“大家好!” or “Hey Everyone!”
Although it has only been a few months since I actually became a brother I am already missing my second family. Even if there is an ocean between us, the unity felt by SOU following the expedition to Hong Kong is overwhelming.
It has been two months since I arrived in Hong Kong to start my summer program with Yale-China although there’s a distance between us, I still feel the excitement everyone has for this upcoming year through the constant Groupme messages and Instagram posts. In these past two months, so many amazing opportunities have presented itself from meeting business executives in public spaces to expanding my cultural and linguistic horizons. I’ve met so many people both foreign and local whom have inspired me to keep growing and developing my craft. It’s through this desire to keep growing which reminds me of SOU and makes me miss all of you so much!
This summer was the start of everything. It became the start of dealing with Hong Kong’s unpredictable rain showers and countless nights of cramming 60 new and different Chinese characters into my head. It also was the start of finding my place in my new home (and by finding my place I mean constantly getting lost in Central, Hong Kong and attempting to use my broken Mandarin to ask Cantonese speakers how to get back to my dorm). Although it has been a challenge getting used to my new home, do I regret any of it? No! This beginning solidified my desire to work in Southeast Asia and my desire challenge myself, to expand my cultural and social conceptualizations, for this upcoming academic year in Hong Kong.
At this very moment, I am sitting at a coffee shop in Singapore listening to different dialects, accents, and stories from people around me. This is something I never thought I would be able to say. It is at this very moment where I realize how far away from home I am, how far away I am from all of you. It is at this very moment where I am proud that I am a member of SOU. I am grateful for the lessons SOU has taught me, but there is always room for growth. I hope we all continue to grow and continue to be challenged by new circumstances and new experiences that we thought we would never experience.
That’s why I can’t wait to see how much SOU grows in a year. To those who I won’t have the chance to meet this upcoming year, I wish you the best in whatever you choose to do, challenge yourself every day and don’t be afraid to use your broken Mandarin to expand your own horizons. The future is bright! I’m excited to see new faces and have many new experiences with friends that I have learned to call my family.
Here’s to new challenges and opportunities for this upcoming 2018-2019 year!
Missing you guys so much-- 明年见！
Micah-Rafael Hall (Raf)
SOU Bros Abroad
This blog serves to highlight the experiences and tips that Brothers studying abroad have.