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The Journey Home

>> Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In 7 weeks I will be in Africa.

After boarding a plane that will take me from Toronto to London, England, I will then board another plane that will take me from London to Entebbe, Uganda. After spending the night at the airport questhouse in Entebbe, I will be travelling by car to the place that will be my home for two weeks - Jinja, Uganda.

Approx. 1 year ago, my husband and I were talking about all the places we would like to visit or live in our lifetime. At some point in the conversation, Chris very nonchalantly said "hey - wouldn't it be cool if we could take some of the youth from church to Africa?" That sentence then turned into him connecting with a friend of a friend who just happens to run an organization called "GIVE International". GIVE stands for Global Impact through Volunteer Experience, and they're a Canadian-based charitable trust working in relief and development in East Africa. After several emails, meetings and phone calls, Chris' idea started to turn into reality. After hammering out some time lines, costs and what exactly a trip itinerary would look like, he took his idea to the church and they approved it. Chris and I (along with 4 other adult leaders) would take 12 high-school students from the church to Uganda for two weeks over March Break to do some house and roof construction, spend time at a couple of different orphanages, and travel to several remote villages to distribute family kits.

Over the last ten months we've had meetings, fund-raised, and have started to mentally prepare ourselves for what will (for many of us) be the trip of a lifetime. Now that the trip is so close, it feels like it's (finally) time to start preparing in the ways that I truly find really exciting (thinking about what to pack, getting our immunizations done, reading and researching a lot, and really focusing on studying Swahili so I can at least try to carry on a conversation with the people there in the villages where they don't speak English).

I'm really trying to prepare myself in as many ways as possible as I feel like I have been waiting for this experience for the past 28 years. For as long as I can remember I've had a love affair with Africa. I've always wanted to go, and actually almost signed up for an exchange program when I was just out of college that would have had me living in South Africa for a year or two. That didn't pan out at the time, but the thought of travelling to Africa and possibly even living there has never left my mind. I always think it's so amazing how things in life always seem to connect and happen in the way they do, as after meeting my husband and finding out that he was actually born in Kenya and lived there until he was three I just sort of thought "well of course" - it seemed natural that I would be meeting and falling in love with someone who had the same love of Africa as I did.

This trip is really momentous for both Chris and I. He's never been back to Africa and said to me the other day "I'm finally going home". As soon as the words left his mouth I got shivers as it echoed I feeling I've had since the minute I found out we would actually be making this trip. As crazy or corny as it might sound (as I've never actually been there and don't have any family living anywhere in Africa), I feel like I'm finally, finally going Home. I really can't explain why I feel that way, but it's the most natural feeling / thought in the world for me and I just know in my heart that this "trip" is actually the start of a really amazing life journey. I just feel like things are finally lining up me. As each day passes and March 8th looms closer and closer, I feel a growing and greater sense of clarity and focus. It's almost like God is telling me "This is it, This is what I've been preparing you for, This is why I've had you wait so long. This is your purpose, so pay attention."

Well, I'm paying attention. I'm 28 years old, and I'm finally paying attention.


Kim January 15, 2009 at 6:55 PM  

Suzanne, I had no idea that this trip to Africa was all Chris's and your doing! What an amazing gift you are giving to those 12 highschool kids...one that they will never forget!

Suzanne January 20, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

Well, I definitely give the credit to Chris for making it happen, but I will take some credit for being an S.S.S. (Super Supportive Spouse) ;)

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