My heart is breaking. While I was looking around to buy coffee at the Dullis International airport in Washington, I ran into my pastor Gary Skinner of Watoto Church in the flesh, without any lights and sound from church.
Excitement couldn’t be contained and a selfie was requested, but in typical me mode, I didn’t save it.
So yes my heart is breaking but it’s a warm fuzzy break because I still had an opportunity to talk to someone I revere, admire and whose vision I am proud to be invited to, I just don’t have a picture to prove it..
7 days, 8nights , enough junk food to last me a lifetime, a year older, a whole bunch of business cards to fill my brand new wallet, and an IMF/World Bank credibility chip later, am on my way back home.
Back to life as I absolutely know it and love it. Back to comfort, warmth and a pretty huge assignment. (Because my big mouth landed me in the amazing trouble).
I have hours to kill on this flight from Washington to Dubai(13 to be precise) and am trying to ignore the voices telling me to catch a movie or much needed sleep. (There wasn’t any last night)
I celebrated it with the World Bank staff who invited us for an informal dinner. There was cake, food, and African music played direct from YouTube so essentially a full fledged party.
I never have those on my birthday so it was pretty special and because yes Americans and calories we got to take the rest of the cake back to the hotel and drown in chocolate amazeballness.
As I figure out what to write about, am also curious to know if anything has changed because quite honestly, I would hate to have wasted a whole lot of time, and World Bank money just for a trip.
Anyway that’s just me thinking out loud and am sure if you are an ardent reader of my blog, you are fully aware that all I do is replicate my unpolished thoughts in a way I would have a conversation with you.
My typical day in DC involved getting up unusually early at least for me,(let’s just say you would never catch me up at 5am anywhere without ceremony but something about being away from home never allowed me to sleep in), telling God how extremely grateful I was, promising myself to write a blog that day, making good use of the option to have a bubble bath, breakfast and then heading to the World Bank (which is housed in about 5 humongous buildings so more like finding the one where I had to be for the day.
The most amazing thing about these meetings was, we had an option to choose which meetings to attend and which ones to skip, so I didnot have to go listen to the climate change and it’s impact or agriculture and it’s awesomeness.( I have nothing against food and weather for the record)
So I went to things like ‘Youth Transforming Africa’, “Let Girls Learn’, among others where I knew I could find a bearing.
We also had an opportunity to meet with the younger World Bank staff, ( the more fun guys) in an informal setting and just have them ask us questions and we them which, I particularly needed to gain perspective on how exactly I hope to implement
I also spent a whole two hours in the book store. Maybe it was the need for a lone time surrounded by the universally familiar ( books) but it was a beautiful investment.
I also had an opportunity to meet maybe one of the most polite lawyers out there who is Kenyan and works for the bank. He had a lot of helpful advice and warmly answered the millions of questions I asked. (People can be really nice)
One of the most meaningful interactions we had together was an meeting/interview with the founder and CEO of The African Bazaar Magazine, based in New York.
Of course as a writer an opportunity to sit across from her was honorable enough and then we got to talking.
It was like being home and just having a conversation in the sitting room. The greatest take away from it was, I have been given an undeserved privilege not to mess up.
Africa needs us to change the perspective the rest of the world has about it.
So when we find ourselves in a position to tell the rest of the world, that we are equally smart, and resilient and strong, and that hunger, poverty, disease and failed democracies
(as much as those issues are still real) don’t define us, we can’t mess that up.
We did a final interview on Saturday for the bank just to talk about our week’s experience and those ‘what message do you have for the young people things. ”
I have to warn you, if the video of it ends up on the web which it will, there was an unwelcome, tear moment, but am hoping Bobo( the bank’s media person works magic and gets rid of it)
Why did I cry?
Maybe because I hadn’t cried the day before on my birthday like is the tradition or maybe because he asked what inspires me to write and I remembered how I started to write because Makerere decided to have a field day with my scholarship in a former life, and how overwhelmingly grateful I am, that happened because that’s how I ended up in that beautiful atrium to answer that question.
In conclusion ,I have also always wanted to do an, “If you were having coffee with me” episode.
Something my long lost cousin from Zimbabwe., Beaton does.
I couldn’t n’t write it as magically
as him but I have had my fair share of coffee this last week so am qualifying myself to say..
If you were having coffee with me
I would tell you, embrace the journey.
Somehow God has a way of lining up things to work to our advantage.
To create beauty from ashes.
The pain or the struggle just makes for a beautiful messy story, which you have the power to make work for you.
I would tell you that, the only person whose permission you need to dream is you.
I like that I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
That I come from a place which villagers would also call a village.
I love that I sat my form 4 the first time and my results didn’t come back and I had to do it allover again.
I love that I left Makerere law school for UCU Mukono, because it created a need to stand out and I am taught by people who care.
It’s a whole list of things but the point is
who I am, who I aspire to be is a refined product of a hot messy story.
Has anything changed? You tell me.
PS, I love you for reading..