5 weeks! (and a cool little story).

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That is right folks! Only 5 weeks to the day until I leave for Africa! 😀 I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by and the incredible things that have happened in such a short amount of time as well! When I first started planning on going to Africa, I seriously had no idea how I was going to afford the trip. Everyone kept saying “God will provide” and “the money will take care of itself” yet I didn’t want to hear those things. I knew those were true but I’m a worry wart and I just couldn’t not worry about somehow coming up with $4,000. It seemed impossible to me. I made to decision not to send out support letters based off the fact that I HATE asking for money (my mom is probably reading this right now thinking “YEAH RIGHT!”) but seriously, I hate asking people for money. Especially people that I don’t know all that well, like professors.

So I made it my goal to come up with the money for Africa all on my own and through returning cans and bottles. Great idea at first. Then I realized something: the only thing I hate more than asking for money is returning cans and bottles for money. It is tedious and it takes a ton of cans to get a good chunk of money, the machines are gross, the return area smells and sometimes the scariest looking people hangout at the bottle returns. So needless to say, I only returned cans once. BUT! In the end God provided, the money took care of itself and I was able to save all of my money for Africa on my own from working two jobs while going to school!

It is actually kinda funny how the last of my money came in. My last day at school, I received my last paycheck from my on-campus job. I didn’t open it or even look to see how much it was. I just shoved it in my purse and forgot about it for almost a week. Then a few days ago, we got the final number for the amount of money that we needed for the rest of the trip. I already had $1200 saved but I was unsure how much more I would need. After finding out the total, I needed another $185.00. I started to panic about this number because I knew I didn’t have it at the time. I just got my oil changed, had gotten my shots (which were expensive as heck) and I just knew there was absolutely no way that I had that much at the time or that I would have it by this coming weekend. Then suddenly, that forgotten check fell out of my purse as I scrounged around for any extra tip money from work that I could find. I didn’t think the check would be nearly enough but I was happy to still have it. Opening it up with the mindset of “okay, it wont be enough but its something” I was shocked when I saw the number in that little check box. $187.16. WHAT! I literally couldn’t believe it. $2.16 over what I needed. PRAISE THE LORD! So long story short, God is awesome & my Africa trip is completely paid for! 

Now that I can stop saving every single penny that I find, the real fun starts! I’ve started to shop for some of the things that I will be needing for the trip and I’m having way too much fun making detailed packing lists every other week (I’m a list maker which is about the only type A thing about me). So below are a few things that I’ve either received or gotten for the trip so far and that I will be taking with me 😀 

 

I found this adorable phone/wallet case at Target on sale a few weeks ago and I knew that I had to get it. Not only will I be able to use it whenever but I thought that it would be super great for traveling so that I can hold my cards and phone all in the same place and in something that is easily accessible and I won’t lose. Plus, the print is just too cute. 

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For Easter my roommate’s mom sent us adorable Easter baskets packed full of goodies, one of which is this cute makeup bag from Clinique. And actually, inside of the big bag is a smaller one, so there are two. I thought these would be perfect for holding medications, hygiene products, makeup, etc. They will fit in my carry-on really easily! Not to mention, lady bugs are my favorite and always have been! It was a perfect gift that will be great for the trip! She also sent us baskets for Thanksgiving that were filled with hand soaps and sanitizers, which I didn’t find until I moved out last week but I sure am glad I did! Last Africa trip, I sent Nathan with hand sanitizer because I knew he would forget and when he got back he said that he was so glad to have it. So I will be taking multiple hand sanitizers with me! These two are fall scents (pumpkin spice & apple) and have an adorable owl holder so I can strap one to my carry on 😀 (Oh and some kleenex that Shelby’s mom also got me).

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One of the last things that I’m in search of before leaving is a camera bag. I have a camera bag but it is massive and I really need something cross-body that is small. A few years ago, my parents bought me a birthday-Christmas gift that was everything I could have wanted. A Cannon Rebel T1i. At the time, I wanted to be a photographer, but obviously things have changed. At first I was hesitant about bringing my camera with me on the trip but then I realized that if I wasn’t going to take it on the most amazing trip of my life, why even have it in the first place?! So, my baby (yes, I call it my baby) is coming with me. I’m still in search for a bag that is reasonably priced and is something that can house a few lenses and a charger alongside my camera, but I know I will find one somewhere, eventually!

I still have a ton of shopping (neck pillow, medications, journal, etc) to do but I thought I would share a few purchases with you that I have made within the past few weeks & a few things that I will be taking with me! I can only imagine that these next 5 weeks will fly by incredibly fast and before I know it I will be uploading pictures from Kenya! While in Africa, I plan to update this blog every day with pictures and stories from that day, so make sure you keep checking in as the weeks go by and as we head out to serve! 

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43 days, 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Okay, I’m a wee bit excited (as if you couldn’t tell by the blog title).

Our airline tickets have been purchased & were going to AFRICA!! In 43 days, a group of 14 adults, including myself, will travel to Nairobi, Kenya to work with CMF and MOH schools. Pretty darn exciting. Almost everyone I know, knows that I’m going to Africa, either because I can’t not talk about it or I have asked them for money. Ha!. Yet, not a ton of people know exactly what I will be doing while in Africa. So…here is the plan people:

On June 19th, we fly out of Portland. We fly to Chicago, then to London, then to Kenya. So it is about 2 days travel. I will get to Africa on June 21st, a Saturday! 😀

Sunday, June 22nd, we will most likely go to church and do who knows what! They don’t base things around time in Africa, so I honestly have no idea what the plan is.

Monday 23rd-Friday27th, we will be working in a MOH (Missions of Hope) school called Mobatini! We will spend the morning to lunch doing VBS (crafts, music, bible stories, snack and games). During this time, I get to play photographer and dedicate my 4-5 hours with picture taking. Pretty dang excited to say the least! After lunch, we will go into the slums of the Mathare Valley, where we will spend the rest of our day doing home visits. During home visits, we will all be doing different things like sharing the gospel, teaching about HIV and AIDS or who knows what! Whatever CMF wants us to do in the slums, we will do!

Saturday-Sunday, we are going on a safari! It should be fun. Pray the monkeys don’t attack me.

Then on Sunday the 29th, we leave Kenya late at night and return to Portland on the evening July 1st!

So that is pretty much my 2 weeks in Africa & what our team will be doing.
OH! I almost forgot one of the coolest parts! Sometime during my week….I GET TO MEET MY SPONSOR CHILD, ESTHER!!! Ahhhh! I am so excited. She is the most precious 5 year old, who draws me pictures of yams and wants to be a teacher. Goodness, it will be too good!

As I prepare for my trip, pray for calmed nerves, the rest of the funds to come in (personally and in the church) and also travel mercies. I have gotten all of my shots, have my passport and am well prepared, but you never know what could happen before now and June 19th. Also, be in prayer for the country of Kenya, as they are currently facing terrorist attacks and bombings.

I can’t wait to share this experience with you through this blog and pictures. Stay tuned. As I prepare for my trip, there will be a lot more posts coming your way!!

Tootles!