August 08, 2014

Africa Reminded Me

When I first started to finalize details for my trip to Swaziland, Africa this summer, I must admit that I looked at everything a bit naively. I wasn't anticipating perfection by any means, but there were just a few details that didn't cross my mind until either: a.) the moment we were headed there b.) a random day well into the trip or c.) we were on our way home.

For lack of a better word... There were just a few things that Africa reminded me.

1.) BATTERIES DON'T CHARGE THEMSELVES. You would think after a long day of playing with the kids at the carepoint and spending all your free time snapping photos of them that charging your camera and phone batteries would... Well... At LEAST cross your mind. You would think. 



2.) IF YOU'RE NOT GOOD AT SPORTS IN AMERICA, YOU WON'T BE GOOD AT SPORTS IN ANOTHER COUNTRY. HA. HA. HA. I know... It sounds like I'm being a serious Debbie Downer. One day afterschool some of the older girls were playing a game that they call tennis. (There were no rackets, FYI). They were basically bouncing a tennis ball back and forth between about 8 of them. They claimed the only trick was that you had to jump over the ball before catching it. But actually, they lied... Because the other trick was the fact that I was wearing a long skirt... And I'm just gonna leave it at that. Kenzie, meet dirt. Dirt, meet Kenzie. Kenzie, praise Jesus that you are wearing leggings under said skirt.


3.) THERE IS ALWAYS TIME FOR LAUGHTER. So often here at home, I notice myself turning into this "no foolin" kinda girl. I get into my rigid schedule and everything I do almost seems to become an appointment. God reminds me of this one pretty often, but in Africa, it was like a whole 12 days of being reminded. I have never laughed more. I have never made so many silly faces. I have never laughed more about the silly faces I was making. See exhibit A below... ;)


4.) BUILDING WALLS DOESN'T KEEP OTHER PEOPLE OUT, IT FENCES YOU IN. This is DEEP and it hit me like a ton of bricks while I was there. The kids loved looking at photos of and hearing about my family. When the question, "do you have a grandpa?" arose from time to time, I was taken a bit aback before I could find the words to explain that I have two in Heaven. Here at home, the same question would result in an almost awkward response of... "Uh, let's not talk about it." Being honest and open with the kids, even when it was bittersweet for me, split my heart right open. God did a lot of healing through little conversations with little ladies who now mean the absolute world to me.


5.) GIRL ISSUES STILL EXIST. Um, hello. YES, I was the girl who didn't plan for her time of the month that just so happened to be the day we were beginning our travel back home. Luckily, I don't ever, ever, EVER leave the house without a few U by Kotex products which lasted me until I made it home. Plenty of comfy maxi skirts, lots of ibuprofen, and my miscellaneous essentials were in tow and that's all that mattered!


Some may call it forgetfulness... It may have a thing or two to do with being caught up in the moment... But, regardless..

Hindsight is 20/20, right? :)



Full disclosure: this article is financially supported by U by Kotex

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8 comments:

Jamie Vespa said...

Oh my gosh, those first two sound so much like me. I ALWAYS forget to charge my phone and camera. And sports are better watched than played when you're me ;) But 3 and 4 sound like some good things to learn while you were gone and those lessons are ones that will last you a long time.

PS. I nominated you for a liebster award on my blog today - http://www.thegrowingupdiaries.com/2014/08/blogging-love.html

gabrielle said...

girl, you just went on the trip of a lifetime! seems like you learned and experienced so much. loved hearing about africa -- i would love to visit one day myself.

xo,
gabby
www.likealittlefox.blogspot.com

Rebecca Jo said...

I'd be so freaked out going to a foreign country - I'd forget how to even breath :)

Marie said...

Oh no! I won't be good at sports anywhere, well, at least I know. And I am not terribly surprised, really!

Marie @ In Our Happy Place

Kenzie Smith said...

I absolutely love the photos you shared! I can imagine that I would have forgot a lot of things. It seems like it is really easy to get caught up in the moment there ♥

See What Katie Wears said...

Great photos! Sounds like an amazing trip!

Katie - See What Katie Wears

Ashley said...

Your trip sounds absolutely amazing! And I love that you learned some lighthearted things and also some really deep things. I am glad you followed the Lord's call to go - it sounds like it was a life-changer!

Meg O. said...

Gosh, those kids are just so darn cute. I just love how amazing this trip sounded! I want to do something like this....one of my bucket list items!!