Something about being here at home doesn’t feel right. It’s almost as if I’m missing a part of myself. Something must have gone wrong; I could have been bitten by a hungry lioness in the Serengeti, or maybe it was cramming us into a dala dala everyday on our way to work. Come to think about it, it could have been the feeling we got at the end of the trip, when the group of parents sung us their prayers, and we were graced with song and dance from groups of the children of Camp Joshua. Either way, regardless of what it was, something about me has changed.
I find it funny the stories I choose to tell my friends and family about our trip. My closest friends got the story of building the classroom, spending time with the amazing little children, and obviously, the lecture on how lucky we are to live where we do. The rest got the story of our safari, and how it got so boring after seeing countless zebra after zebra. There are many stories though I seem to hold inside; the ones that are only brought out when I’m with another friend from the trip. How can I properly recount a memory to a group of friends who just weren’t there to see it themselves? As the morning of our last day ended, and we were loading up the kids on the bus to go to Camp Joshua, I felt that it was time for me to finally get off the ride. I’m not sure what others may call it but I think it is best describes at an “emotion rollercoaster”. I had never shed so many tears in my life. One moment that surprised me the most was looking back to all us high school kids sitting in the room at Camp Joshua, watching the presentations. Everyone was crying. Here they were, twenty-two of the most passionate kids I know. At this time I was experiencing the weirdest feeling of my life. I had just spent the last however many hours crying and saying goodbye, but now, when it seemed the most emotional time, there were no tears to be shed. All I could do was smile. For the hour in time, those children made me the happiest person on Earth. How could I go about crying now, when all I could think about was all the moment we just had throughout those three weeks! We honestly walked in to Camp Moses for the first time with our tails between our legs. Our job that we were there to do had tripled and no one expected us to complete the things we did. We came together and we did it. So tell me now, how could I sit in that chair and not be the happiest person on Earth? With this new project, it now allows for many more children for Camp Moses to take in. I was speechless; my voice had been traded for this feeling; one that I will never forget.
Regardless if it takes me two years, or ten years, I will be back. Each and every time I speak about this trip, I always end it off with, “Africa is the type of place that I believe everyone should visit at least once”. In my eyes, I don’t believe that you could ever be a complete human being without seeing Africa. There’s nothing like seeing thousands of people, who have not a penny to their name, and filled with smiles and laughs. I’m going to miss waking up in the morning, and weaving through Zebras so that I can go to the bathroom. I’m going to miss being guarded by a Masai warrior everyday. I believe that somewhere inside of myself I’m a changed person. Whether it is noticeable or not, I know it, the twenty-one other kids know it, all the chaperones know it, and that’s what matters. I feel a special bond with these people now. And in the end, I wouldn’t have picked a different group to spend it with. We had the most loving, intelligent, and caring people who all came together with a common goal. Regardless if you change one person’s life by choosing to send their son to school, without having to worry about any expenses, or building a bunch of energy filled three year olds a classroom, it is 100% worth every penny we fundraised and worked for. Thank you to the Safari Wangu group for such a remarkable time.