Ignorance is bliss?

1 01 2013

My trip living in a bus with 9 others was an experience both challenging and inspiring. I met some of the most inspirational people there that I will ever meet. I found other’s I could express my feelings about Africa, and poverty to and they understood me! No one teased me for caring about people across the world they cared too. I learned even more about poverty and eventually more and worse things. It was overwhelming I soon felt helpless with the ocean of hurt there was in the world.

I learned about child soldiers, in depth about how they were forced to kill their families, leave their villages and join the army or the rebels. I learned about sex slavery where young girls and boys were sold for sex multiple times a day. Learning that sometimes the children were stolen, and other times they were sold by their families was hard for me to understand. I started learning statistics about dying children and families and my dream to move to Africa and open my orphanage was still there but it was fading a little. There was so much hurt out there I needed to get involved more deeply, how do I choose which hurt to help? I opened my heart up to all the problems and, I became bitter. Nothing angered me more than ignorance.

The job of our team was to help children and teenagers with self worth, honesty and purpose. I listened to the most inspiring group of speakers everyday and never got tired of the show or the music. I was enraptured by my team leader Meagan’s speech every time she spoke it even after listening to it nearly every day sometimes twice a day for 4 months straight. The people on that team changed the lives of an uncountable amount of students and likely teachers as well.

This trip was hard for me, I was young and so very immature. I know now looking back, that I could have risen on this trip much more than I did. However. it was a learning experience and though yes I have some regrets I also learned more about myself, my faith, and how to love.

This trip helped to concrete my belief that yes I needed to move to Africa and help those who were suffering. However, I lost a little bit of my faith, and my relationship with God, already estranged, was fading. I was losing faith in humanity as a race, there was so much suffering and people are causing the suffering, people support the suffering, or worse they pretend it isn’t there so they don’t have to feel guilt.

My passion was strong as a raging fire but was tinged with black hate.

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A New Beginning or a Dead End?

29 12 2012

Today I write my first ever blog, something I have contemplated in the past but always seemed to be lacking something, inspiration, time, creativity, initiative…etc

Inspiration struck me at the age of, perhaps five years old; with a television ad, the kind everyone turns of or tries to justify away…you know the kind I mean, a World Vision ad about starving children in Africa. I remember vague pieces about that moment, the kitchen I was in with the cheesy fruit paintings, the new linoleum flooring, and the small tv in the corner of the kitchen. Since seeing my very first World Vision commercial I have dreamed about red sand, mud huts, broken concrete buildings, and shoe-less children. I grew up knowing without a doubt that one day I would live in Africa.

This began very simple, at the age of five I simply thought “I will live in Africa” but then it grew. As with all children my dreams adjusted I went through fleeting thoughts of becoming a marine biologist, or a lawyer…and apparently at one point a dancing hairdresser (thankfully I grew out of that last one). However, the thought of Africa and it’s red sand never left. As I grew I thought, I will go to Africa and be a teacher I will teach English in Africa and it will be great, and I held onto this dream for a few years. Then I grew some more.

This grew into I will open an orphanage in Uganda (I do not remember why I chose Uganda) and I will have all the children educated and safe. I had this dream for years, It grew and expanded,eventually I knew how I wanted the layout of the orphanage, how many children would share a room, I even decided that when a child was adopted I would go with them to their new home for a week or two and take them on a tour of their new home, to help them with culture shock (even though I did not know the term culture shock then)

To be honest, during my jr high, and high school years I tried to ignore my growing passion. People would make fun of me, or ignore me when I spoke about poverty. I felt like I just wanted to be normal and become a designer or a teacher. I wanted to not have the passion so I could just ignore the injustices our world, just like what seemed to be everyone else around me…I found this an impossible task. This is when I discovered more about the world, I kept getting hit with World Vision ads, and I discovered more about why there are starving children in Africa. I saw movies like ” Hotel Rwanda” and learned more about genocide, and poverty, but I was still very naive at the age of 18.

Then I graduated high school, still with the dream of opening my own orphanage I decided I needed to become a social worker, however, I needed to be 19 before I was able to take the course so I decided a gap year would be a good idea. My mother helped me to find a great organization called “Absolute – Hero Holiday” Where I was enrolled in a 8 month School of Leadership course that would have me travelling around Canada in a bus for 4 months and Mexico for another 4.

To make this blog readable, I will leave it at that for now, and will continue with what my discoveries were during my 4 months living in a bus.

~ Teijna