SAWIP inspires, develops and supports annual teams of interns and its whole alumni body to bring about community development through social projects amongst the most disadvantaged and marginalised South Africans.

New York City!

by Timothy Taylor
Timothy Taylor
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on Jul 02 in Experience 1 Comment

There is no place like it. No place that comes close to its glory, pride, and exultancy. It captivated me from the moment we arrived until the moment we left.

The sheer height of the buildings were enough to both scare and bewilder my very being. The vast array of smells and substances that protruded from the urban jungle around us made me feel dirty and unhygienic. The people, all focused and walking at a frantic pace determined to achieve what they set out to do.


My fear is that these people, destined for greatness no doubt, are so focused on getting to the next tourist destination; catching the metro; checking the news; eating sleeping and drinking that they lose out on the sheer beauty that surrounds them.

With our busy schedule on our quest to change the world, I too have fallen victim to this subtle disease. There is so much going on and so much to take in that it becomes a question of, "Do I try and see EVERYTHING very briefly, or do I try and see a few things but spend a lot of time there and really cherish the experience?".


For me, it turned out to be the former. The first day we arrived, we got the opportunity to go to Standard Bank for a lunch and discussion. For me, this was the best session we have had so far. The people we met were all incredible and what struck me was how they had all studied a large variety of things yet their paths all led to this point at Standard Bank. It made me consider the unpredictability of life and that as hard as we may try, the future is as uncertain to us now than it ever has been. Life happens. Opportunities open up. From the ashes of failure, emerge unexpected passions that light up a fire in the hearts of men and women across the world. I am on the verge of unlocking that passion.

When I left school, I really wanted to become a derivatives trader and trade on the stock markets, so to get an opportunity to tour the trading room and hear from all these phenomenal people was truly an unforgettable experience and it has shown me that anything is possible.


The rest of our trip included a session with the RSA permanent mission to the USA, a tour of the UN and a cocktail evening at the South African Consulate. These were all really informative and to be inside the UN buildings was definitely a huge highlight for me.

The rest of the time was free time and we decided to make the most of it. Our adventures include: walking across Brooklyn Bridge; visiting Wall street and the NYSE; having burgers at Planet Hollywood; Late night exploits at the Meat Packing District; Watching Chicago on Broadway;

In total, I had approximately 10 hours sleep in 3 days. In a conversation with Phillip I came to realize that the reason we did so much was because in our minds we knew we were only going to be in NY for a very short period of time. As a result, we decided to maximize every moment and constantly fill our hours with exciting things to do.

What I then realized was that I have been guilty of not making the most of every moment in Washington D.C. In my mind I had thought that 6 weeks was a really long time and that I will eventually get to all the stuff that I really want to do. But we are already half way through our time here and there is so much exploring to be done. As of today I made a pledge with myself that I will maximize my time, constantly make plans and ensure that this life changing experience is extended as far as possible. I can sleep when I'm dead after all.

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Timothy Taylor

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sally Saturday, 17 August 2013 · Edit Reply

Your experience and observations of NYC have been enjoyed by many! Thanks for sharing your impressions and reflections.

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