After making the nearly 8,500-mile move from Cape Town, South Africa, to Chicagoland, Anneke Delport ’12 said the first three months in the United States felt like vacation for her and her family.
“It took a while to get from that ‘we’re just visiting’ feeling to one of permanency,” said Delport. “I don’t think any of my family or I thought that the expected culture shock would be so delayed.”
Delport, her parents, and one of her two sisters moved to Romeoville, Illinois, in January 2009. For quite some time, the family had plans to move to a different continent.
“Before we moved to the States, my family had been hoping to move to Australia,” said Delport. “My father has been heavily involved with the Hands on Missions organization for as long as I can remember, and in recent years, was asked to help form and lead a branch of the organization called ‘Hands on Africa’. Ironically, that’s what brought us from Cape Town, to here.”
Soon after the move to Chicagoland, Delport heard about Trinity and was interested in the College’s smaller-school atmosphere and Christian educational opportunities. After transferring from Moraine Valley Community College, Delport started pursuing an education degree at Trinity in the fall of 2009. The environment, said Delport, “took some getting used to.”
“I was still experiencing some culture shock from the move. Spending each day on a campus of nearly 1,500 people I didn’t know, with very different backgrounds from me, was challenging at first.”
Soon after her start at Trinity, however, Delport began to see the genuine beauty of the College’s diverse population and found solace in the faith that bonds various generations and ethnicities.
“That initial discomfort that comes with any new environment disappeared quite quickly,” Delport said. “I couldn’t believe the kindness shown to me. There’s such a strong sense of community between professors and their students and within Trinity’s general population. Our faith unites us despite how each of us grew up and regardless of what each of our experiences might be at Trinity.”
Delport, an elementary education major, finds a similar stability in the education program’s professors and classes and also serves as a member on the department’s Student Advisory Committee.
“The education program, and all it includes, has encouraged and strengthened the passion I have for teaching and the appreciation I hold for other cultures and diversity.”
Upon graduation, Delport hopes to return to Africa through Hands on Missions with her husband Eddie and realize her goal of being a Christian educator in a diverse setting.