Welcome to My Skinny Chick Diary

You have just opened the pages of my "Skinny Chick" diary. You will read the words of wisdom from my (and your) inner "Skinny Chick". You may be surprised at what you read. This diary recounts my journey as my "inner" Skinny Chick meets my new "outer" skinny chick. How does this transformation actually happen? Read and you will find out how listening to your inner "Skinny Chick" can transform you too.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Skinny Chick in Africa

Some of you may know that I had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Ngaamba, Kenya (a village outside of Nairobi) this past July for a mission trip. I have been back home now for a little over 2 1/2 months and it has taken this long for me to be able to express the awesome experience in words. 

I will say that one of the most outstanding aspects of this trip, for me, was the fact that I got to share this experience with my husband, Jamal. 
I have been asked on many occasions to describe my trip. I've been asked things like, "How was it?" or "I want to know all about it." Again, it has been so difficult to sum it up in just a few sentences or even in one conversation. I have been thinking long and hard about what I would say when I got the chance to share my story. So here goes...

We traveled to Kenya through Globalx, which a missions ministry offered through our church, North Point Community Church. http://goglobalx.org We partnered with an organization called The 410 Bridge http://www.410bridge.org. We were led throughout our whole 10-day excursion by an awesome guide, a native Kenyan, Abraham, who works with 410 Bridge. 

Our mission was to spread God's love to the children at Kalembwani Primary School. We did this by teaching them lessons through Bible stories, arts and crafts and sports.

I have to admit I was extremely nervous about all of this. I had never traveled to Africa or been that far away from home. And believe me, it is far. That is really put into perspective when you have traveled for over 24 hours to get to your destination. I could not sleep at all on the trip there. I was filled with lots of anxiety about not knowing what to expect upon our arrival.

All of my nerves were eased when we arrived in Nairobi. We were greeted by our most-amazing guide Abraham, who made us feel as if Kenya was our home. We traveled about 3 more hours to reach the Miriam Hotel in Sultan Hamud. We rested and set out on our journey the next morning.

From this point forward, I have to say that what I experienced was nothing like anything I have ever encountered in my life. We were greeted by the children and their mothers singing to us in perfect harmony. The sound was so moving, that it brought tears to my eyes. This is the feeling that set the tone for our trip. The Kenyans possess something that most of us try hard to emulate. It goes beyond just happiness and pride. Although, I will say they are some the most happy people I have ever met. To me, happiness is a temporary and conditional emotion. For instance, lots of us have been happy due to certain conditions in our lives. What the Kenyans possess goes way beyond that, they have JOY. This is an emotion that comes from within. It is not conditional, it just IS.

No matter what the Kenyans were facing whether it was the lack of running water, lack of electricity or even lack of shoes, nothing took away that unmistakable JOY.

I set out with a mission to help the people of Ngaamba, Kenya. However, I came home changed. They helped me to understand that happiness isn't conditional. JOY is something that rests within each of us. We can tap into it, and when we do, it is contagious. The thing to remember is that it does not get triggered by material things like a house, a job or even how much money you are worth. It is simply triggered by the truth that we all have a purpose and our life here on Earth is for a reason. We are all connected, whether you live in a small village in Kenya or a huge metropolis like Atlanta. I can still feel the JOY of the Kenyans and now I can say I have my own.

To experience this JOY in pictures feel free to click this link:

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