It is the last day in Musanze today, and next week I will be climbing Kilimanjaro for a peak experience of life and hopefully a literal peak of the monstrous mountain. The past few weeks has brought me lots of personal growth. I instilled in me that for every action there is a reaction, and for actions that go against an authority’s expectations and rules there will always be a negative reaction. Learning from reactions and dealing with consequences will only make me a stronger person. There are two ways to deal with consequences: you can either run from them and stay the same, or be strong, stick it out, and change. I will be heading back to America after climbing Kilimanjaro because of my actions, and my decision to stay in Africa until then was a tough decision to make. The first few days after I was told I was going to be sent home, there was a lot of emotion that was telling me to just give up and go home ASAP. After talking to people around me and far from me that care about me, and after some of the initial emotions of anger wore off, the realization of my mistakes became more clear, and I decided that it would be best for me to stay and climb Kilimanjaro for the best, healthy experience of my life. Learning from past mistakes, and making decisions for growth and change instead of initial emotions was a major lesson I have learned and been trying to accept in the past few weeks. Through doing this and remaining humble and calm, I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment that I have been granted to stay here in Africa. I have made many acquaintances, and a few friends that I will be able to stay in contact with as I continue my life’s adventure back in America. In everything I do, I will look to God for guidance because I know He will protect me, as He has many times in the past. Not forgetting my past, but learning from it has been another lesson that has given me lots of strength, motivation, and peace. This has been the theme of my year starting in Denver, when God told me to “Let Go, Live Free”. I will never forget my past, but accepting it,moving on, and living in the moment without regret or pain of the past will now guide me through life. My next blog will be from America, about the result of my Kilimanjaro excursion. Oh yeah…and mom, I’m going on an African safari this weekend. I still hope to go on one with you some day. I love you, and can’t wait to see you all. Peace out!
Rwanda has been an awesome experience so far, and we are only a little over two weeks in. The Rwandan people seem to really enjoy the presence of “a mizungoo”, white people”. They love it whenever I throw up a peace sign to them from the bed of the mizungoo truck. I have been working very hard on every task we have been given at the Kids Across Africa camp. I guess blistered hands and a tightened ozgoodschlaughters kneecap is just part of the hard work. I like seeing the surprised faces of the Rwandan people I work beside as I work through the pain and change their expectation that all Amaricans are lazy. I had my first Kenya-Rwandan language lesson from Faustin yesterday where I learned basic greetings. I hope that in a couple of weeks I will be able to have decent conversations with some of the amazing people here. The spot where we are working is located on a peninsula at Lake Berrera, which is beautiful and very, very large. There is lots of wild birds including the warbucks eagle, yellowbill kite, African bee-eater, the ibis, and also lots of interesting looking insects like the praying mantis that looks like a stick in the picture above. I have gained much patience here as we go through everyday on Rwandan time, where it really doesn’t matter what time you show up for anything. I was a little stressed at first, but I am learning to love it! The day are long and hot, and the nights are long and chilly. I’ve had trouble sleeping, but it is easy to catch up during the day whenever we are waiting or just hangin out. I wish I had a little more time and freedom to explore Musanzi on my own, to experience the difference in the local peoples’ reactions in contrast to our big group of “a mizungooooo!!!” All in all, I am diggin’ Rwanda’s culture, and can’t wait to learn more as the next month flies by.
Colorado has been lots of fun since day one. This past week at Christ’s Body was great! I know most of the peoples names now, and it’s awesome to see them genuinely smile when I ask them how they are doing. They are so thankful for the service that we give them, and it feels good to be able to.
This past weekend my dad came to visit. On Friday, he arrived around noon, and I went to meet up with him after class at the Denver Art Museum; at which I listened to a long playlist tribal African music. I met my dad around 4 at the Brown Palace hotel, which was the place I picked out for us to stay. It was a great choice. Later that night my dad took Preston, Brian, Logan, and I to Fogo De Chao, where we got fat on 15 different cuts of Brazilian meats, delicious caramelized bananas, and garlicy mashed potatoes. After dinner Logan and I met up with Summer, Shelby, and Mary to see the movie Dream House. And the movie was not scary, it was plain confusing. But it was all good because I got to go back to sleep in the most comfortable bed of all time. Saturday my dad took my shopping at Cherry Creek Mall and we had a great lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. Then we chilled out until we had dinner at a french restaurant at Larimer Square. Our hors de ovuvers were fried frog legs and escargot, and for dinner I had my favorite food, lobster. Sunday we went to Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium to watch the Broncos lose in a great game against the San Diego Chargers. After the game my dad headed to a hotel near the airport to stay until his flight the next morning.
It was great to see my dad and fill up with good food while he was here. I miss my family and can’t wait to be back in Indy for Thanksgiving, and I want to thank my parents for loving me and sending me on this trip of a lifetime. I miss chillin with my brothas back home, but am excited that I am making new friends day by day.
First week of helping out at Christ’s Body went great, some really genuine people that are homeless in Denver. There are some crazies, but all we can do is serve and give them our time. I hope this second week will go even better now that I will be making some new friends.