Tuesday, May 18, 2010


In 9 hours I fly to Capetown with a ticket my dear friend jasmine helped me buy to see her on African soil. By Friday I’ll be on a flight to Durban where I’ll rent a car and drive 3.5 hours to Nkandla where I started this journey three years ago. I’ll take pictures with an SLR my father bought for me before I came to Kenya and visit the projects that dear friend Joy’s donations have helped support (along with many initial contributions from family and friends when I first joined The Africa Project). I mention these things because they remind me that this incredible journey that has ushered me out of my twenties and helped me grow and get ready for next steps has taught me one thing above all – the role that community plays in each of our lives. I’ve been supported in my own endeavors and in my efforts to support the people I’ve come across. I’ve received phone calls and emails and letters and donations so full of love that they bring me to tears. I’ve had a group of strangers in a service club in Orange County become friends and facilitate an experience abroad that transcends anything I could have hoped for. I’ve had what feel like divine work opportunities that helped me stretch this experience into two full years. I’m reminded daily that in this final push it will all be worth it for the doors it hopefully opens for work moving forward. But perhaps more importantly it has been worth it simply for the journey it has been as I delved deeper into my understanding of humanity and community at home and abroad (sometimes facing the crystal clear reality that not all can be known). And I know this now more than ever - there really isn't any difference between here and there after all. Different stages, different distractions, different gifts, different blessings. But as people - we are the same. As countries - we are the same, imperfect collections of humanity with pockets of brilliance and truth just above torn knees needing repair.

I may not have taken the leap to book this trip to South Africa if I’d realized I would be here until September (original plans had me flying back to the U.S. end of July). The timing is horrible and I can’t afford it. But my community helped make it possible – both with financial support and with a reminder that this is about my time here coming full circle. As soon as the seed was planted what could I do? The thought of seeing the kids, of seeing the hills, of re-familiarizing myself with the zulu click – it brings back a rush of emotion I have stored away for three years. The sisters in Nkandla bid me warm welcome when I told them I might visit, and I can’t wait to turn up those dusty roads, to see all that has grown and changed in three years. But mostly to know that under it all is a vein of truth that remains the same – that constant companion of faith and trust when steps taken in response to a call are made. This is a place in which I learned more than I can ever encapsulate in words, and I can’t wait to see how that continues as I return a slightly wiser (only in my knowledge of how little I truly know) and hopefully more humble version of the self that visited there three years ago.

1 comment:

Imperfect Supermom said...

I am SO glad that this is happening. I had faith that it would somehow work out. :) You were not unhumble then and remain a wonderful blessing to all. Enjoy your friendships and hug those little ones with all your might!