Despite it being the beginning of the fifth week of school, it feels like it could easily be just starting. I've barely even gotten a grip on my class schedule! As the semester presses on at a remarkably fast pace, I can't help but get antsy about my upcoming trip to Nairobi, Kenya. I was talking to a couple friends about their experiences in Africa, and it has really brought my thought process away from my normal musical focus. I easily get caught up in everything I am doing and frustration sets in. From there, it usually just turns into me being ungrateful because I have developed a sense of entitlement to some kind of luxury or convenience that was never mine to begin with. Recently, I've been trying to start emotionally preparing myself for what is coming. I know that this trip will give me great memories of laughter and joy, but I know that it will bring a lot of pain and discontent from the reality of living in a third world compared to the cushioned lifestyle I live in the states. While we are there, we will be working with people who are living in extreme poverty, have been infected by HIV, and orphans who have no idea where their next meal will come from. According to UNICEF, there are about 2.5 million orphans living in Kenya. Just Kenya alone. Imagine how many there are in the other at least 50 countries on the African continent. I constantly see pictures of poverty all over the world, and am bombarded with slow motion videos of children in third world countries with depressing music in the background, but I have become so acclimated to seeing these, that I forget that they are real. I haven't even left yet, and this trip has already changed my life. As the trip approaches, I am getting nervous about how this is going to change me. I mean, come on. I am sitting in a four story library full of thousands of books to educate myself with as I type on a laptop that probably cost enough to feed a child for over a year. Reality check much?
I hope and pray that this will make me rethink my approach to my education, relationships, career, and faith. That despite the day to day frustrations of life, I can breathe deeply and know that my stress is a gift.
I also hope and pray that I will be able to influence the people close to me in a way that helps them see the blessings that have been so graciously given to us from our Creator.
Amani Ya Juu.