.
I loved the tour, the people we met, the places we got to see, the things we got to do. It was a privilege to stay at Goodenough College and to explore its community. I knew that if I ever came back to study in London, Goodenough would be the only place I would want to stay!
After the tour I qualified and worked as a medical physicist in hospitals in Bloemfontein and Pretoria. As luck would have it, in 2014 I received a scholarship that enabled me to study towards a Masters degree in the UK. I selected a program at University College London, and Goodenough was the only place I applied to for accommodation. So, 3 years on from my tour, things had come full circle as I became a resident at Goodenough, and got to meet and welcome the new touring Abe group that year.
The tour showed me a whole new world of opportunities which have had a direct impact on my life 8 years on, something I'm grateful for. I now live in London and work in management consulting with a focus on data analytics, primarily within healthcare and government. I still get to meet the new Abes each year at the welcome reception, and each time they enthusiastically tell me about their itinerary I openly admit that I am jealous I cannot come with them!
I look forward to receiving the newsletter each year, and marvel at the growing list of alumni and all their diverse successes. Every recipient of the bursary will have their lives enriched in one way or another, and I was tremendously lucky to be a part of it.