My Africa, My Africa

My time has come. Time to shake off the burdens of doubts and fears. Time to face the full force of those things which have long lingered in my consciousness. Dreams deferred by necessity. Perhaps, but it doesn’t matter now. I’m going forward. Africa. The country: Zimbabwe.  I had the chance to go 20 years ago to work on a famine relief project. Recent graduate student, bright, idealistic – but I put all that aside to pursue the sensible thing…Hollywood! You have to laugh. There’s nothing sensible about pursuing an acting career. It’s jumping off the highest cliff you can find, but it had to be done. Nothing could keep me from pursuing acting.

And so, I thought Africa would leave me. That as life and career, wife and motherhood roles took me over, that Africa would go on without me. But she didn’t. She stayed in my mind, ever present. I became an ambassador with Oxfam to pursue my desire to be in some way physically connected to Africa. At that time Darfur was the hot issue. But Darfur, they said was too dangerous. And now Darfur is all but forgotten – and their struggle continues still.

But I knew one thing…I knew I had to be a part of a group on the ground. A local community based group that would stay year in and year out, so that any work or monies given might come to some good. I marveled at the Ginghamsburg Church in Ohio and what they were able to do in Darfur. I wanted to do that. I went to my church – it could be done, but I would have to do it. I didn’t really know too much about building a mission…from scratch. I had the desire, but I didn’t have the capacity. Nor did I have a lifestyle where I could pick up and spearhead a mission in another country. What about my job? My kids? So I told Africa – “see! I tried. You can leave me now. I’ll go when I can.”

But she stayed, and waited. And then I heard of Voluntourism. I said to my Africa, I’m coming now.

I may never know why this is just one of those things “I have to do”. I’ll be writing every step of the journey! Excited, ecstatic, jubilant, loving the life I’m living. Want to come with me? Africa will be so glad I brought friends.


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