Bailey is studying towards her Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation at the The University of Tennessee. She joined the VACorps Program in May 2019 and participated in an Occupational Therapy Internship at a home for adults with disabilities.
“Before arriving in Cape Town, I planned out in my head step by step what to do when going through security and how to find my gate in the airports. I tend to plan out my days to the seconds. This image played through my head for weeks. Once arriving in Cape Town and being dropped off by Carmen (my advisor) at my home for the next seven weeks, I sat on my bed and had no idea what to do next. I remember having a feeling of being alone and lost, thinking I should have put more thought in my actual time in Cape Town asides from my arrival. Thankfully the next day was orientation and there, I met my best friends. I do not use that term lightly either. These girls quickly became my safe haven, they were genuine, adventurous, and loved me so well during my time in Cape Town. I learned the importance of having a community, especially when being pushed outside of my comfort zone. On the other hand, I received a better understanding of what it was like to spend alone time, as crazy as that sounds. I am a social bird and never take the time for myself. Cape Town challenged me in this way. It was the best opportunity for me to grow.
I would also like to mention my internship as it brought me a lot of joy during my trip. I got the chance to intern under an Occupational Therapist at a home for adults with disabilities. I was able to learn how to assess and treat a resident, create purposeful activities, and hold individual OT sessions. My work was another area in which I personally grew because every day I was challenged to ask questions, be real, and be involved. I never thought a workplace could be so enjoyable and one of the hardest goodbyes. Coming from the girl that asked if Cape Town had coffee before arriving, you can say I was culture shocked at the beauty and development of this city. I absolutely fell in love with Cape Town. I will never forget the love, kindness, and courage Cape Town brought to my life. Join the VAC family, you will not regret it!”