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Kenya Summer Camp 2007

Project Dates: December 9-16, 2007

A Personal Commentary

by Becky Horchak

“You’re going to Africa?!” This was the typical response from many people when they heard about my upcoming trip to Kenya. “And what are you going to be doing there?” undoubtedly would be the next question. When I explained that I would be teaching swimming at a youth camp, the conversation would either end in “Wow, what an experience!” or “You must be crazy!” While most of my friends/family would most likely agree with the second response, I feel it is a little bit of both that makes me keep going to Africa. It’s a beautiful country, with beautiful people—but it is truly an out of the ordinary experience. However, while I am there it never “feels life changing.” It is what it is. The life changing comes when there are those few quiet moments to reflect on everything that has just taken place and that’s when all the emotion and understanding of how great the whole trip was.

Life was so busy before I left that I never had too much time to think about my trip, other than just the basic preparations of packing and getting my activity lesson plans set. So, I did not have expectations. Camp was just this huge unknown. Every night after going to bed, I felt like a new lesson had been learned. The biggest thing was learning to adjust in working with people from every walk of life, as basic as that sounds. And I believe this is the biggest thing I have taken home, the skill of “getting to know people.” I don’t mean the usual, “where are you from, how old are you…” basic get-to-know-you, I mean get to know the story of why someone is who they are today. When you get to know people’s story, and where they are coming from, then it makes it a joy to get to spend time with your brethren.

The brethren in Kenya use this principle. They desire to know everyone’s life story and always count it a joy to meet a new brother or sister in the faith. Now, having been home for a while and having some time to reflect on my experiences in Kenya I feel it is my duty to pass on the same love the members in Kenya showed to me, to anyone that I meet in my life.

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