April 13, 2014
Few words were spoken as we drove away from the Janada Batchelor’s Foundation for Children (JBFC); the silence spoke more than we could possibly have achieved with words. We shared the inexpressible sentiment built and reinforced through hours of intimate shared experiences with the dozens of unique, inspiringly-high-spirited, non-exclusively loving and caring girls who made their home at JBFC. Coursing through us all were emotions so powerful they brought tears to many an eye (ours and theirs alike). As stated, these sentiments are inexpressible, but I will try to help the reader understand as best as I can – using the analogy of a rope. A relationship between two people is like a rope connecting them; a relationship built with someone through one medium, one aspect, is but a single, tenuous thread threatening to snap; the relationships we built with the girls and the figurative ‘ropes’ that went with them would make the steel cords of the Golden Gate Bridge look like pieces of soggy spaghetti. We created a figurative thread through every medium, every aspect, through which a figurative thread could be created. From intellectually-straining-but-rewarding school tutoring, to tedious-but-convivial friendship bracelet making, to long games of soccer under the blazing African sun, to singing and dancing and praying under the moonlight, starlight, and/or bulb-light, to cutting bamboo, tilling fields, and digging ditches in the sweltering heat of high noon, to teaching songs like “Help!” by the Beatles and “Imagine” by John Lennon, to learning how to skin a potato with a machete (I could continue, but I’ve myriad other things to say), each and every one of the members of the LWS Tanzania Trip of 2014 connected with the girls in an unprecedented, thorough, and simultaneously heart-warming-and-wrenching manner I’ve not experienced before.
Global Immersion Studies in Tanzania
April 13, 2014