Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Taste of Zambia

*Note: Images at bottom of post!

It has been less than 24 hours since I have stepped foot into the states, and already I am wondering if it's too soon to go back.

Everyone warned me that I would leave a piece of my heart in Africa... and a common welcoming statement from many of the African people was, "Welcome. You will come see us again?"

I nodded and smiled politely.

Now, I am convinced they all knew something I didn't... falling in love with Africa and its people is inevitable, and once you give a little love to those who need it, you don't want to stop.

Tonight, I spent a nice evening with my family, eating dinner and telling them all about my trip. But as my 10 nieces and nephews ran around our big house screaming, scattering hundreds of toys all over the house, and I ate my easily provided supper & dessert, I had to think. I just returned from a place where children their age go all weekend without a meal... a place where children their age sleep on a hard, dirty floor every night in a room with several other people... a place where children their age don't have 50 different toys to choose from, so instead, they learn hand-clapping games and kick around half-deflated soccer balls. I'm not faulting my life and family back at home; only observing the difference. And now that I've seen the other side of the story... not just read about it, hear about it, or see a movie on it... but actually have seen it with my eyes, held the hands of the kids affected, and looked into the hearts of the people who live in it everyday... this difference really bothers me.

We have so much; they have so little. I often wonder... what can I do? Currently, I feel like God has clearly defined my purpose in this 10-day trip I just returned from, and for that I am thankful. In tow, I have hundreds, possibly even thousands of images that I captured while there. I also have a handful of video footage. My heart is tell the story of Zambia, of these orphaned children, and of Lifesong. Raise awareness. Help others attain just a taste of what I just experienced.

For more information on the awesome organization that allowed me to take this trip in the first place, visit this website.

That's all for tonight... I will be back soon with more. I wrote in a journal about my trip at the close of each day, so I would like to do a nice re-cap on my experience or at the very least, share some more thoughts. For now, a combination of jet lag and hunger are allowing me to come to a close.

Love you all, and enjoy the images. More to come!


Abby said...

Loved what you said dear, so so right on. I got tears in my eyes just reflecting back on our trip. You're right. Dead on right. We left a huge piece of our hearts in Africa too-such amazing people. They have nothing,and yet taught us the absolute blessing in that. Made us reprioritize big time. Just don't let it wear off. Good for you for journaling- it's great to read and re-read over and over. It's been one year for us since we've been home, and yet, I can still cry over our experience. Those people taught us more that we've ever learned. Love it-and can't wait to hear more.

Jennifer said...

TK, I'm sitting here just in tears looking at your pictures. What an amazing opportunity! I hope to someday experience it myself!

teresa said...

Taryn, What beautiful children! Your pictures will help tell their stories. Thanks for sharing a taste of your trip. Will watch for more as you process your trip. I'm sure the children loved you too! =)

caitlin said...

Thanks for writing Taryn! I am looking forward to hearing more about what you learned from this trip :]

Janell said...

Yep, Africa just does that to you. Amazing people and a beautiful country. I want to go back. Can't wait to see and hear more.

Nate and Joy said...

I can't wait to go! I have been praying that the Lord would prepare my heart for the things that I will see. Your post gets me so excited... to let the Lord continue to change my heart for the things that He loves! Thanks for sharing. And of course beautiful pictures of beautiful people!