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Africa love

June 18, 2010

I hope you have had a terrific Thursday everyone 😛

This morning began with a very large green monster smoothie 🙂 The monster contained:  3 cups Spinach: 1 tbsp Peanut Butter: 1 cap Protein Powder: 1 cup skim milk: 1/2 frozen banana.

After drinking my GM this morning (with star-shaped ice-cubes..hehe) I felt energized and ready for my day.  It amazes me how good and full I feel after I drink a green monster.  If you haven’t tried one… you should. Enough said.  I was powered up for a little MCAT studying and then it was off to work!

Now… it’s on to Africa love

June 16th last year I boarded a plane to take me from Ohio to Johannesburg, South Africa.  After a 20 hour flight we landed and then took a 10 hours bus drive to Lesotho.

Lesotho is a land locked country surrounded by the enormity of South Africa and has the third highest HIV prevalence in the world. Due to the fact that so many adults are dying, the number of orphans is growing every day.

Source

I traveled, worked, and lived with 30 of my peers as well as my professor and his family.  We focused on providing sustainable projects for the Basotho people that they themselves had asked for.  We planted 200 apple trees, dug pit latrines, built houses and green houses,  dug an irrigation system, dug and planted vegetable gardens, drew educational paintings on walls & floors, built a chicken coup, and most importantly played with children.  I don’t think I have ever been more exhausted or more rewarded in my life.

Africa has impacted me in so many positive ways.  This tiny country has wonderful culture and history but it was the people who touched my heart ❤

I was amazed by the Basotho people.  I have never been so humbled.  There honestly is not a day that goes by where I don’t think about the people I met there. I am so blessed to have met them.  One of the most striking thing about their culture is how positive they are.  The Basotho people are genuinely happy who have nothing to their name. Everything is used and nothing is wasted.

The village where we stayed was packed with orphans. It was winter while we were there (and yes I did see snow in AFRICA.. .who would have thought?). We had worked all day and I was exhausted and cold. One of the most humbling moments was getting off the bus that day and seeing all of the children. One of my friends came up to me laughing and smiling and I picked her up. She had on shorts and a tank top and couldn’t stop shaking.

I wonder how different the world would be if we truly saw what it was like to live in a country like Lesotho. How would the world be impacted? Would we buy as many useless items? Throw away as much food? Complain about how many things we have?

Ok..Ok I will get off of my soapbox. But I believe it is so important to be informed and know what it is like to live a day in someone else’s shoes.  Also, it’s important to remember that we do not know what is best for a country more than the people who live there.

For Christmas my Mom gave me a gift by donating to Heifer International.  This is an organization that I fully support as they provided sustainable resources.  I know you have heard the proverb before: “If you give a man a fish, he will have food for a day.  If you teach him how to fish, he will eat all his life.”  Heifer International provides the livestock resources and the training these individuals need to be able to use these animals efficiently.

Ah… I could talk about Africa all day:)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ann Venable permalink
    June 18, 2010 1:55 pm

    It still makes me cry, every time you tell the story of the wonderful people of Africa. If only we could all learn the lessons they have to teach. We are so proud of you! I look forward to the day that I can hold the babies in Africa as you give them the AIDS vaccine. I know it will happen.
    Love,
    Mom

  2. June 21, 2010 4:05 pm

    Mom and I both are proud of you. You make a difference in the lives of others and there is so much more to go. Always remember to walk in the path God gives you.

    Love,
    Dad

  3. June 24, 2010 1:13 am

    Looking forward to something new!

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