We caught up with past iKapa intern, Melissa Kidd who is eager to learn and to love. Read what she had to say about her time as an intern in Cape Town.
4 Fun-Fact Questions:
Favourite South African food?
Braai food. And the wine.
Most memorable tourist activity you experienced while living in SA?
Going on safari with my parents in Kruger National Park.
Quirkiest South African phrase or slang word that you came across?
“Hundreds!” Still can’t figure out why that’s slang.
Describe your internship experience in South Africa using only 3 words…
Challenging. Beautiful. Life-changing.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up a military kid in the US and moved around most of my life, so I say I’m just from “America”. I now live in Dallas, Texas and have lived here longer than anywhere else in the country (or the world). I’m a graphic designer working for Blue Cross and Blue Shield (an insurance company) in their creative department, which has been a fantastic job so far.
What first inspired the thought to want to go to South Africa?
I had always wanted to invest in Africa in some way and eventually took a short-term missions trip to SA in 2009. We worked with an organization that was heavily involved in the townships in Grabouw and was immediately hooked.
What, in turn, actually made you decide to go to South Africa to do an internship?
When I returned from SA in 2009, I felt God making some big changes in my life and after a few months, it became clear He was calling me to move to the town of Grabouw and volunteer long term. I moved there in October 2010.
Tell us about the project that you worked on for your internship.
I worked for “Village of Hope” in Grabouw. It was a 12-bed step-down unit for children coming out of hospice or hospital who weren’t able to return home just yet. I was in charge of the day-to-day
operations of the unit, the management of the staff, and overseeing the outside medical care of the
Which skills of yours do you think proved to be the most helpful during your internship?
Being super organized and an effective communicator was extremely helpful in not only bonding with
staff but also in working with outside relationships, such as doctors, social workers, and teachers.
What was the all-time highlight of your time in SA?
The relationships I made there. I’m still in touch with everyone and hope to always be.
What piece of advice would you give to new interns thinking about applying to iKapa?
Definitely go for it! No matter where your life takes you, this experience will always be a highlight and it will change you in some way for the better. But also, be aware you’re there to learn, not to teach. You’re there to observe and serve, not to change. Because you’ll be on the ground for such a short time, make it your mission to learn as much as possible and to be as loving as possible to everyone you meet.