In just 2 days, me and my husband will be embarking on what may be the journey of our life thus far! It is a rare opportunity to be able to travel to a faraway place not just to be tourists, but to make a difference!
I am obviously excited to meet my host, friend and who I now feel is like a sister for the first time in person (we've been virtual friends for 2-3 years), but to speak into the lives of women and girls. All of my previous travels and my genuine passion for encouraging, inspiring and uplifting women and girls through the work of REACH FORWARD and before the formation of my organization has led me to this moment.
I can't wait to meet women who are beating the odds and surviving with their children after domestic and/or sexual abuse. I want to let them know they are strong, valuable and worthy of true love. At the Happiness & Conversation event, I will admonish the women, girls and a few men who will be present to make the most of every stage of their lives: prosperity, transition and struggle. There is work for each of us to do and progress that can be made and impactful work that can be done in every stage of life, but it is up to us to see that and make the most of every stage. When I look into the eyes of the school girls who hold the future within themselves, I want them to know that they too can live the N.O. F.E.A.R. life and let nothing stop them from letting their imaginations run wild with vision to accomplish their goals and make their dreams a reality through hard work.
No matter where in the world you travel, all parents and responsible adults want the best for themselves and the children in their lives. Cultures may be different, but the hearts desires of parents, caregivers and educators are pretty universal. I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to go and be another influential voice to encourage a nation's future.
All that I have researched also has me excited about visiting this place called Botswana. No, I am not going to "Africa." Here in the US, we tend to use this generic term when referencing any country on the continent of Africa. However, Africa which is the 2nd largest continent in the world is home to 54 officially recognized independent countries and 56 if you include a couple whose independence is disputed-Western Sahara and Somaliland (www.worldatlas.com/articles/how-many-countries-are-in-africa.html, 10/22/17)
Botswana, has only been independent since October 1966, but there is a rich history and culture that I look forward to exploring in a handful of down moments. I hope to visit the National Museum, the 3 Chiefs Statue (the 3 brave chiefs who travelled to Great Britain to negotiate the terms of the nation's independence) and I may even get to visit the local game reserve in Gaborone.
So as I make my final preparations, all of these things are swirling in my mind!
I appreciate the love and support of everyone who has been rooting for me to get to this point.
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Awaiting the adventure,