|Darby, on the steps of the guest house in Kibuye|
Sitting on the plane ride home thinking about this trip, I can't even explain how I feel. I feel like I've done what I need to in Rwanda, but there's still more. Just because we left the country doesn't mean we still can't help. Rwandans have hopes and dreams. Plenty of students in Kibuye want to go to University, but can't afford it. Natalie, a single mom of five kids in the camp, wants to start a business in jewelry making, but struggles to get it started. She has a true gift, and I think it's unfair that she is being held back. Just because some people don't have what they need doesn't mean we can't help. My mom and I decided to help out Natalie by sending her some money to get the business started. There is also something in Glen Ellyn called New Neighbor. This is when you are assigned to a refugee coming into America and help them understand life here. I really want to get involved with this, especially after seeing the refugees in Kibuye and at our church.
I want to remember everything about this trip, especially our visit to Ubuzima. The women there were so full of life, even though they were ill. At the end, we all got up and Yvette led the singing and dancing. Everyone just started clapping and moving with the beat. All of a sudden, someone grabbed a drum and the holy spirit was totally in the room. No matter how sick the person was, they were so thankful for being alive and with others who care about them. This has made me really think about how I'll value my life. Everyday I wake up, worrying about what I will get on my test in Biology or if I'll get in a fight with my sister. But now that I look at it, little things like that shouldn't ruin my day. I should wake up, thank the Lord, and live the day as if I were to die tomorrow. I am so glad I got to go on this trip because I would've never realized that's how I should be living. Living life to the fullest and being thankful for what you have, like water. Not just water, but hot and cold water. Living without running water for a few days and going on the water walk helped me see this. When I brushed my teeth with bottled water, I realized how much water I really need, and that the faucet doesn't need to be turned on full blast while I'm not even using it. My showers don't need to be 30 minutes long with hot water. I shouldn't dump all my water I don't drink down the drain. Water is precious, and we are blessed to have it available at all times. Water is like life: both are taken for granted and shouldn't be.
So people of Rwanda, thank you. I've learned more than what I expected. I've changed. I've gotten to know God. Nothing would ever be able to have that same effect on me. Once again, thanks. I loved being here, and there is no doubt in my mind that I want to come back.