Africa Update: "You're an inspiration"
This past Thursday, I met with about half the group who I will be traveling to Africa with. It was so great to finally meeting some of them and to know we're all kind of on the same boat as far as what to expect and not expect. Africa will definitely be a different culture, but that's the whole point, right?? I cannot wait!
We learned a lot from JJ's visit and I think a lot of good questions were answered. At least for me, I feel a lot more comfortable and more prepared when I start to pack. I haven't looked too closely at our itinerary just yet, but from what JJ explained about her visit to some villages, I'm really hoping we will go to a few to interact with the people and kids there! She urged us to take as many pictures as possible (that won't be hard for me), but also for some of the kids, she said who knows how long it's been since they saw what they even look like. It's pretty shocking to think about, actually. It would be completely priceless to see the kids expressions on their faces when we would let them see the picture we took of them and showing them what they look like. (Just thinking about that gave me goose bumps!---in a good way :) ) All in all, we had a great evening!
Yesterday, my mom and I went out and ventured the mall to see what kind of things we could find. I had already made a few purchases at Target, attire wise, but I wasn't really much of a fan after I got home with them. Those were returned. JJ gave us some good ideas for what we should bring and wear when we went to certain locations, so the first and only stop was Old Navy. It was a very successful shopping trip!
Although my mom took me shopping and I found appropriate clothes, this trip was extra special. Almost bittersweet. Here's why... (a little background first)
My mom and I are pretty close. She and my dad have helped me through a lot, but ever since I decided, on my own, to go on this study abroad trip, she hasn't really given me any good feedback or really been that excited. If you know my mom, you would think this was pretty weird yourself because she gets excited most of the time over nothing, a lot of times. That's just her! :)
So, for myself to see that I haven't really had a cheerleader by my side when I've been worried or nervous is a bit unusual. Once the topic of Africa was brought up on a day-to-day basis, my mom would switch topics pretty quickly. It made me feel pretty alone in this process in getting everything prepared, but I had to have the right, positive mindset.
Yesterday, on the way to Old Navy, my mom told me that I was an inspiration to her that I was following through with this. She said that she could see a lot of people probably not even want to go just because of the living conditions. (not that they will be THAT bad, but just very very different) She explained just how worried she's been, but that's kind of her job.
Those of you who are still reading might not think this would have been a big deal at all, but to me, this almost put me at ease. It really meant a lot.
To finish up my weekend, I had a nice & relaxing evening with my friends Amanda, Amy, and Amy's new friend from her work! We had a great time and enjoyed the beautiful weather at The Mont & Library :)
After visiting with them, I had to have some Quin Quin time, so we hung out at my house & went to Wendy's! On our way to Wendy's, she made me listen to a couple songs by the Josh Abbott Band. I can't stop listening to them! (I'll share one at the bottom)
Sunday, not so much funday...besides church and my evening walk with my brother and sister-in-law, but study/laundry day!
Hope you all have a great start to your week!
Although, It should be "She's Like Oklahoma"