Friday, July 06, 2007

My Trip to Africa With World Vision

I'm not sure what to say. A common theme you hear from people who travel to Africa is that you really can't describe it. First of all, the trip itself was very well planned and orchestrated. We had the normal travel dilemmas of travel in developing countries, but our accomodations were great and we saw so much in the few days we were there. The people I traveled with were lots of fun so we stayed up late and talked and "debriefed" every day, which was great in itself.

But how can I describe the impact of seeing such poverty yet such joy. It is a huge contrast to our culture here in the states. Our wealth gets in the way of experiencing the depth of joy and love for one another that is so obvious in the villages.
As we were leaving a daycare center in Zamtan, Zambia, I saw a little boy, probably three years old holding his foot and crying. He had evidently stepped on a thorn and had hurt his foot. Instantly a group of children gathered around him and a girl, probably two years older than him, scooped him up on her shoulders and he stopped crying. That kind of care for one another was so compelling. All of the women wear two or three wraps so they can easily hoist a child to their backs when necessary. It gave new meaning to the quote, "It takes a village to raise a child".

I was impressed by the difference we can make with World Vision by digging wells and providing drug treatment for HIV/AIDs. There is also such value placed on education. Kids walk for hours to get to school and women are struggling to learn to read in remote areas. They don't take education lightly. The fact that I have a doctorate degree was a big deal to them.

We also stayed at the Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana. What an amazing place! As we drove in at dusk we saw herds of elephant, buffalo, hippopotami, and giraffe. It was surreal. We also saw Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. I didn't get any pictures of that but the experience of being there is similar to the feeling I got when I first saw the Grand Canyon. It is breathtaking. God is so amazing, so powerful. I put about a hundred pictures on Shutterfly which you can view at this link.

4 comments:

Marcie Curry said...

loved the pictures...can't wait to hear more

PrincessMax said...

Arloa,

These pictures and the other ones at Shutterfly are a perfect representation of our trip. My film camera did not do nearly as much justice.

It was a blessing to spend so much time with you.

Rebecca

Keri Wyatt Kent said...

Welcome home! So glad you had a good trip. Great photos.
talk to you soon!
Keri

Anita said...

Arloa,
Mike and I just returned from our africa trip yesterday. We were blown away. Spent much time in Rural Uganda visiting people in their mud huts, meeting lots of HIV+ people. Then went to Kenya and into the Mathare Valley slum....filth and hopelessness abounded. The Mathare Outreach church is doing a marvelous work for Christ there. Lots to think about and process and act on.
Hope to see you soon....enjoy your hiking.

Anita