Alexa is studying for a BSc in Biology and Society at Cornell University. She joined the VACorps program in June 2022 and participated in a public health internship at a public clinic.
“One of the things I love the most about Cape Town is the people. Everywhere I went (VAC staff, work, hike, restaurant, store, uber), everyone was always extremely welcoming and willing to have a conversation. Furthermore, there seems to be a culture of sharing and learning, which I greatly appreciate. People were always willing to listen to my thoughts, and they always had stories, opinions, or advice to give. This helps create a feeling of security, which led me to want to explore — I now understand how meaningful a single conversation can be.
I did my internship at a public clinic, and I was able to gain an understanding of the healthcare system of South Africa, what a public clinic looked like, where the resources were allocated, the thoughts of the people who work there, and the types of people who come in. I was able to experience or hear about aspects of communities I had never previously experienced or identified with, and my doing so was not viewed negatively, but as a positive thing. from New York, I was not used to this honesty and vulnerability between strangers; however, I will take this way of interacting home with me.
I will not forget all the amazing people I met and how their openness allowed me to create some of my best and most informative memories.”